9 Essential Steps to Successfully Apply for Refugee Status in Canada

By | August 13, 2023

Applying for refugee status in Canada can be a complex and daunting process, but with the right guidance, it can lead to a new beginning filled with hope and opportunity. In this comprehensive guide, we will break down the essential steps you need to take in order to successfully apply for refugee status in Canada. From determining your eligibility to handling additional requests, we have got you covered.

Are you eligible to apply?

The first crucial step in applying for refugee status in Canada is determining whether you are eligible to do so. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act outlines the eligibility criteria, which include fear of persecution or risk to your life and freedom due to your race, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group. It is important to thoroughly understand these criteria and assess your own situation before proceeding with the application.

What are the eligibility criteria?

To qualify for refugee status in Canada, you must demonstrate that you meet the eligibility criteria set by the government. This includes providing evidence of your well-founded fear of persecution in your home country. The fear must be based on one or more of the five grounds protected by the Canadian law: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. It is essential to gather all relevant documents and evidence to support your claim.

How to gather supporting documents?

Gathering supporting documents is crucial to strengthen your refugee claim. These documents may include identification papers, travel documents, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and any other evidence that supports your fear of persecution or risk to your life and freedom. It is advisable to consult with a legal professional or an experienced refugee advocate who can assist you in compiling the necessary documents for your application.

How to complete the application form?

Completing the application form accurately and thoroughly is essential for a successful refugee claim. The application form, known as the Basis of Claim (BOC) form, requires you to provide detailed information about your background, reasons for seeking refugee status, and any supporting evidence. It is crucial to be truthful and provide as much relevant information as possible while adhering to the guidelines provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Where to submit your application?

Once you have completed the application form and gathered all the necessary supporting documents, you need to submit your application to the appropriate authority. In Canada, you can submit your refugee claim to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). The IRB is responsible for processing and assessing refugee claims. It is important to follow the instructions provided by the IRB and submit your application within the required timeframe.


Successfully applying for refugee status in Canada requires careful planning, thorough preparation, and adherence to the established procedures. By following the nine essential steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate through the application process with confidence and increase your chances of a positive outcome. Remember, seeking the assistance of legal professionals or refugee advocates can provide valuable support and guidance throughout the process. Take the first step towards a brighter future by starting your refugee application journey today.