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How to Make a Claim

In order to make a claim from within Canada you must fill out the required forms (available here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/protection.asp) and then submit your application to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office on 1148 Hornby Street in Vancouver.

NOTE: If you made a claim at the border or at the airport, the process will be a little different. You will be interviewed at the time you arrive at the border, airport or Port of Entry and receive the application package immediately.

What to prepare for the immigration application forms:

  • A list of your immediate family members (spouse, siblings, parents, dependents), including their birth dates and where they live.
  • A list of the activities (i.e. working, studying, travelling, unemployment) you have had for the last 10 years – NO gaps in time are allowed.
  • A list of all the places where you have lived in the last 10 years (address, city, country).

(If you claimed at the border or airport, your eligibility forms will have been completed there and you will have only the Basis of Claim (BOC) form to fill out and submit to the IRB.)

You will need a lawyer to help you complete the Basis of Claim (BOC) form. You might be eligible for legal aid which will provide a lawyer free of charge to help you with this process and you can apply for this with the Legal Services Society at 510 Burrard Street or call 604 601 6076 or email immigration.intake@lss.bc.ca.

SOS staff can assist you in filling out the paperwork and apply for legal aid, contact us at 604 255 1881.

When the immigration forms and the BOC (Basis of Claim) form are complete return them to the CIC office at 1148 Hornby Street.

Processing hours are 8 – 10 a.m., Monday – Friday.

After submitting all the forms, you will receive a date for your eligibility interview. CIC will provide an interpreter. This is not your refugee hearing.

IMPORTANT – There is only ONE opportunity for the CIC eligibility interview. If you miss the date you will NOT be given another one.

Take original ID documents and 4 (8 in the past) passport size photos to your eligibility interview.

At the interview, CIC will give you:

  • the medical exam forms
  • the Refugee Protection Claimant Document, which contains a clause regarding the Interim Federal Health Program(IFHP ) which is your medical coverage
  • a conditional departure order
  • a date for your refugee hearing with the Immigration & Refugee Board (IRB) in either 30 or 60 days time

CIC will also take your fingerprints for identification and security purposes.