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Tips -- WHY YOU ARE CLAIMING REFUGEE PROTECTION section

This is the most important part of the Basis of Claim Form. Here, claimants explain their claim and give details about why they are afraid, what they did to try to get protection in their own country, and when and why they decided to leave. They must answer a series of specific questions to explain why they think they should be allowed to stay in Canada as a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection.

The claimant should present the information in chronological order. They should include dates, names, and places whenever possible. If a claimant is not sure of a date or fact, they should not make it up. For example, if they cannot remember a date for certain, they should write that the event took place around that date.

If the reason for making the refugee claim is the same for all the members of a family, only one of them needs to answer the questions about why they are making refugee claims. The other family members should just write the name and file number of the family member who has provided the information, stating that their refugee claim is based on the same information.

Have you or your family ever been harmed, mistreated or threatened by any person or group? - 2(a)

Claimants must check either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If the answer is no, but the claimant fears that this could happen if they are forced to return to their country, they should explain in section 2(b) why they are afraid and what they fear will happen if they return.

If the answer is yes, the claimant must give details about what happened and when. They must say who the claimant thinks caused these things to happen and why, even if they received anonymous threats.

If the claimant knows of other people in the same situation who have also experienced harm or threats, they should say so. For example, if a claimant fears persecution because they belonged to a human rights group in their country, they should include any information that they have about persecution of or threats against other members of the group. If a claimant is afraid because places of worship for people of their religious denomination were bombed or raided by the authorities, they should give information about this here. They should include dates, places and details about what happened.

If you returned to your country, do you believe you would be harmed, mistreated or threatened by any person or group? - 2(b)

An Immigration and Refugee Board member has to decide whether the claimant is likely to be persecuted or at risk if they have to return to their country. Most claims are based on events that happened before the claimant left their country. But, in some cases, a claimant who was not persecuted in the past may have reason to fear persecution in the future. For example, a claimant might belong to a political party that was outlawed by the government after the claimant left the country. Or, after coming to Canada, a claimant may have joined a religious group whose members are being persecuted in the claimant’s country.

Did you ask any authorities or organizations in your country to protect or assist you? - 2(c)

Claimants must give details about what they did to try and get protection. They should include dates, where they tried to get protection, and what happened each time. If the claimant has any reports, letters, or other documents confirming that they asked for protection or help, they should file copies with the Basis of Claim.

If the claimant does not have any proof that they went to the police or some other organization for help, they should start trying to get such evidence right away. Claimants should keep copies of any letters or emails they send asking for such evidence. That way, they can show the Immigration and Refugee Board member that they at least tried to get it. If a claimant gets a document after they file their Basis of Claim, read about the deadlines for filing it.

Claimants who never asked for protection or help should explain why they did not. It may be that relatives or other members of a claimant’s group requested police protection and did not receive it. Or, a claimant might be afraid of the police or other authorities in their country. Claimants should be really specific in their reasons. It is not helpful to make general statements like 'All the police in my country are corrupt.'

Did you move to another part of your country to seek safety? - 2(d)

A successful claimant must show that they would be in danger everywhere in their country. If they moved from one part of their country to another before leaving, they must explain why they could not live there safely. Or, they will need to explain why they came to Canada instead of moving to another place in their country. If there might be a place in their country where they could live safely, they will need to explain why it is not reasonable to expect them to go there or to live there.

When did you leave your country? - 2(e)

Claimants must provide dates. If the only time they left was to come to Canada, then they need to provide only one date. But if they left previously and then went back to their country, they need to give both the date when they first left and the date when they left permanently. They should also explain, in question 2(h), why they went back. Otherwise, the Immigration and Refugee Board member may decide that the claimant did not believe they were in danger in their country.

Why did you leave at that time and not sooner, or at a later time? - 2(f)

Claimants must explain why they chose to leave when they did. For example, some people leave their country at the first sign of danger. Others stay, despite attacks or threats, until they finally decide that they cannot stay any longer. Some people want to leave but cannot afford the plane tickets.

Did you move to another country (other than Canada) to seek safety? – 2(g)

A claimant who went to another country to escape from harm or danger must name the country and say when they moved there and how long they stayed. They must also state whether they made a refugee claim in that country. If not, they must explain why they did  not seek protection there.

Give any other details that you think are important for your claim for refugee protection – 2(h)

If the claim was made at the port of entry, and some of the information in the forms that were filled out then is not correct, the claimant should try to explain the reason for these errors. Some examples might be that the claimant did not remember everything, or was not given enough time to answer, or there were difficulties with the interpreter.

A claimant who received medical treatment or counselling because of what they suffered should give details about this. A claimant who left their country but then returned must explain why they returned. If other people in the same situation as the claimant have not been persecuted, the claimant should explain why they were singled out.

A claimant who has a passport from the country where they fear persecution must explain how they got the passport. Anything that the Immigration and Refugee Board might find odd, suspicious, or inconsistent with a fear of persecution should be explained.

Are children who are less than 18 years old claiming refugee protection with you? – 2(i)

If the answer is ‘No’ the claimant should check that box and leave the rest of the question blank.

If the answer is ‘Yes’, the claimant must also complete one of the other three boxes. If the claimant is not the child’s parent or if the other parent is not in Canada, the claimant must show any documents giving them the right to have the child with them. If they have a document signed by one or both parents that authorizes them to care for the child or take the child to Canada, they should list that document here and attach a copy. If there is no document, the claimant should explain why.

If a child, six years old or younger, is claiming refugee protection with you, explain in detail why you believe the child would be at risk of being harmed, threatened or maltreated if returned to their country – 2(j)

A child who is six years old or younger may be in danger for the same reasons as the claimant. If so, the claimant can say that there are no threats or dangers specific to the child. But if the child is in danger for a reason that does not apply to the claimant, this should be explained.

If  there is no child six years old or younger included with the claimant, they should write  ‘not applicable’ or ‘N/A’.

List the country or countries where you believe you are at risk of serious harm – 3

These should be the claimant’s country or countries of citizenship. A claimant who is a citizen of more than one country must prove that they face persecution in each of their countries of citizenship.

If a claimant is stateless, the claim must be against the country of ‘former habitual residence’. They must claim against that country even if they had no legal status there and even if they cannot legally return to it.

List each country of which you are or have been a citizen. - 4

A citizen of more than one country needs to show that they are in danger in each of their countries of citizenship. If a claimant has lost their citizenship, they should explain how and why this happened, using another sheet of paper and attaching it to the form.



Last updated: Mar 6, 2013

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