Frequently Asked Questions – Refugee Claims based on Homosexuality

  1. Would the information I provide be confidential? Do I have to come out publicly?
  • This is one major area of concern that prevents many gay persons from seeking protection.  Canada has the Privacy Act, which means all information is held in strict confidence, the Government of your home country will not have access to this information, nor will any one other than CITRN and the Government of Canada.
  • If you are involved in LGBTQ activism, or even HIV activism, you may also be able to claim refugee status on the basis of political opinion.
  1. Have you been attacked, threatened or persecuted based on your sexual orientation or gender identity? Have you been denied your basic human rights? Is your home country unable or unwilling to protect you?
  • In accordance with international law, Canada can protect you.  For 20 years, Canada has granted refugee protection to people who face persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  1. Do I have to be physically in Canada to make a refugee claim?
  • Yes. CITRN takes care of all the legalities for the temporary visa to come to Canada to make such claim.
  1. Do I have to be "out" as an LGBTQ+ person to claim asylum?
  • "Being out" as an LGBTQ+ person means identifying yourself as part of this group and disclosing this to other people.
  • You do not have to be "out" as LGBTQ+ in your country or have already experienced persecution to claim refugee status. To make a decision on your claim, the IRB will consider what could happen to you if you return to your country.
  1. Do I have to have specific education, work experience and language skills to make such a claim?
  • No. This is specific to your claim for protection from the Govt of India  and the social alienation from family and friends and the p[persecution and fear suffered from the hands of the public.
  1. Do I have to be feminine or a Hijra to make a claim.
  • No. Many gay persons appear to look and act straight because of societal pressure, There is no criteria needed for “looking gay” to make a claim
  1. Do I need my family or blood relative to assist in Canada?
  • No.  This is not a sponsorship; you do not need any family assistance to make the claim. The claim is based on your own merit and supporting documents and narration of the fear you have and the persecution you have experienced or will experience by remaining in your home country.
  1. If I am not out and living as a heterosexual can I still make a claim?
  • Yes.  Just the fear of coming out and what would happen will qualify for making the application for protection
  1. Can a person of any age make a refugee claim?
  • No.  You must be an adult to make this claim

CANADA and Homosexuality

Most Canadians believe homosexuality should be accepted in society, but a divide exists on a global scale, a recent poll has shown.

The survey conducted by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre last week asked participants if society should accept homosexuality and found significant divisions among the 39 countries included. The organization published its findings last week in a report called "The Global divide on Homosexuality”

Generally, researchers found higher rates of acceptance in North America, The European Union and Latin America, while regions of Africa, as well as predominantly Muslim nations and parts of Asia and Russia were the least tolerant, the report said.

Spain had the highest level of acceptance at 88 per cent, and Nigeria had the lowest, at one per cent.  Eighty per cent of Canadians polled agreed that homosexuality should be accepted, a 10 per cent increase since Pew’s last poll on the subject in 2007.  Comparatively, 60 per cent of Americans polled believed homosexuality should be accepted, up 11 points from 49 per cent in 2007. The report found the acceptance of homosexuality is particularly widespread in countries where religion is less central in people’s life’s.