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Getting ready: Preparing to fill out the form

Do a draft: If the claimant has time, it is a good idea to do a first draft of the Basis of Claim Form, set it aside, review it within a few days, and then do a final version. This can help a claimant remember things that they forgot to include in the first draft. It may also give them an opportunity to talk to family members, friends, or others who might remind the claimant about relevant details or provide more information.

Gather all documents: If the claim was made at a port of entry, the claimant should have copies of the documents they completed for the eligibility interview. Anyone helping a claimant complete their form should ask to see these copies. These forms contain information that may be relevant to the refugee claim. For example, Schedule A lists the places where the claimant lived during the last ten years. It is very important that the information on the form be consistent with the information on the forms they filled out at the port of entry. If it is not, the Immigration and Refugee Board may not believe that the claimant is telling the truth.

Understand the questions: It is important that the claimant understand each question before answering it. If you are helping a claimant complete the form, encourage them to tell you if there is anything they do not understand.

Give details: Claimants should provide as much detail as possible, even if they are not sure whether something is important. Details can make it more likely that the hearing will go smoothly and that the claimant will be believed. If there is not enough space on the form to give a complete answer to any question, attach another sheet of paper to the form.

Don’t guess: All questions on the form must be answered, but claimants should never guess at the answers. If a claimant does not know the answer to a question, they should write 'don’t know' as the answer. If they are not sure, they should write 'unsure' as the answer.

Last updated: Mar 5, 2013


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