CIC Documents: what they mean
The refugee claim process is complex and involves many forms and documents. This list explains what the different documents mean. Download the application forms for inland claims:
Determination of Eligibility
You receive this document at the end of your eligibility interview, if you are deemed eligible to make a claim. It shows that you now have the legal status of “refugee claimant” in Canada. The eligibility interview is only to determine if you are eligible to enter the Refugee Claim process so that your application can be sent to the Immigration & Refugee Board for a refugee hearing. This is not your refugee hearing and a positive outcome DOES NOT mean you are accepted as a refugee yet.
The Interim Federal Health (IFH) coverage is included with your Determination of Eligibility document. This is the document you need to show that you have medical coverage when you go to the doctor or the hospital.
IMPORTANT – The eligibility document you receive shows who you are and what your immigration status is. It allows you to remain in Canada as long as the process is underway. Do not lose this document. IT CANNOT BE REPLACED.
Notice of Seizure
This is a notification letter from CIC that shows any documents taken away from you. It usually lists any ID papers you brought. You cannot recover your documents during the claim process but you will have to wait until your claim has been decided before your identity documents are returned to you. If you claim is accepted, you can apply for permanent residence and your documents will be returned to you when you become a permanent resident.
Basis of Claim (BOC)
This is the key document for your claim. It is where you give all your personal information and explain why you need to make a claim. You must be clear about your reasons, including any relevant information and documents that prove your case. You must complete the form in one of Canada’s official languages, ENGLISH or FRENCH.
The questions in the form will guide you to explain
- Why you could not receive protection in your own country and what kind of persecution you suffered (based on race; religion; nationality; political opinion or membership in a particular group) and from whom;
- That the persecution is against you personally and not suffered by everyone in the country and is not the result of you breaking the law;
- If you tried to move to another part of the country and what happened;
- If you delayed in leaving your country and why;
- If you delayed in claiming once you reached Canada and why.
It is advisable to complete the BOC with help from an immigration lawyer but YOU are the person responsible for submitting it.
ALWAYS make sure you keep a copy of your BOC.
IMPORTANT: The BOC and the evidence you present with it are the most important documents of your Refugee Claim. When you sign the BOC you are affirming that all the information you provide is COMPLETE, ACCURATE AND TRUE.
This allows you to work in Canada legally. It is illegal and dangerous to work without it. The permit is free for refugee claimants and is valid for a set period. If you are from a DCO country you must wait 6 months before applying, unless you get a positive refugee decision before that date. You can apply for it 4 weeks after completing the medical exams and after sending the BOC to the IRB. It can take up to 4 months, or more, to get your work permit. You must renew it at least 2 months before the expiry date.
Notice to Appear
It informs you of the date and time of your Refugee Claim Hearing where you can explain the reasons for your claim.
Conditional Departure Order
This is a ‘stand-by’ order to leave Canada (included with the CIC documents package). If your claim is rejected or abandoned, this order is activated and you will have to leave Canada voluntarily within the next 30 days.
This is given to anyone who has completed the entire refugee process, had a negative decision, and has not left voluntarily. It means you will be deported and cannot return to Canada.