Infographic: What you need to do when making a refugee claim

Click on the image for a PDF version of the infographic
Text by Josephine Li
Design by Elliot Carol Chow

If you have reached out to Legal Aid Ontario and we agree to pay for a lawyer to help you prepare your claim and to represent you at the Immigration and Refugee Board, do not pay the lawyer yourself for these services. Legal Aid Ontario will pay for these services.

Make sure you ask your lawyer if she/he is on the Legal Aid Ontario’s panel and can accept your certificate if you get one from us.

How to make a refugee claim

Port of entry claim (at the border)

  • airport
  • seaport
  • land/border crossing
  1. Eligibility interview

    A Canadian Border Services Agency officer will interview you to see if you’re eligible to make a claim. If you are, the officer will send your claim to the Immigration and Refugee Board for a hearing and give you and each member of your family a Basis of Claim form to complete.

  2. Complete Basis of Claim form

    See a lawyer to help you complete this form, which provides information about you and why you’re making a refugee claim. You have 15 days to complete this form.

  3. Deliver form to Immigration and Refugee Board either:

    • In-person
    • Fax

Inland claim (within Canada)

  1. Meet with a lawyer

  2. Complete Basis of Claim form

    This form provides information about you and why you’re making a refugee claim.

  3. Go to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in person to submit your claim

    • In-person

For more detailed information

Visit our website, for in-depth legal information and resources. You can find out more about making a refugee claim, important deadlines you will need to keep in mind, and helpful resources to get you started at