What happens if I make a refugee claim from inside Canada?
There are steps to make a refugee claim from inside Canada.
New IRCC online asylum application (eApp)
You must make your refugee claim using the new online application system if you:
- are inside Canada, and
- are eligible to make a claim
You might also have to send information through this portal if a border services officer tells you to use it.
If your legal representative is submitting the claim for you, they must create an account and both of you must sign a Declaration form.
If you are submitting your own claim, you must create the account.
If you don't have a legal representative, it's important to get legal help.
If you also want to work in Canada, make sure you check the box in the question that asks if you want a work permit. The portal also asks questions about your fear of returning to your home country, and other questions to make sure you are not barred from entering Canada.
An immigration officer will use the information and your BOC to decide if your refugee claim is eligible to be heard by the Refugee Board.
Basis of Claim form
In the BOC, you tell your story about why you're claiming refugee protection in Canada. It's your chance to explain to the Refugee Board:
- why you need refugee protection, and
- how you meet the definition of a or a .
If any information is missing, not true, or different from other information you submit, the Refugee Board could decide it does not believe you and refuse your claim.
Explain any delay
Because you're already inside Canada, it's important to make your refugee claim as soon as possible. If you wait too long, it might seem like you're not really afraid to return to your country.
In your BOC, you should explain anything that delayed you in:
- leaving your country after you decided to leave, and
- making a claim in Canada after you arrived.
After you have added personal information and uploaded your completed BOC to the portal, you will get an email about next steps. It's important that you check your email every day. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses email to ask for time-sensitive information about your claim, and will give you your appointment for an eligibility interview.
At your eligibility interview, the IRCC officer will review your:
- identity documents
- immigration history
The officer decides only if you're eligible to make a claim. They don't decide if your claim should be accepted.
If you're eligible to make a claim, the officer sends your claim to the Refugee Board. In some cases, a refugee claim can be decided without a hearing. Most often, you will have a hearing to decide if you're a Convention Refugee or a person in need of protection.
Get legal help
You should try to get legal advice. A lawyer can help you:
- figure out if you're eligible to make a claim
- set up an account on the refugee portal
- add your information in the portal
- fill out your BOC and upload it online
- prepare for your hearing
If you're not eligible to make a refugee claim, you will get a . This is an order that you must leave Canada. A lawyer can tell you if you can:
- delay your removal,
- apply for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment, or
- apply to stay in Canada permanently.