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Making a claim at a Canadian port of entry

Someone who wants to make a refugee claim can start the process when they arrive. They do this by telling a Canada Border Services Agency officer that they want to make a claim. The officer will interview them.

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

Warning: If the claimant comes to Canada by land from the United States (not by sea and, in most cases, not by air) the ‘safe third country’ rule applies. There are exceptions to this rule. Before coming to the border, claimants should find out if they fit into one of the exceptions. If they do not, they run the risk of being turned over to US border authorities and detained.

Last updated: May 22, 2019


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