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To make a refugee status claim from inside Canada, there are certain steps you need to follow and criteria that you need to follow.

The process begins online where you will fill an application in the refugee portal. Because the requirements to apply for refugee status are vey precise, it is best to work with a skilled immigration lawyer who can help you through each step of the process. 

Once you enter the online portal, you or your lawyer will need to set up an account. This will require you to answer questions about:

  • Your identity
  • Your family
  • Travel documents
  • Your job history
  • Your address history

If you would like to work in Canada, you must check the box in the application that asks whether you would like to subsequently be issued a work permit as well. There will also be questions about why you fear returning to your country as well as questions to confirm that you are not banned from entering Canada. Or to further examine your competence to determine whether you qualify to apply under these grounds. 

Once you have completed these questions, you will need to upload a document called a Basis of Claim (BOC). Your immigration officer will need the information from the questionnaire along with your BOC in order to determine whether your claim is eligible for a hearing in front of the Refugee Board. 

Basis of Claim form

In this document, you will explain your story and why you are requesting refugee status in Canada. This form is your chance to explain: 

  • Why it is dangerous for you to return to your own country.
  • How you meet the definition of a person in need of protection of Convention refugee.

It is extremely important that the information on this form is complete and truthful. If it is not, it could lead to your status being denied by the Refugee Board. 

Explain any Delay

Because you are making the claim from inside Canada, it is very important not to wait too long to apply for refugee status. 

If there has been any delay in your application, you should explain in your BOC:

  • Any delay in leaving your country once you made the decision to leave.
  • Any delay between the time you arrived in Canada and making your claim. 

Eligibility Interview

Once your application complete and your BOC has been uploaded, you should be checking your email every day as you are awaiting an email from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This email will request time sensitive information about your claim and give you the details for your eligibility interview. 

During your eligibility interview, an officer from IRCC will review your:

  • BOC
  • Personal Information
  • Identity documents
  • Immigration history

The officer will decide only if you are eligible to make a claim – and not whether your claim should be accepted. 

If the officer decides  that you are eligible to make a claim, your claim is then sent to the Refugee Board. While some claims are decided without a hearing, most often you will be required to attend a hearing to determine whether your claim is accepted. 

How Minhas Lawyer can help

If you are applying for refugee status from within Canada, it is very important that you get legal advice. An immigration lawyer can help you with determining your eligibility to make a claim, setting up your account in the refugee portal, adding the necessary information and preparing you for your hearing. They can also help you with the appeal process should your application be denied. 

To speak with one of our immigration lawyers, call us today.

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Minhas Lawyers Professional Corporation is a multi-practice law firm based in Mississauga. We advise and represent clients across various segments and practice areas.

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