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Personal documents

What personal documents should I get?

You should get any documents you can to prove your identity and how you traveled to Canada, as well as any other documents that support your claim.

For suggestions of personal documents that could help prove your claim, depending on your case, see the list below.

The list offers only general suggestions. The documents that you need to prove your claim will depend on your case. You should consult a lawyer or representative for more information and advice.

  1. Identity and travel documents (with BOC form)

    • Documents to prove your identity*
      • birth certificate
      • national identity card
      • passport
      • driver’s license
      • school certificates
      • professional or religious membership cards
      • military documents
      • marriage and divorce certificates (as proof of relationship)
      • any other official documents with your name and date of birth

      *The information in these documents must be the same as the information in your BOC and immigration forms. This is true for all of your documents, but especially documents that prove your identity.

    • Documents to prove how you traveled to Canada
      • airline ticket
      • itinerary
      • boarding passes
      • bus or train tickets
      • visas
      • other

      If you used false travel or identity documents to travel to Canada, you should submit them and explain what they were used for. If you do not have these documents, explain what happened to them. However, never submit any false documents in an attempt to mislead the IRB, this can lead to the rejection of your claim.

  2. Other supporting documents (10 days before your hearing)

    • police reports
      • medical or psychological reports
      • proof of any threats or intimidation
      • employment letters
      • business records
      • documents such as a house deed, rental lease or letters from neighbours or landlords to prove where you lived in your country
      • affidavits, declarations or letters from family, friends and co-workers who can confirm any aspect of the information in your Basis of Claim (BOC) form and the reasons you are asking for refugee protection and
      • expert letters on the risk you face in your country and what would happen if you were sent back
      • any other document you think might be important
    • membership cards for political groups, unions or other groups

    In addition to these documents, you should try to get other documents to support your claim, depending on what your claim is based on:

    • If your claim is about your religion
      • documents from your religious organization, such as baptismal certificates
      • documents from religious organizations that you have joined in Canada
      • affidavits, letters or declarations from your religious organization, friends and/or family
      • proof of any mistreatment you experienced because of your religious activities, for example, detention records or arrest warrants
    • If your claim is about your political opinion
      • proof of membership in any political organizations, such as membership cards or letters from political parties
      • affidavits, declarations or letters from people who know about your political opinions or involvement
      • proof of involvement or activism with human rights or other organizations
      • proof of any mistreatment you experienced because of your political involvement, for example, detention records or arrest warrants
    • If your claim is about your race or ethnicity
      • Proof of your ethnic group, such as official documents, identification cards, or government registries
      • letters, affidavits or declarations from people confirming your ethnicity
      • letters from ethnic or cultural organizations in Canada or in your country
      • proof of any mistreatment you experienced because of your race or ethnicity, for example, detention records or arrest warrants
    • If your claim is about your sexual orientation or gender identity (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer - LGBTQ)
      • affidavits, declarations or letters from people who know about your status (partners or former partners, community members, friends or family)
      • legal documents for change of name or gender
      • affidavits, declarations or letters from LGBTQ organizations in your country or Canada
      • proof of any mistreatment you experienced because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, for example, detention records or arrest warrants
    • If your claim is about domestic violence or abuse you suffered
      • proof of any police reports or complaints to the authorities and any responses
      • if you did not talk to the police or authorities, affidavits or letters from people in a similar situation who asked for help from the authorities but did not get any
      • medical or psychological reports confirming any abuse you suffered
      • proof of any threats or intimidation you received, such as letters or messages
      • letters, affidavits or declarations from people who know about your situation
    • If you are a person in need of protection from torture, cruel and unusual punishment, or other ill-treatment
      • proof of any police reports or complaints to the authorities and any responses
      • if you did not talk to the police or authorities, affidavits or letters from people in a similar situation who asked for help from the authorities but did not get any
      • proof of any threats or intimidation you received, such as letters or messages
      • medical or psychological reports if you were harmed
      • letters, affidavits or declarations from people who know about your situation
      • proof of any mistreatment you experienced, for example, detention records or arrest warrants