Making a Refugee Claim in Detention

Timelines and the BOC Form

If you are detained, you must still respect any deadlines for the refugee claim process. This includes submitting the BOC Form. If you are given a BOC Form at your eligibility interview, you will have 45 days from that date to submit the completed form to the IRB-RPD.

It is important to ask your legal representative if they can assist you with your BOC Form. If you do not have a legal representative, you can ask CBSA to submit the form to the IRB-RPD.  

If you had difficulties completing the BOC form while you were in detention, you can explain on the document, for example:

  • No legal representative
  • No access to proper translation or interpretation
  • Other difficulties caused by detention.

You, or your legal representative if you have one, can ask for an extension of the BOC form deadline. 

If you submit the BOC form after the deadline, the IRB will hold a special hearing to determine if your claim is abandoned or if a late BOC Form will be accepted. CBSA must present you to the IRB-RPD for this procedure if you are detained. 

Other supports

If you have a legal representative for your detention review hearings, the same person will not automatically represent you for your refugee claim.

When you are released from detention, you must provide your new address to the IRB-RPD in order to receive notices of any further information required for the claim or of a hearing date. 

It is extremely rare that a refugee claimant has their refugee hearing while in detention. If you receive a date for a refugee hearing while you are in detention and you do not have a legal representative, it is important to ask an NGO for help.

If you were detained for identity reasons, it is possible that questions will be raised about your identity during your refugee hearing. Release from immigration detention is not a guarantee that CBSA is satisfied with your identity. Make sure to discuss with your legal representative whether you have all necessary documents to confirm your identity during your refugee hearing. CBSA may also intervene in your refugee claim if they have concerns about your identity.