Common Questions

We want to start a refugee claim in Canada

You can claim status as a Convention refugee and/or as a person in need of protection if you left your country (of nationality or residence) because it was unsafe for you. If you become a Convention refugee, you will have certain rights in Canada, and there is a process that you must follow to apply.

Good starting points include:

  • Refugee Claim Flow Chart, from Legal Services Society, explains the process of seeking refugee protection in Canada. It outlines the steps for people who make a claim upon arrival and also for those who are already in BC, as well as when and how to contact legal aid.
  • Need Help with Your Refugee Claim?, from Legal Services Society, highlights legal aid coverage for refugees and the Legal Services Society immigration phone service, as well as the intake hours at the Vancouver legal aid office.
  • Refugee Hearing Preparation: A Guide for Refugee Claimants, from Kinbrace Community Society, explains how to prepare for a refugee hearing and includes sections on gathering and submitting evidence, legal issues to consider, and preparing for the hearing day. 
  • Refugees, from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), has several resources that explain who can apply for refugee status from inside Canada, how to apply, and what happens next, and that explain who can apply from outside Canada for resettlement, which is the legal process of bringing a refugee to Canada to live as a permanent resident.

See our related common questions:

Last reviewed January 2015

refugee claims, refugee, Convention Refugees