Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a refugee claim in Canada, both from inside and outside of Canada:
Applying for a Refugee Claim from Outside Canada:
If you are outside of Canada and seeking protection as a refugee, the first step is to determine your eligibility for making a refugee claim. To be eligible, you must meet the definition of a refugee as outlined in the United Nations Refugee Convention and the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The definition of a refugee includes individuals who have a well-founded fear of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. It is important to note that the fear of persecution must be genuine and based on objective reasons.
To determine your eligibility, you can visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website and complete their online eligibility questionnaire. This questionnaire will ask you a series of questions to help you determine if you are eligible to make a refugee claim.
Step 2: Prepare Your Supporting Documents
Once you have determined your eligibility, the next step is to prepare your supporting documents. This includes any documentation that supports your claim for protection as a refugee. This can include documents such as:
• Personal identification documents
• Passports or travel documents
• Birth certificates
• Marriage certificates
• Medical records
• Police reports
• Witness statements
• News articles or other evidence to support your claim of persecution
It is important to note that any documents you submit must be translated into either English or French, depending on the official language of the immigration office where you will be submitting your claim.
Step 3: Contact the Nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC)
Once you have prepared your supporting documents, the next step is to contact the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC) to submit your refugee claim. The VAC will provide you with information on how to complete your refugee claim forms, as well as information on the fees you will need to pay.
Step 4: Complete Your Refugee Claim Forms
Once you have contacted the VAC, you will need to complete your refugee claim forms. These forms include the Basis of Claim (BOC) form and the Personal Information Form (PIF). These forms will ask you to provide detailed information about your reasons for seeking protection in Canada, including any supporting evidence.
Step 5: Submit Your Refugee Claim Forms and Supporting Documents
After you have completed your refugee claim forms and gathered your supporting documents, you will need to submit them to the nearest VAC. You will need to pay the required fees, and your application will be reviewed by an immigration officer.
Step 6: Attend Your Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) Hearing
If your refugee claim is accepted, you will be scheduled for an Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) hearing. At this hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your case and explain why you are seeking protection in Canada. You may also have legal representation to assist you at the hearing.
It is important to note that the IRB is an independent body, and their decision on your refugee claim is final. If your claim is denied, you may have the option to appeal the decision.
In summary, applying for a refugee claim from outside of Canada involves determining your eligibility, preparing your supporting documents, contacting the nearest Visa Application Centre, completing your refugee claim forms, submitting your forms and supporting documents, and attending your Immigration and Refugee Board hearing. For more detailed information, please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
Applying for a Refugee Claim from Inside Canada:
If you are currently in Canada and seeking protection as a refugee, you may be eligible to apply for a refugee claim from inside Canada. The first step is to determine your eligibility. In order to be eligible to apply for a refugee claim from inside Canada, you must meet the following criteria:
1. Be physically present in Canada You must be physically present in Canada at the time of your application for a refugee claim. If you have left Canada, you will need to make your refugee claim from outside the country.
2. Be in danger of persecution You must have a well-founded fear of persecution in your home country based on your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. This fear must be based on more than just a general fear or anxiety about returning to your home country.
3. Be unable to return to your home country You must be unable to return to your home country due to the risk of persecution.
Once you have determined that you are eligible to apply for a refugee claim from inside Canada, you can move on to the next steps in the process. It is important to note that the refugee claim process can be complex and it is recommended that you seek the assistance of a qualified immigration lawyer or other legal representative to guide you through the process.
Step 2: Gather Supporting Documents
In order to apply for a refugee claim, you will need to gather a number of supporting documents. This may include:
• Personal identification documents (e.g. passport, birth certificate)
• Any immigration documents you have (e.g. visitor visa, study permit)
• Police certificates from any country where you have lived for more than six months
• Medical exam results from a doctor approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
• Any other documents that support your claim, such as letters from witnesses or experts in your field
Step 3: Fill Out the Application Form
You will need to complete the Application for Refugee Protection form (IMM 0008). This form asks for information about you and your family, your reasons for making the refugee claim, and your supporting documents.
Step 4: Submit Your Application
You can submit your completed application form and supporting documents to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office responsible for processing your claim. You will also need to pay the application fee at this time.
Step 5: Attend Your Refugee Claim Hearing
Once your application has been received, you will be scheduled for a refugee claim hearing. This is an opportunity for you to present your case and provide evidence to support your claim. It is important to attend this hearing as it is your chance to make your case for why you should be granted refugee status in Canada.
In summary, applying for a refugee claim from inside Canada involves determining your eligibility, gathering supporting documents, filling out the application form, submitting your application, and attending your refugee claim hearing. It is important to seek the assistance of a qualified immigration lawyer or other legal representative to guide you through the process.