Preparing Your Case

Write your story and history

It will be helpful to write out your story and your 10 years of employment, address and travel history. This can help you to start thinking about what evidence is important to your claim. It is better to err on the side of caution and include all details that may be important. The IRB-RPD may make a negative credibility determination if they believe you have been hiding important points or if you add important information at your hearing that was not included before.

Start gathering your evidence

Start gathering documents to support your claim. This evidence includes:

  • Identity documents that prove who you are
  • Relevant evidence that supports your case
  • Documents that tie the conditions in your country to your claim
  • Letters or affidavits from people who know about your claim and can confirm the information
  • Witness testimony at your hearing
  • Places you visited and dates 
  • What government agency you asked for help in your country
  • Other places you stayed within your country to avoid persecution.

Try to get all evidence and documents sent from your home country as soon as possible. Certain information, such as police or hospital reports, may be difficult to obtain and/or may take a long time. If you are unable to get some pieces of evidence or documents, it is recommended that you keep a record of your attempts to gather this information.

Review all documentation and evidence

You may receive letters of support that are not 100% consistent with your BOC. In this situation, you may need to contact the writer and explain the differences in your testimony. You should talk to your legal representative about how to deal with this type of situation. Many cases are decided based on credibility.

Translate all documents

All evidence must be translated into English or French, which can take time. Ensure it is done as soon as possible. Confirm with your legal representative which documents need to be translated.

Keep a copy of all your documents

Keep photocopies of all your documents:

  • Your BOC and other immigration forms
  • Your narrative
  • All evidence that you submit or that was submitted by your legal representative
  • Any letters, documents or appointment notices sent to you by the IRB, CBSA or IRCC
  • Applications and letters you or your legal representative sent to the IRB, CBSA or IRCC.

Get a file folder to keep your documents organized and safe. Keep your documents until you become a Canadian citizen.

Update your address

Keep your address updated throughout the process. This is important for receiving communication throughout and after the refugee claim process.