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Refugee Claim Process

Before You Start

If you need help understanding the refugee claim process please contact a staff member at SOS (604 255 1881) and download the ‘Refugee Hearing Preparation: A Guide for Refugee Claimants’ in English, Spanish, Chinese or Arabic.

Who is a refugee?

  • Somebody who can’t return to his or her country of origin because of fear of persecution or human rights violations
  • Somebody who needs protection

What you need to start a refugee claim in Canada:

  • You need to show WHO you are and WHY you are asking for protection.

WHO? – You must have at least one original identity documents (I.D.) from your country of origin. For example: Passport or travel document, birth certificate, marriage certificate, school records, national I.D. cards, voter registration card.

If you don’t have any of these with you, ask somebody in your home country to send you one. Immigration officials will keep the originals of your documents and provide you with copies

WHY? – Example: Some kind of persecution, government in your country cannot or will not protect you, and there’s no safety in another area of your own country.

IMPORTANT – You must declare even false documents that were used to travel or to enter Canada.