About UNHCR in Canada

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless persons. UNHCR has operations in more than 140 countries.

For decades, UNHCR has faced crises in many countries. We’ve provided life-saving assistance to asylum-seekers, refugees, internally displaced and stateless people. For millions forced from home, UNHCR saves lives and builds better futures.

The 1951 Refugee Convention is the key legal document that forms the basis of our work. Ratified by 145 State parties, including Canada, it defines the term ‘refugee’ and outlines the rights of the displaced, as well as the legal obligations of States to protect them.

Our office in Canada opened its doors in 1976 and works in four key areas:

  • Protection: We observe Canadian asylum practices and policies to promote the highest standards of protection for refugees and asylum-seekers.
  • Solutions: We find durable solutions that enable refugees to live their lives in dignity and peace. They can include voluntary repatriation, resettlement, and integration.
  • Communications: We inform and educate Canadians about the situation of refugees and other displaced persons, as well as the work of UNHCR in the field.
  • Fundraising: We encourage the Canadian public and the Government of Canada to provide financial assistance to UNHCR programs worldwide.

Reach out to us! If you have questions about your specific file or the asylum claim process, contact us by email at [email protected].

Please note that in Canada the UNHCR is not involved in the various processes related to individual cases. You should seek assistance from one of the many organizations listed in this guide if you need help with your asylum claim.

UNHCR Canada does not offer direct services for asylum-seekers and will refer you to other available services in Canada for assistance should you contact our offices.

Our main office in Canada is in Ottawa:

  • Address: 280 Albert St #401, Ottawa, ON K1P 5G8
  • Telephone: +1-613-232-0909

We also have a satellite office in Montreal, Quebec:

  • Address: 200 Boulevard René-Lévesque O, Montréal, QC H2Z 1X4
  • Telephone: 1-514-496-1637

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