The refugee claim process is complex and involves many forms and documents. This resource explains the different documents. Download the application forms from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) – Applying for Refugee Protection from within Canada
Determination of Eligibility
You receive a Determination of Eligibility document at the end of your eligibility interview if you are deemed eligible to make a claim. It shows you have the legal status of “refugee claimant” in Canada. The eligibility interview is only to determine if you are eligible to enter the Refugee Claim process so your application can be sent to the Immigration & Refugee Board (IRB) for a refugee hearing. This is not your refugee hearing and a positive outcome does not mean you are accepted as a refugee.
The Interim Federal Health (IFH) coverage is included with your Determination of Eligibility document. This is the document that shows you have medical coverage when you go to the doctor or hospital.
IMPORTANT – The eligibility document you receive shows who you are and your immigration status. It allows you to remain in Canada as long as the process is underway. Do not lose this document.
Notice of Seizure
This is a notification letter from IRCC that lists any documents taken away from you such as ID papers you brought to Canada. You cannot recover these documents during the claim process. You will need to wait until your claim has been decided before your identity documents are returned. If your claim is accepted, you can apply for permanent residence and the documents will be returned to you when you become a permanent resident.
Basis of Claim (BOC)
This is the key document for your claim where you provide all your personal information and explain why you need to make a claim. You must be clear about your reasons, including any relevant information and documents to prove your case. You must complete the form in one of Canada’s official languages, English or French.
The questions in the form include:
- Why you could not receive protection in your own country and what kind of persecution you suffered (based on race; religion; nationality; political opinion or membership in a particular group) and from whom;
- That the persecution is against you personally and not against everyone in the country. It is also not the result of you breaking the law;
- If you tried to move to another part of the country and what happened;
- If you delayed in leaving your country and why;
- If you delayed in claiming once you reached Canada and why.
It is advisable to complete the BOC with help from an immigration lawyer however are the person responsible for submitting.
Always make sure you keep a copy of your BOC.
IMPORTANT – The BOC and the evidence you present are the most important documents of your Refugee Claim. When you sign the BOC you are affirming that all the information you provide is complete, accurate and true.
This allows you to work in Canada legally. It is illegal and dangerous to work without it. The permit is free for refugee claimants and is valid for a set period. You must renew the permit at least 2 months before the expiry date.
The forms refugee claimants complete include Schedule 12: Additional Information – Refugee Claimants Inside Canada. A claimant can apply to IRCC for a work permit by checking a box in the form.
When the claimant is found eligible for a refugee protection hearing, they are given forms and instructions for getting a medical examination. After IRCC gets the results of the medical examination, they can issue a work permit.
A claimant who does not apply Schedule 12 can apply for a work permit later. It is crucial that refugee claimants update their address with IRCC, either online or by calling the Client Support Centre (1-888-242-2100), to ensure their documents can be delivered without delay.
A refugee claimant does not have to pay a fee for a work permit.
Notice to Appear
It informs you of the date and time of your Refugee Claim Hearing where you explain the reasons for your claim.
Conditional Departure Order
This is a ‘stand-by’ order to leave Canada (included with the IRCC documents package). If your claim is rejected or abandoned, this order is activated and you will have to leave Canada voluntarily within the next 30 days.
This is given to anyone who has completed the entire refugee process, had a negative decision, and has not left voluntarily. It means you will be deported and cannot return to Canada.