1. Get documents to prove your identity

If you can get them, it’s good to have documents from your country that prove who you are. Some examples of identity documents are:

  • birth certificate
  • national identity card
  • passport
  • driver’s license
  • political membership card or a letter confirming your political activity
  • professional or religious membership card
  • any other official document with your name and date of birth

If Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) took your passport or other identity documents when you made your refugee claim, they will give you a certified copy and also send a copy to the Refugee Board.

Other documents that can help prove who you are include:

  • school certificates
  • military documents
  • marriage certificate

You can also try to get a letter or affidavit from someone who knows you and can confirm facts about you. Affidavits and testimony are usually better support for your claim than letters.  

For example, someone who knew you before you came to Canada might be able to testify that you are who you say you are. Or someone from a community organization could interview you and confirm in a letter or affidavit that you speak a dialect that is specific to the region and country you’re from.

If you don’t have documents that prove who you are, make notes of what you did to try to get them. You can explain at your hearing what you did to try to get the documents and why you could not get them.

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