What is the difference between a resettled refugee and a refugee claimant?

Resettled refugees:

  • come through the Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program either as government sponsored or privately sponsored refugees.
  • are screened abroad and are Permanent Residents (PRs) upon arrival in Canada.
  • can legally work upon arrival but also have access to income support from the federal government or their private sponsors for their first year of settlement.
  • have a wide range of settlement supports available to them.
  • are eligible for the same provincial and federal social supports as other permanent residents (and citizens), as well as some additional supports such as insured benefits for enhanced health services.

Refugee Claimants (Asylum Claimants):

  • make a refugee claim at a port of entry or an inland office within Canada. There, they are screened and determined eligible or ineligible to pursue a claim.
  • have status only as temporary residents.
  • have their claim investigated by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). Only if deemed to fit the definition of Convention refugee will they then have the option of applying for Permanent Residency.
  • are eligible to apply for a temporary work permit.
  • can access some, but not all, of the settlement services available to resettled refugees/permanent residents.
  • are eligible for a range of provincial and federal services such as health care, labour market integration programs, community resources and to apply for Employment and Income Assistance (EIA).