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

2. Prepare for your eligibility interview

For your eligibility interview, you'll need:

  • a copy of the letter inviting you to the interview
  • your identification
  • 4 passport-sized photos


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 relationship to your dependent children and spouse.

Try to get legal advice before your eligibility interview if:

  • any of your identity or travel documents that you used to travel to Canada are false, or
  • you don't have any identity documents

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.


The portal has a question about interpreters. Ask for one if you need one. Your ability to speak English or French is not important for your refugee claim. Everything you say may be recorded and included as part of your case.

If you need an interpreter at your eligibility interview, IRCC will provide one. If you can't understand the interpreter, or if you have other concerns about the interpretation, tell the officer as soon as possible. Don't wait until after the interview to raise these concerns.

Other documents

You have to give the Refugee Board any other documents that you want to use to support your claim. You don't use the refugee portal to do this. They can be submitted in person, by mail, or fax. To communicate electronically, use Canada Post's epost Connect. You or your lawyer must register with Canada Post to do this. See the Instruction Guide and online form to register.

Your lawyer can apply to become a registered My Case user to send your documents to the Refugee Board electronically.

You must send your documents at least 10 days before your refugee hearing. You don't need to bring these documents to your eligibility interview.

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