Seven Keys to Protecting and Welcoming Refugees and Newcomers: A vision for Canada

Traditionally a leader in welcoming refugees and other newcomers, Canada can and must renew its efforts to protect their rights. This means acting in seven key areas:

Making status in Canada secure

For more information:

Rights for migrant workers

Access to Protection for Trafficked Non-Citizens

Conditional permanent residence for sponsored spouses

Access to citizenship

Making status in Canada secureThis means:

  • Making pathways to permanent residence open to all, including:
    • migrant workers (Temporary Foreign Workers, caregivers)
    • persons who have been trafficked
  • Permanent residence for sponsored spouses is unconditional
  • Access to Canadian citizenship


A broad, inclusive and effective refugee resettlement program

For more information:

Private Sponsorship of Refugees: An overview

Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees: Program Proud history, Uncertain future

Important Changes in Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program

Refugee resettlementThis means:

  • The government resettles a significant number of refugees to Canada:
    • particularly the most vulnerable
    • from around the globe
    • without discrimination
  • The private sponsorship of refugees is quick and simple, and respects the principles of additionality and naming
    • Additionality: Privately sponsored refugees are on top of, not instead of, the refugees that the government resettles, on behalf of all Canadians.
    • Naming: Private sponsors can identify the refugees that they wish to sponsor, assuming they meet all the criteria in Canadian law.

Access to protection

For more information:

The Experience of Refugee Claimants at Refugee Hearings in the New System

New Refugee System: One year on

Protection for trafficked persons

Violence against women

Access to protection This means:

  • Opportunities for refugees to reach Canada
  • A fair refugee determination system, without discrimination
  • Effective protection for trafficked persons without permanent status
  • Adequate support for refugee claimants and trafficked persons
  • Adequate protection in the immigration system for women in situations of violence

Speedy family reunification

For more information:

Express Entry family reunification

Changes to the age of dependants

About the excluded family member rule

speedy family reunificationThis means:

  • Express entry family reunification
    • where children are reunited with their parents in 6 months or less
  • The definition of family member is broad and inclusive
    • reinstating the previous age of dependants
    • eliminating the ‘excluded family member’ rule
  • Government makes family reunification a top priority

Rights and dignity for all

For more information:

Refugee healthcare

Access to Canada’s social safety net

Protection for migrant workers

Trafficking in persons for forced labour


Rights and dignity for allThis means:

  • Access to essential healthcare
  • Access to Canada’s social safety net
  • Protection from exploitation for migrant workers
  • Immigration detention is reduced to a minimum
    • respect for non-citizens’ fundamental right to liberty

Accountable immigration enforcement

For more information:

Accountable immigration enforcement

Accountable immigration enforcementThis means:

  • An independent and effective complaints and monitoring mechanism oversees Canada’s border agency (CBSA)

Welcoming communities

For more information:

Proud to Protect Refugees

Welcoming communitiesThis means:

  • By words and actions, governments and civil society show they are proud to protect  refugees
  • Governments and civil society honour and celebrate the contributions of newcomers



Traditionally a leader in welcoming refugees and other newcomers, Canada can and must renew its efforts to protect their rights. This means acting in seven key areas.