How do I fill out my Basis of Claim form?

1. Fill out information about yourself and your claim

All the information you provide in your Basis of Claim Form (BOC) must be complete and correct. Never guess an answer. If you don't know the answer, write “don't know.” If a question does not apply to you, write “N/A” for ‘not applicable'.

CLEO has tip sheets with useful information to help you fill out your BOC.

Who you are

In this section of your BOC, include the following:

  • Your correct name, even if you used another name to enter Canada or in the past. If you used a false name, you also need to give the false name you used as well as the reason you used it.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your sex as listed in your passport. If you don't identify with the sex in your passport, you can write in the sex-gender that you identify with.
  • Your nationality, ethnic and racial group, or tribe.
  • Your religion and denomination or sect.
  • All the languages and dialects that you speak.

Why you’re claiming refugee protection

This is the most important section of your BOC. You must give details about:

  • what happened in your country
  • why you're afraid
  • whether you tried to get help from the police in your country
  • whether you tried to move to another part of your country to be safe
  • when and why you decided to leave

In most cases, you will need to attach additional pages to answer the questions with the amount of detail that is expected.

Try to give information in the order it happened. Include names and places whenever possible. Be very sure before you include specific dates. If you're not sure, give an approximate date, such as early spring or before or after an important event, like a wedding or a political rally.

If you have a lawyer or legal representative, talk to them about what happened and what you fear. They might suggest that you include all of this information in one document, rather than answering all the questions in the BOC separately.

If you're including any information you learned from other people, make sure you explain who told you the information, when and how you received the information, and why you believe them.

If the reason for making a refugee claim is the same for all of your family members, only one of you needs to answer the questions. This person is called the “principal claimant.” The others can write that they rely on the principal claimant's BOC. But be careful about relying only on one family member's story. Family members can have their own additional reasons to fear returning to the country. Each person should explain anything that is unique to them.

You must also list all of the countries where you're at risk of harm, and all the countries where you have citizenship. If you're a citizen of more than one country, or if you have legal status in another country, it's important to get legal help because this will often make a refugee claim more complicated.

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