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Common Questions

We want to start a refugee claim in Canada

Last reviewed in August 2022 by the Clicklaw Editors

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:

  • Need Help with Your Refugee Claim?, from Legal Aid BC, highlights legal aid coverage for refugees and the Legal Aid BC 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 and Asylum, from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), has resources on a number of topics including but not limited to how Canada's refugee system works, how to apply in Canada as a refugee, and how to appeal a refugee claim.

Need more help?

  • Call the Legal Aid immigration line from Legal Aid BC at 604-601-6076 or 1-866-601-6076. Interpreters are available. Find out if you qualify for a free lawyer to help you with your refugee claim.
refugee claims, refugee, Convention Refugees