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The Refugee Claim Process

The Refugee Claim Process

Flow chart showing the key stages of a claim.

Your Refugee Hearing

Your Refugee Hearing

Take an online tour of a refugee hearing room in Toronto and find information to help you prepare for a hearing.

Ready Tour

Ready Tour is a free program that helps you prepare for your refugee hearing or an appeal at the Refugee Appeal Division. Register now.

Website updates


Hearing preparation training

December 9, 2016

The University of Ottawa Refugee Assistance Project (UORAP) and Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) are delighted to announce the launch of a new online tool in for refugee support workers and others who assist refugee claimants in preparing for their hearing.

The new Hearing Preparation Training includes a series of instructional and case study videos, along with a suite of supporting written resources. It helps trainees understand:

  • the basics of a refugee claim,
  • the evidence that supports a claim,
  • how to support collecting and submitting evidence, and
  • what happens at the refugee hearing.

These resources can be used on their own or together with other training material. They are available in English and French.


Health care for refugee claimants improved

April 4, 2016

Refugee claimants get better access to health care. The federal government improved the Interim Federal Health Program on April 1, 2016. Refugee claimants now get the same coverage they got before June 30, 2012.


H&C Applications

March 31, 2016

The Supreme Court of Canada has explained what immigration officers must consider when deciding applications for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Anything that makes others feel compassion and want to help can be the basis for a successful H&C application.


DCO claimants gain right of appeal

July 27, 2015

Claimants who come from a Designated Country of Origin (DCO) will now able to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division if their claim is refused by the Refugee Protection Division. The Federal Court has said that the rules denying this right to claimants based on their country of origin violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The federal government is appealing this decision.


Filing documents with the RPD

December 19, 2014

The Refugee Protection Division of the IRB has said that it will more strictly apply its rules about how to file documents..

Health care for refugee claimants

October 24, 2014

Refugee claimants get Interim Federal Health coverage for only one year at a time. To continue getting services under the Ontario Temporary Health Program, they should apply to renew their Interim Federal Health coverage 3 months before it ends. Read more.

Your Refugee Hearing

September 17, 2014

CLEO launches an online resource, Your Refugee Hearing, a new desktop and mobile friendly site that helps refugee claimants see what a hearing room in Toronto looks like and who may be at their hearing. It also has practical information to help them:


Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) applications

August 20, 2014

An expanded Humanitarian & Compassionate (H&C) applications section of the website now has more details on:


The Refugee Claim Process

March 19, 2014

The Refugee Claim Process flow chart shows the key stages of a claim from when it is made to final decision.

Health care for refugee claimants

January 17, 2014

The Ontario Temporary Health Program came into effect on January 1, 2014. Find out what is covered and when coverage is available under provincial and federal programs.

New section on the Federal Court

July 17, 2013

See the new section: Challenging a decision in Federal Court.

This includes some basic information about the power of the Federal Court to review decisions on refugee status, relevant time limits, the difference between a judicial review and an appeal, and related topics.

Updated information on claimant's and interpreter's declarations

June 14, 2013

Practical examples of how declarations in the Basis of Claim form can be amended where a claimant or their interpreter is not sure if the information in the BOC is complete, true and correct.

See About the claimant's and interpreter's declarations

New section on appeals

May 29, 2013

See the new section: What happens when the Refugee Protection Division refuses a claim or the Minister appeals the decision?

This includes who can appeal, the steps in the process, time limits, and other important information.


Last updated: Dec 19, 2017


All taxonomy terms:

All taxonomy terms: Letters

All taxonomy terms: Forms

All taxonomy terms: Fees

All taxonomy terms: Timelines

All taxonomy terms: Inadmissibility

All taxonomy terms: Proof of identity

All taxonomy terms: Applying for OHIP

All taxonomy terms: Special hearings