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Refugee law

Effective December 15, 2012, the process for making a claim for refugee protection in Canada has changed as a result of amendments to Canada’s refugee law system. These changes are the result of Bill C-31, the federal government’s new refugee and immigration legislation. Legal Aid Ontario offers assistance with refugee and immigration matters. Find out more.

The following categories outline what you will need to make a refugee claim, important deadlines you will need to keep in mind, and helpful resources to get you started:

This section will give you an overview of what you need to know before you start your refugee claim.
The timeline for your claim depends on where you started your claim and what country you are from.
Designated Countries of Origin
Some countries are listed as “Designated Countries of Origin” (DCO). You can still make a refugee claim, but your claim will be treated differently.
Starting your claim
Learn about how you can start a refugee claim and what will happen when you begin a claim.
Completing your BOC form
The Basis of Claim (BOC) form explains who you are and why you need refugee protection in Canada.
Document to support your refugee claim
Learn about documents you might need for your refugee claim, and helpful resources for collecting and submitting them on time.
Before your hearing
Learn what to do if you need to change your contact information or BOC form, and how to ask for changes to your refugee hearing.
Appealing refugee decisions
If your refugee claim is rejected, you might be able to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD).
Judicial review
If your claim is rejected and you cannot appeal, you can apply for a judicial review for your decision to be overturned.
Admissibility hearings
Admissibility hearings decide if you are allowed to come into or stay in Canada, if you are a permanent resident or foreign national, for example if you have criminal convictions.
Links and resources
A list of links and resources for finding more information and help on refugee law.