What happens if I make a refugee claim when I arrive in Canada?

1. Prepare for your eligibility interview

When you arrive at an official Port of Entry (POE) in Canada, like an airport, marine port, or a Canada-United States border crossing, you need to show original documents to prove your identity. These can include your:

  • passport
  • travel document
  • birth certificate
  • identity cards
  • baptismal record
  • school certificate
  • marriage certificate, as proof of relationship
  • political or social organization’s membership card

You should also have documents that prove your identity and relationship to your dependent children and spouse.

If you’re coming from the US bring documents to prove you meet an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA).

If any of your identity or travel documents you used to travel to Canada are false, try to get legal advice before your eligibility interview. If you arrived using a false passport, you will be asked questions about this. You will also be expected to give proof of your real identity.

If your documents are not in English or French, you must also get:

  • an English or French translation of the document, and
  • a statement or affidavit written and signed by the translator.

Other documents

You will have to give the Refugee Board any other documents that you want to use to support your claim. You must do this at least 10 days before your refugee hearing. You don’t need to bring these documents to your eligibility interview.

It’s important that your lawyer review all of your documents before you give them to the Refugee Board.

A lawyer can review your documents to make sure the information you provide is accurate. They can also make sure that any previous mistakes or inconsistencies are explained to reduce the risk they will be used against you at your refugee hearing.

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