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Claiming refugee protection in Canada

The Refugee Claim Process

Flow chart showing the key stages of a claim


Making a claim for refugee protection in Canada

The need for legal help
Who can get refugee protection?
What is a Convention refugee?
What is a person in need of protection?
Where and when can a person make a claim?
Who decides the claim?


How does someone arriving in Canada make a claim?

Making a claim at a Canadian port of entry
What happens at the interview with Canada Border Services Agency?
What questions are asked in the interview?
What happens after the forms have been completed?


What happens if the Basis of Claim Form is not completed on time?

Special hearings
What happens at a special hearing?
Can a claimant avoid losing the right to make their claim?
What can a claimant do if the claim has been declared abandoned?


Making a claim when arriving at the Canada-US border

What is the 'safe third country' rule?
Are there exceptions to the rule?
What happens when someone makes a claim at a Canada‑US border crossing?
Where can claimants get help if they are thinking of coming to Canada from the US?


Making a refugee claim from inside Canada

How does someone who is already in Canada make a claim?
What information do the forms ask for?
What happens at the eligibility interview?


Eligibility for a hearing

Who decides if a claimant is eligible for a hearing?
When is the decision made?
Who is not eligible for a hearing?
What happens if a claimant has been found ineligible for a hearing?


Designated foreign nationals

What is an irregular arrival?
Being detained as a designated foreign national
No appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division
Longer wait to apply for resident status
No right to a travel document
Requirement to report


Coming from a designated country of origin

Less time to prepare for the hearing
Three-year bar on access to Pre-Removal Risk Assessment
Restrictions on right to a work permit



Last updated: Apr 13, 2016

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All taxonomy terms:

All taxonomy terms: Letters

All taxonomy terms: Forms

All taxonomy terms: Fees

All taxonomy terms: Timelines

All taxonomy terms: Inadmissibility

All taxonomy terms: Proof of identity

All taxonomy terms: Applying for OHIP

All taxonomy terms: Special hearings