Immigration law issues

Refugee and immigration legal help

Related questions

What services does LABC provide for refugees? January 30, 2024

LABC’s immigration coverage is for people entering Canada, or people who have already entered Canada, who want to make a claim for protection under s. 96 or s. 97 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). 

Coverage is based on risk to the person if they return to their country of origin.

We fund applications by people living in BC for the following:

  • Refugee status under s. 96 of IRPA (fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion)
  • Protection under s. 97 of IRPA (fear of torture or risk to life, or risk of cruel and unusual punishment or treatment)
  • Permanent resident status on humanitarian compassionate grounds under s. 25 of IRPA for applicants who face unusual, undeserved hardship in their country of origin
  • Pre-Removal Risk Assessment applications (which allow people who are ineligible to make refugee claims in Canada to still have their risk assessed)

We also fund appeals and judicial reviews of Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) decisions.

What about proceedings at the Federal Court? January 30, 2024

Please see the Federal Court of Canada website.

My refugee claim was denied. Can I still appeal? January 30, 2024

If you lose your refugee claim, the time to file your notice of appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) is 15 days. The deadline to perfect your appeal has been extended from 30 to 45 days.

Will my refugee claim hearing with the IRB go ahead? January 30, 2024

The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) conducts hearings regularly. You or your lawyer will be contacted to schedule your hearing. Currently, the RPD is scheduling all claimants to participate in virtual hearings using MS Teams. If you agree to have your hearing by video, there are a number of technical requirements that must be met. The RPD will inform you of these requirements. Effective September 5, 2023, participants can apply to have their hearings.

I am inside Canada and I want to claim refugee protection. How do I make my claim? January 30, 2024

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is no longer accepting in-person claims at their offices. If you’re inside Canada and you’d like to make a refugee claim, you must, in most cases, apply using the IRCC Portal.

To submit a refugee claim using the IRCC Portal, see Claim refugee status from inside Canada: How to apply.

Before you can access The Portal, you’ll need to answer two questions regarding your location and your eligibility to make a claim. Once you’ve answered Yes” to these two questions, scroll down to the question How will you make your refugee claim?”. Select the Online (you’re already inside Canada)” button. Follow the instructions that appear. There will be a link to a guide that can assist you with the process of making a claim.

Before you begin to make your claim, you’ll have to sign up for an IRCC Portal account (if you already have an IRCC Portal account, there’s a Sign in” link). If you are being assisted by a lawyer, they can use their IRCC Portal account. 

To create an account, click Sign up to submit your claim,” under Need an IRCC portal account?”. You’ll have to submit your email address. You’ll then receive an invitation code. Use the code to create an account. Once you’ve created an account, follow the instructions to complete your claim. Once you start to enter information about your claim, you’ll have 90 days to submit it.

When the application is complete, IRCC will:

  • send you an Acknowledgment of Claim letter, 
  • give you instructions to complete your immigration medical examination, and 
  • schedule you for a biometrics interview, and later an eligibility interview. 

After you’ve been found eligible to make your claim, your file will be referred to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), and they’ll eventually schedule your hearing. In some cases, your case may be selected for a paper file-review process to see if a decision can be made without a hearing. If the RPD can’t come to a positive decision in a paper file-review then your claim will be scheduled for a hearing.

More information can be found on IRCC’s website.

I need to file a form with the Immigration and Refugee Board. What about my deadline? How do I file? January 30, 2024

Refugee Protection Division (RPD)

If a claimant made a claim for refugee protection at a port of entry and their claim was referred to the RPD on or after August 29, 2020, the RPD temporarily extends the time limit for the claimant to provide their Basis of Claim (BOC) form by 30 days from the date on which the BOC form would normally be due. Accordingly, the claimant’s BOC form will be due 45 days after the day on which their claim was referred to the RPD.

Inland claims are now made using an online portal called the IRCC Portal (The Portal). You use The Portal to input information and upload documents such as the Basis of Claim form (see I am inside Canada and I want to claim refugee protection. How do I make my claim? [July 8]” below).

Fax the RPD at 604-666-3043.

Email the RPD at

For more information about making refugee claims, please visit the RPD website.

Refugee Appeal Division

Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) notices of appeal are now due 15 days after receiving written reasons from the RPD. Appeals must be perfected within 45 days from receiving the written reasons from the RPD.

Fax the RAD at 604-666-9870.

Email the RAD at

For more information about how to appeal a negative RPD decision, please see the RPD website.

Immigration Appeal Division

All Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) deadlines have now returned to normal. By default, the IAD is currently scheduling all hearings as virtual hearings. Effective October 18, 2022, participants can apply to have their hearing in person or as a hybrid hearing. See the IRB website for details.

Fax the IAD at 604-666-3043.

Email the IAD at:

Immigration Division

For the Immigration Division (ID), detention reviews are being conducted by telephone or video. For non-detained cases, the ID will contact you or your lawyer to schedule a hearing. By default, the ID is currently scheduling hearings as virtual hearings. Effective September 5, 2023, participants can apply to have their hearing in person. See the IRB website for details.