Work with Your Legal Representative

Choosing a legal representative is very important. Learn how your legal representative should work with you, what they should not do, and what your role is. Find out what to do if you think your representative is not doing a good job.

Your role as the client

Even if you have a legal representative, this is still YOUR claim:

  • Know how much time your representative can give you. This includes emails, phone calls, and meetings. Always prepare first so you can make the best use of their time.
  • Be honest so they can help you in the best way.
  • Take notes when you talk to them. Write down what you need to do next and when. Or ask them for a copy of their notes.
  • Do what they advise you to do. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Give them any evidence and documents they ask for and any new information you have.  Do not send anything to the IRB-RPD without talking to them first.
  • Share any important news about your country with them.
  • Stay in contact about important dates.
  • Make sure they know your current contact information and where to leave messages.
  • Talk about any disagreement you have.

Representing yourself

If you cannot find a representative of any kind, you must do your BOC Form yourself, and go to your hearing.

If you do not have legal help: 

  • Read the Claimant’s Guide.
  • Read Legal and Policy resources.
  • Read the National Documentation Package for your country.
  • Take a Ready Tour.
  • Register for the MyCase portal. This website allows you to:
    • check on the progress of your claim,
    • update your contact information with the IRB-RPD, and
    • send in evidence for your refugee claim.
  • Use this website as your guide.
  • Read everything the CBSA and IRB-RPD send to you and follow the instructions.
  • Be familiar with your BOC Form, your narrative, and your evidence. Make sure everything in these documents is true. 
  • Get help from family, friends, or other people in the community you can trust. For example, someone who is good at reading and writing might be happy to help you.