How do I make a refugee claim from inside Canada?
During COVID-19, you can make a refugee claim from inside Canada in two ways:
- Send Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) an email and manage your claim online, or
- Go to a port of entry (POE) and make your claim in person
It's important to get legal advice before you make a refugee claim. If you don't have a lawyer or legal representative, look for help here.
Starting your claim by email
Send only the following information to IRCC.RefugeeClaim-Demandedasile.IRCC@cic.gc.ca:
- Your name
- Your unique client identifier (UCI) found on your visa or permit or your passport number
- The email that you want to use to communicate with IRCC
You will receive an automatic reply that IRCC got your email. You will also get an email from Canada Post asking you to sign up for an ePost account. You or your legal representative have to register with Canada Post. See the Instruction Guide and online form to register.
Work with your legal representative to complete your Basis of Claim (BOC) and other forms in the application package. After you upload the forms on ePost, an immigration officer will contact you to let you know if any information is missing. If it's complete, you will receive an Acknowledgement of Claim letter. IRCC will then contact you to let you know when your eligibility interview will be. At the interview, an officer will decide if you are eligible to claim refugee status.
If you need to update your contact information, use the IRCC web form.
Start your claim at a port of entry (POE)
You can apply for refugee status at any port of entry (POE). This includes an airport, seaport, or land border.
You can bring your completed application package to the POE. An officer will decide if you are eligible to claim refugee status.
To learn more about making refugee claim at a POE, read the question What happens if I make a refugee claim from inside Canada?
Port-of-Entry refugee claim flowchart
Learn how to make a refugee claim at an airport, marine port, or border