Your immigration legal questions answered

I am inside Canada and I want to claim refugee protection. How do I make my claim? [July 8, 2020]

IRCC is no longer accepting in-person claims. If you'd like to make a refugee claim, please complete all forms in the application package online

Then email IRCC.RefugeeClaim-Demandedasile.IRCC@cic.gc.ca and let them know you want to make a claim. You'll receive an automatic reply to confirm they received your message. You'll also receive an email from Canada Post asking you to sign up for Canada Post’s epost Connect service. 

Once you've signed up, use epost Connect to send the completed forms to IRCC. If 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 an interview.

More information can be found on IRCC’s website.

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What about proceedings at the Federal Court? [June 29, 2020]

Please see the Federal Court of Canada website.

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I need to file a form with the IRB. What about my deadline? How do I file? [June 29, 2020]

The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) has extended time limits for the filing of various forms, submissions, and notices for many of its divisions. The IRB mailroom in Vancouver re-opened on June 15, 2020. Documents can be submitted by fax (up to 50 pages), mail, or e-mail. The IRB is currently not accepting in-person delivery of documents.

Refugee Protection Division

Refugee Protection Division (RPD) Basis of Claim forms that were due between February 15, 2020 and July 4, 2020 are now due on July 19, 2020.

Fax the RPD at 604-666-3043.

Email the RPD at RPDWestern-SPRouest@irb-cisr.gc.ca.

For more about submitting documents to the RPD, see their website.

Refugee Appeal Division

Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) notices of appeal and appellant’s records that were due between January 1, 2020 and August 18, 2020 are now due on August 19, 2020.

Fax the RAD at 604-666-9870.

Email the RAD at IRB.RAD-W-O-SAR.CISR@irb-cisr.gc.ca.

For more about submitting documents to the RAD, see their website.

Immigration Appeal Division

Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) deadlines to file a Notice of Appeal that was due on or after March 16, 2020 has been extended to August 4, 2020. Hearings at the IAD will resume July 20, 2020. All normal IAD timelines resume August 5, 2020.

Fax the IAD at 604-666-3043.

Email the IAD at: IRB.IAD-WO-SAI.CISR@IRB-CISR.GC.CA.

Immigration Division

For the Immigration Division (ID), some hearings are being conducted by telephone, but most in-person hearings have not yet resumed. The IRB will advise at a later date when the majority of in-person hearings at the ID will resume.

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Will my refugee claim hearing with the IRB go ahead? [June 29, 2020]

The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) previously suspended all in-person refugee hearings. In-person refugee hearings are now scheduled to resume on July 20, 2020. The RPD plans to stagger starting times of hearings to minimize the number of people who are in common areas at the same time. If your hearing is scheduled for July 20, 2020 or later the RPD may change the time the hearing begins. If your hearing has not yet been scheduled or was previously cancelled the RPD will contact you or your lawyer to reschedule.

For more about the resumption of in-person hearings, see the RPD website.

The RPD is also implementing a pilot project in Vancouver for holding hearings by video. Initially only certain files will be selected for this project, and participation in the project will be entirely voluntary. If your file is selected for this project you will be contacted by the RPD.

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I have a BOC deadline coming up. Do I still submit the form? [June 29, 2020]

Refugee Protection Division (RPD) Basis of Claim forms that were due between February 15, 2020 and July 4, 2020 are now due on July 19, 2020.

Fax the RPD at 604-666-3043.

Email the RPD at RPDWestern-SPRouest@irb-cisr.gc.ca.

For more about submitting documents to the RPD, see their website.

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My refugee claim was denied. Can I still appeal? [June 29, 2020]

If you lose your refugee claim, the time to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division has temporarily changed.

If your time limit for filing a notice of appeal falls between January 1, 2020, and August 18, 2020, the deadline is now August 19, 2020.

If your time limit for perfecting an appeal falls between January 1, 2020, and August 18, 2020, the deadline is now August 19, 2020.

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I’m a refugee who has stopped working because of COVID-19. Can I apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)? [May 26, 2020]

Yes, if you live in Canada, even temporarily, you may be eligible to receive temporary income support through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). To get more information in your own language about who is eligible and how to apply, see the Government of Canada website.

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I have an appointment with IRCC coming up. Will it happen? [April 14, 2020]

IRCC has cancelled all appointments and interviews with refugee claimants and will reschedule the appointments at a later date. If your address or phone number change while you're waiting, you can update your contact information online.

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Do I still have to follow my CBSA reporting conditions? [April 14, 2020]

You must continue following your Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reporting conditions, if you have them.

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Page last updated: Monday, July 8, 2020, 15:00 hrs