Refugees > Steps of Applying for Refugee Status in Canada

Steps of Applying for Refugee Status in Canada

Refugees who already have arrived in Canada may be eligible to claim protection if they fear persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion or would be in danger if they had to leave Canada.

In most cases, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada will process refugee claims within 60 days. If you hail from a designated country of origin, they will hear your asylum claim quicker. If you want to apply for refugee status in Canada, follow these steps:

1. Choose where to apply

There are two forms of application for refugee status in Canada:

  • Apply at an IRCC office

You can make a refugee claim in Canada at certain Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offices. If you decide to apply at such office, you:

  • Must have all filled in forms in the application package with you.
  • Won’t be given time for an interview with an immigration officer until you show that you have done all the forms in person.

If the officer determines that your refugee claim is eligible, you will receive your IRB hearing date.

  • Apply at an entry port

You can apply for refugee status in Canada at any entry port. This means a land border, airport or seaport.

The special officer that you claim your refugee status to will decide if your claim is eligible to be introduced to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. If it is eligible you will:

  • Have 15 days to collect and fill in all forms in the application package and submit them to the IRB,
  • Receive a date for your IRB hearing.

2. Prepare full application package

To submit an application, you need to provide all required information about:

  • Your family.
  • Your background.
  • Why you want to make a claim for refugee protection.

You prove this information by completing all forms in the application package. Besides, the application package comprises a special detailed application guide and all the forms you must fill out.

NOTE: You can download the application package.

3. Go to the IRB hearing

If you are qualified to claim for refugee status, you will have to go to the IRB hearing.

The officer will announce your hearing date and time and will give you the Notice to Appear for a Hearing. It will inform you:

  • The time you must show up.
  • The time your hearing will start.
  • Where to go for the hearing.

Don’t forget that you must have all your identity documents with you at your hearing. This includes your:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s license.
  • Any other documents which may support your refugee claim or prove your identity.

After hearing, the IRB will consider your claim and decide on whether you get refugee status or not. The process usually lasts for up to 60 days.

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