Refugees are people who face persecution or danger in their home country, owing to factors like race, religion, nationality, political opinion etc. The determination of the above factors is made not by the immigration department but by Immigration Refugee Board (IRB), which is an independent statutory department. While the application is in process, the claimant can apply for an open work permit, and avail of many social benefits. Once approved, the refugee claimant can apply for PR status from within Canada.