The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) provides free legal help to some refugees and displaced people.
- IRAP helps some people find services and prepare refugee and visa applications.
- IRAP is not part of any government, IOM, or UNHCR.
- IRAP cannot grant refugee status or visas or speed up cases.
- IRAP cannot provide financial help, find or pay for housing, or find jobs.
- All of IRAP’s help is free. No one affiliated with IRAP has the right to ask you for money or any other service.
IRAP decides to help people based on their need and eligibility for immigration status. IRAP does not decide to help people based on any other social or political or religious criteria.
This website provides general information about legal processes available to some refugees. It is not meant as legal advice for individual applications.
This information was revised in August 2023. Requirements may change. Always check for current requirements from the government or agency deciding your request.
If you are in a refugee emergency, we recommend that you contact the UNHCR office in the country where you live .
Refugees seeking to reunite with family members have different processes depending on how long they have been in Canada.
You may be able to reunite with relatives in Canada if you listed your family member as a dependent on your forms for admission to Canada. You must file for your relatives within the first year of being resettled in Canada through UNHCR or private sponsorship. The Canadian government’s website with information about refugee family reunification for all provinces except Quebec is here. Information about Quebec’s process for refugee family reunification is here.
If you have been in Canada for more than one year or you otherwise do not qualify for the program above, the Canadian government website about family reunification is here. Information about Quebec's family reunification process is here. Information about reuniting with an immediate relative is here. Information about reuniting with more distant relatives is here.
In limited circumstances, residents and citizens of Canada can also sponsor refugees for resettlement to Canada. Information on private sponsorship of refugees is here. More resources are here in Amharic, Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, and Tigrinya.