I will enter Canada as a refugee and at the point of entry I'll file for asylum. I have basis for my claim, although I'm sure my claim will be considered seriously as there are many reports mentioned by independent organizations regarding serious human rights violation in my country. However, I need to describe my claim in details to see what you think of my claim legally:

I'll file for asylum based on:

1) Religion

I embraced a different religion than my society which damaged my relationship with it. I face discrimination that's really unbearable. Seeking protection from the government isn't a choice as I describe in the second point below that relates to political opinion. The discrimination that I face isn't limited to the social life, but also legally. Local courts won't recognize my religion in order to process marriage documents for example as I have to undergo religious rituals, there's no civil marriage for citizens. In addition to all of that, I have been always looked at as being unwanted in my society and I found it hard to integrate and swallow their religious practices. So far I didn't receive any sort of death threat other than minor offences (insults and humiliation). The issue relates to the strong religious ties of my society, even children are forced to memorize religious mottos, in other words (indoctrinated).

2) Poilitical opinion

In my country there's a political mayhem going on. Because of my family I'm considered to be the same as their religion. The government has a well-documented history of human right abuses towards our social group, this includes torture, discrimination in jobs, unfair trials and so on. All of that is well documented by independent human right organizations that are recognized internationally like Amnesty International for instance. Of course, naturally I'm counted as a member of this social group and thus what the government is doing to them applies to me as well. Seeking protection from the government will be a funny thing to say based on what I witnessed with my own eyes and the documents that include videos and pictures of how police treat people with extreme violence. I have members in my family jailed and torture in prisons based on their peaceful political opinions.

Going to the legal questions:

1) According to the Canadian immigration law, is my claim for asylum valid?

2) Does the Canadian law grants the refugee claimant the right to access a lawyer during the hearing procedure if the claimant financially unable to afford it?

3) Some of the facts are available publicly and can be proven very easily by (news, reports, videos,...), others are personal. How to prove personal claims legally?

  • Based on the facts as you present them, it seems that you will qualify as a refugee under international law (because you have "a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion"). I can't answer the questions about access to a lawyer and about how to prove your personal claims.
    – phoog
    Oct 10, 2016 at 22:20
  • Here's a resource: cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/inside/apply-who.asp
    – Zizouz212
    Oct 10, 2016 at 23:45
  • There is no special "legal proof" of a fact. What there is is a legally-defined concept, which you must prove is the case. You need a lawyer to understand the legal concepts, and to advise as to sufficiency.
    – user6726
    Oct 12, 2016 at 16:25
  • As you don't say which country you are from, it's difficult to answer.
    – Quidam
    Dec 28, 2016 at 14:58
  • 1
    In practice, every refugee claim is heavily influenced by the relationship of the country in which you seek asylum to the country from which you are leaving. It is hard to know.
    – ohwilleke
    May 10, 2018 at 10:43

1 Answer 1


I've no refugee or legal experience so I can't help with that, but I want to say that I think that the Government of Canada web pages tend to be good (informative).

For example:

If you decide to hire a counsel, you must hire this person at your own expense. If you do not have enough money to pay for counsel, you may contact the legal aid office in your province to find out what help, if any, is available. Please refer to the list of provincial legal aid offices included in your Claimant's Kit.

I suggest that, if you haven't already, you read the page I linked to above, and related pages like this one.

  • This is a comment, how does this answer the question? You're just pointing OP to a resource, without answering the question.
    – Zizouz212
    Oct 13, 2016 at 0:00
  • 1
    It's a partial answer. Part of the question is, "Does the Canadian law grants the refugee claimant the right to access a lawyer during the hearing procedure if the claimant financially unable to afford it?" and the answer to that is, "you may contact the legal aid office in your province to find out what help, if any, is available".
    – ChrisW
    Oct 13, 2016 at 0:03
  • 1
    According to that quote, legal aid (if any) is administered by the Province -- for example Legal Aid Ontario in the province of Ontario.
    – ChrisW
    Oct 13, 2016 at 0:05
  • As well as Legal Aid from the provincial government, I expect there may be other (private, charitable) help and information (on various topics) available, e.g. from volunteer groups organised to help refugees (but, not being in Canada now, I can't tell you more about them).
    – ChrisW
    May 10, 2018 at 9:14

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