For more legal information, visit the CLEO website and Your Legal Rights

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Where and when can a person make a claim?

A person can make a refugee claim at a port of entry to Canada. This could be a Canadian land border, airport, or seaport. A person can also apply from within Canada.

They should make their claim to a Canada Border Services Agency officer when they arrive at a port of entry. If they are already in Canada, they should go to a Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC) office and make an inland claim.

Claimants have the right to make their claim in English or in French.

They should make their claim as soon as they can. This is important for a claimant’s credibility. The longer they wait, the harder it can be for them to prove that they are afraid to return to their country. And if there is already a removal order against them, it is too late to make a refugee claim.



Last updated: Mar 1, 2016

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