What evidence do I need for my refugee hearing?

2. Get documents that help to prove your fear

The Refugee Board recently announced that it will continue to schedule all refugee hearings to be heard remotely. For more information, read the question.

You must try to prove that you're at risk in your country and that the important events in your story really happened. Your can help show that:

  • you're telling the truth,
  • you have a genuine fear of in your country,
  • the risk you face in your country is personal to you,
  • the risk that you face is not the same risk that others in your country face because of general conditions there,
  • the government in your country is unable to protect you, and
  • you could not reasonably or safely live in another part of your country.

Documents that can help show why you're at risk in your country include:

  • proof of membership in an organization, political party, or religion
  • police reports about what happened to you and why you're afraid to stay in your country
  • human rights reports, from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or others that provide information about human rights abuses in your country
  • medical reports that describe treatment you received for physical harm you experienced in your country or from a doctor in Canada about evidence of that physical harm
  • psychological reports, from a doctor in your country or from a doctor who treated you in Canada, that describe the psychological impact of what you experienced
  • articles that show what is happening in your country from news organizations
  • letters or from co-workers, family members, or friends that saw and can describe what you experienced in your country or what you fear could happen there

The person writing a letter or affidavit should usually only write about facts that they know personally. If they were told something by someone else, they need to state who it was and when they were told. Letters should be dated and signed by the author with a contact number, if possible.

Keep a record of your efforts to get documents in case you don't get them in time for your hearing. You can explain at your hearing what you did to try to get the documents and why you could not get them.

If you receive documents in the mail, keep the envelopes to show who sent them and where they came from. Original documents or certified copies are best. If you tried to get an original document but only got a copy, keep a record of your efforts to get the original. You can explain at your hearing what you did to try to get original documents.

If you plan to ask the consulate or a government body in your home country to help you get documents to support your claim, you should get legal advice first. If you do contact the government in your country, the Refugee Board might not believe that you're really afraid to return to your country. Instead, there might be other agencies in your country that you can contact to get support for your claim.

The Refugee Board produces National Documentation Packages (NDPs) that have human rights reports and other publications for most countries. An NDP is a collection of publicly available documents about what is happening in a country. NDPs are updated regularly and are included as part of the evidence in every refugee claim.

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