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About the claimant’s and interpreter’s declarations

On the last page of the Basis of Claim Form, the claimant is asked to make a declaration or signed statement. It is the same as a statement given under oath. The claimant’s and interpreter’s declarations are meant to ensure that the Refugee Protection Division can rely on the information in the Basis of Claim Form at the refugee protection hearing.

But some claimants may have difficulty completing the Basis of Claim Form because they did not have enough time, they did not have legal help, or for other reasons. They may need to change the wording of the declaration to reflect their circumstances. It is important to explain these circumstances  because any differences between the information in the Basis of Claim Form and the claimant’s testimony at the hearing could cause the Refugee Protection Division to doubt the claimant’s credibility.

Claimant’s declarations

Declaration A is for claimants who did not have the help of an interpreter to complete their form. The claimant is asked to declare that the information provided in the Basis of Claim is complete, true and correct.

Declaration B is for claimants who had the help of an interpreter. The claimant is asked to declare that the Basis of Claim and all attached documents were interpreted for them. They must also declare that the information provided is complete, true and correct.

Interpreter’s declaration

If the claimant had an interpreter, the interpreter is asked to declare that they interpreted the entire Basis of Claim Form to the claimant. They are asked to swear that the claimant assured them that they understood everything.

What if the claimant or interpreter is unsure whether the information in the Basis of Claim Form is complete, true and correct?

In such cases, one or both of the declarations may need to be revised. The revised wording should briefly explain the reason. Here are some examples of:

  • circumstances in which a declaration might need to be changed, and
  • wording that might reflect those circumstances.

Circumstances

Changes to declaration

The interpreter is not a professional interpreter

“I, [full name], hereby declare that I am not a professional interpreter and I have accurately  interpreted to the best of my ability….”

“I am proficient in speak both of these languages (and dialect, if any) and was able did my best to communicate effectively with the claimant. The claimant has assured me that he/she understood the entire content of this form and all attached documents and the answers provided, as interpreted by me.”

The claimant did not have time to complete the form properly (for example, if a claim was made at a port of entry and the 15-day deadline did not allow enough time)

“I declare that the information I have provided in this form is as complete, true and correct as possible, given that I had insufficient time to complete the form with proper care and diligence.”

The claimant could not get legal help to complete the form

“I declare that the information I have provided in this form is as complete, true and correct as possible, given that I was not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford a lawyer to help me complete the form.”

“I declare that the information I have provided in this form is as complete, true and correct as possible, given that legal aid paid my lawyer for only five hours to complete the form and this was insufficient for me to tell all the details of my story.”

The claimant was in detention

“I declare that the information I have provided in this form is as complete, true and correct as possible, given that I was in immigration detention from [date] to [date] and could not get the legal help or other resources I needed  to complete the form with proper care and diligence.”

The claimant has health problems

“I declare that the information I have provided in this form is as complete, true and correct as possible, given that I was suffering from [indicate health issue] and this made it difficult for me to [attend meetings with my lawyer] [complete the form fully and accurately].”

“I declare that the information I have provided in this form is as complete, true and correct as possible, given that I was suffering from [indicate health issue] and this affected [my memory, my ability to concentrate, my ability to relate past events clearly and correctly].”


These are examples only. Any changes to the wording of a declaration must accurately reflect the particular circumstances of the claimant.

Changes to the wording of a declaration should be initialled by the claimant and the interpreter, if there is one. Claimants should keep any documents such as medical reports or letters from Legal Aid Ontario that could help prove the reasons that a declaration had to be revised.



Last updated: Sep 30, 2014

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