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Understanding Different Immigration Categories

There are different ways that people can “get status” or stay in Canada. These are some of the immigration categories:

#1 Refugee Claim

This is an application for Canada to protect you because you are afraid to return to your home country. Someone who has made this application is called a Refugee Claimant.

If you are accepted, you will have the status of Protected Person.

To learn more, see this website

#2 Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations

This is an application to become a Permanent Resident in Canada. This is an application that you can make on your own or together with your family members who are in Canada.

You can apply for Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations for two or three of the following reasons:

You have lived in Canada for a long time and have a life here

You will face many difficult things if you return home

You are a child (under 18) and you can show that the best thing is for you to stay in Canada

If your application is accepted, you will have the status of Permanent Resident.

To learn more, see this website

#3 Temporary Residence Statuses

There are some visas and permits that let you stay in Canada for a certain period of time. They include the four visas/permits listed below, but there are also other kinds of temporary status.


You were approved to visit Canada as a tourist

Temporary Work Permit

You were given a document that lets you work in Canada for a certain amount of time

Temporary Residence Permit

You were given a special permit to stay in Canada for a certain period of time, sometimes for a special reason

International Student Visa + Study Permit

You were given permission to travel to Canada as an international student and to study at a Canadian school (high school, college or international school)

If you are in Canada on one of these visas/permits, you will have the status of Temporary Resident.

Sometimes you can apply to extend or renew these permits. You should renew a permit at least 30 days before it expires. If you do not renew these permits and you stay in Canada, you might be without any status.