How do I fill out my Basis of Claim form?

The Basis of Claim (BOC) form is an important document that every refugee claimant must complete. You must complete the BOC carefully and correctly. The Refugee Board uses your BOC to decide if your refugee claim should be accepted.

In the BOC, you tell your story about why you’re claiming refugee protection in Canada. It’s your chance to explain to the Refugee Board why you meet the definition of a Convention Refugee or a .

You must give details about:

  • what happened in your country
  • why you’re afraid
  • whether you tried to get help from the police in your country
  • whether you tried to move to another part of your country to be safe
  • when and why you decided to leave

The Refugee Board will review your BOC, the you provided, and the information in your immigration file.

This evidence and information will be compared to what you say at your refugee hearing. You will be asked questions about what you wrote in your BOC and your other evidence. If any information is missing, not true, or different, the Refugee Board could refuse your claim.


The BOC is available in English or French. You must choose the language you want to use at your refugee hearing and to communicate with the Refugee Board.

If you don’t understand English or French, your legal representative should provide an interpreter. The interpreter must read through the entire BOC with you and make sure that you understand all of the information that is in it before you sign it. And the interpreter will sign the BOC to state that they have done a full interpretation of the form.

Get legal help

It’s a good idea to get legal help to complete your BOC.

If someone helps you to fill out your BOC, you have to fill out the counsel information section at page 9 of the BOC, even if the person will not be representing you at your hearing. If someone is representing you at your hearing for free, you also need to fill out a Notice of Representation Without a Fee form.

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