In-Canada claims for refugee protection: Intake

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Intake is the first step in the in-Canada refugee claim process.

In-Canada claims for refugee protection

Who may make a refugee claim

Foreign nationals and permanent residents who are not subject to a removal order may make a refugee claim in Canada. This includes a claim made at an admissibility hearing prior to the issuance of a removal order.

Canadian citizens may not make a refugee claim, as they already enjoy the protection of Canadian citizenship and the right to enter and remain in Canada.

When and where a refugee claim may be made

A refugee claim may be made at a Canadian port of entry or at an inland CIC or CBSA office, at any time during the administrative or admissibility hearing process, provided a removal order has not been issued.

How a refugee claim is made

All refugee claims must be made in person to a CIC or CBSA officer designated to receive refugee claims. A refugee claim is made when a person expresses to a CIC or CBSA officer the need for Canada’s protection. The claimant will not necessarily use words like ”refugee‟ or ”persecution.‟ If the official to whom a claim is made is not delegated to receive refugee claims, the claimant must be referred to a delegated officer as soon as practicable. Refugee claims may not be made by mail. If a client mails in completed forms, the forms must be returned, and the client notified that they must take the forms in person to a CIC office.

Burden of proof

The burden of proving that the claim is eligible for referral to the IRB rests with the claimant.

Processing fees

There are no processing fees for claims for refugee protection in Canada. As well, as per R299(2)(a) and R300(2)(a) claimants are not required to pay the fees normally charged for work and study permits.

There is no fee for the replacement of a lost, stolen or destroyed Refugee Protection Claimant Document (RPCD).

Procedures for receiving and initial processing of claims

Information and evidence must be collected from all claimants to enable officers to determine:

  • Whether a person may make a refugee claim in Canada as per A99(3);
  • Admissibility to Canada as per A34 to A41; and
  • Eligibility of the refugee claim for referral to the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board as per A101.
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