What happens if I make a refugee claim from inside Canada?

1. Prepare for your eligibility interview

You must complete your application forms before going to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office near you to schedule an eligibility interview with an immigration officer. 

Take your completed forms to the IRCC office. You won’t get an appointment for an eligibility interview if your forms are not complete.

You can download the application package to get the forms you need. These are:

  1. Generic Application Form for Canada
  2. Additional Dependents/Declaration (if applicable)
  3. Schedule A – Background/Declaration
  4. Schedule 12 – Additional Information – Refugee Claimants Inside Canada
  5. Basis of Claim (BOC) Form 

If you want to work in Canada after making your refugee claim, make sure you check the box the type of permit you need at Question 10 on the Schedule 12 Form.

Try to get a legal help when you fill out the forms. If you make a mistake on your forms, you might not be able to stay in Canada.   

If you can’t get a legal representative to help you, IRCC has a Guide that gives information about how to fill out these forms.

All the information you provide must be complete, true, and correct. Never guess at answers. 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. 

Get your documents

You need to have original documents to prove your identity. These can include your:

  • passport
  • travel document
  • birth certificate
  • identity card
  • baptismal record
  • school certificate or diploma
  • 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 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 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.

You also need to bring 4 photos of yourself and 4 photos of each of your family members in Canada who are applying for refugee protection with you. Check the IRCC Guide to find out important requirements for the photos and for translations.

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 IRCC or 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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