You can start your refugee claim when you arrive in Canada or once you are already in Canada. You may have many questions:
- How do I start my refugee claim?
- How long will the process take?
- What happens if my claim is refused?
- When will I be reunited with my family?
- How do I get help?
- Can I trust the Canadian Officer?
- Will they believe my story?
Do not worry! There are many people who can help you through the steps.
Get legal help
The refugee claim process can be long and difficult. Get legal help as soon as you can.
Once you decide to your claim, get legal help for your Basis of Claim (BOC) Form. You only have 45 days to do it and send it in. It takes time to work with a legal representative to put all the important facts in your BOC.
A legal representative can help you with all the forms and documents. They can go to the refugee hearing with you.
Be aware of your options
Do research and get legal advice before you start your claim. Make sure that a refugee claim is the best option for you. Understand how this decision may affect your future. There are risks. You may only get one chance to stay in Canada.
Slow down and take your time doing your BOC Form. The BOC is very important and you may have to talk about it at your hearing. The BOC must include all the important events in your life that show you are a refugee.
Take care of yourself
Making a refugee claim is hard work. Take things one step at a time. Remember to take care of yourself.
Prepare for your interview
Prepare before you tell your story at your eligibility interview. It is important that your facts never change during your claim. If you make a mistake, talk about it with your representative. Keep copies of all the documents.
Tell your story
You may have to tell your story many times to different people. They could be CBSA officers, IRCC officers, your legal representative, and the IRB-RPD Member at your hearing. This may make you feel nervous. But if you are always honest, you can feel confident, and your answers and facts will always match.
Advice from friends and relatives
Legal advice should be from your legal representative. Even advice from family and friends who made refugee claims may not be right for you. Sometimes people who try to help do not have enough experience. Each refugee claim is different. If you do not have a legal representative, find a settlement worker you can trust for information.