Refugee claims statistics


The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) hears and decides claims for refugee protection made in Canada.

Refugee protection can be granted in Canada if the RPD determines that the claimant meets the United Nations definition of a Convention refugee, which has been incorporated into Canadian law, or that the claimant is a person in need of protection. Convention refugees are people who have a well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Membership in a particular social group can include sexual orientation, gender identity, being a woman, and HIV status. Persons in need of protection must show that if they return to their country of nationality, they will face a danger of torture, a risk to their life or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

A claim for refugee protection can be made by speaking to an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at any port of entry upon arrival in Canada, or to an officer from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or CBSA at an inland office.

The officer decides whether the claim is eligible to be referred to the IRB. If the claim is eligible, it is sent (“referred”) to the RPD to start the claim for refugee protection process.​

Of note, on December 15, 2012, the system for determining refugee protection claims made in Canada underwent significant changes. These included changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, as amended by the Balanced Refugee Reform Act and the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act; new Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations; and new Chairperson’s Refugee Protection Division Rules. Refugee protection claims referred to the IRB before December 15, 2012 are no longer being published on the website.