The following are examples of circumstances which may lead to a person being deemed a refugee:
- A human rights activist who is persecuted by the state for her criticism of government abuses.
- A union leader who is threatened with violence by businesses who enjoy tacit support from the government.
- A gay man or lesbian who is beaten up by gangs of homophobic hooligans in a country that outlaws homosexual acts.
- A member of a religion who is being suppressed by the government.
- A woman who is subjected to repeated physical abuse by her husband in a country where conjugal violence is condoned.
- A member of an ethnic group who is persecuted by the state.
- A teacher in a country where intellectuals are denounced as traitors of the people.
- A person who openly criticizes a rebel group in a country where the government cannot protect its citizens against rebel attack.
- A person who is persecuted because he is suspected of opposing the government, even though he is not politically active.
- The child of an imprisoned political leader who is viewed as a threat by the current regime.
- The witness of a massacre committed by the military that the government wants to cover up.
- A student activist after the government has suppressed a student movement.
Individuals who have a refugee claim rejected, abandoned or withdrawn may eventually apply for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA). This is in opportunity for people who are facing removal from Canada to seek protection by describing, in writing, the risks they believe they would face if removed.