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Tips -- WHO YOU ARE section

Name(s) and date of birth - 1(a), 1(b) and 1(c):

Claimants should provide their correct names, even if Canada Border Services Agency or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC) has recorded a name incorrectly on their forms.

A claimant with a genuine passport should fill in their name as it appears on that passport. A claimant who used false documents to come to Canada should give their real name here.

If a claimant has an identity document with a different name, they may want to attach an explanation. For example, a woman may have documents in her birth name and her married name.

If a claimant is not sure of their date of birth, they should write what they think it is and add 'unsure'. If the claimant knows their date of birth using a non-Western calendar, they should provide the date of birth according to that calendar. They should provide the date according to the Western calendar only if they are sure they have converted it accurately.

Nationality, ethnic and racial group or tribe - 1(e):

This information can be very important to a claim, particularly if the claim is based on nationality or membership in a social group.

Nationality is not always the same as citizenship. Some people have a nationality without being citizens of any country. For example, Palestinians in Kuwait are stateless but have a nationality as Palestinians.

Many people belong to an ethnic group because of shared language, culture, and race. The Roma are an example. Some people belong to a tribe or clan. For example, in Rwanda, Hutus and Tutsis have the same citizenship and nationality but are from different tribes.

Religion and denomination or sect - 1(f): If a claimant is affiliated with a religion, or even if others merely consider that the claimant belongs to the religious group, the claimant should include that information here. They should do so even if they do not actively practise the religion.

Some religions are divided into different groups called denominations. For example, Christianity includes denominations such as Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, and Methodist. Islam includes denominations such as Sunni and Shi’ite. A claimant belonging to a denomination should include that information.

Sometimes ‘sect’ is used to mean the same thing as denomination. But this can also refer to a sub-group of a denomination. For example, Ismaili Muslims are often considered to be a sect of Shi’ites.

What is important is to fill in the name of the religious group with which a claimant identifies. It is also important to fill this in if other people, correctly or incorrectly, identify the claimant with a religious group. It does not matter whether it is a denomination or a sect.

Languages and dialects you speak - 1(g)

Some languages have local variations called dialects. For example, Portuguese has several dialects, such as Mainland Portuguese, Angolan and Brazilian. Someone who speaks one or more dialects of a language should note them here.

In certain situations, the Immigration and Refugee Board might expect citizens of certain countries or members of a particular social group to speak a particular language. If a claimant does not speak and understand such a language, they should explain why in 2(h).

Last updated: Mar 1, 2016


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