The RPD is a tribunal branch of the Immigration and Refugee Board. The Refugee Protection Division hears matters from individuals claiming protected person status. Claims can be made at an IRCC or CBSA office in Canada or a Port of Entry, such as an airport or border.
You may also make a claim from outside of Canada, but such claims are not processed by the Refugee Protection Division, they are processed by IRCC. Claims for refugee status are made under two categories: a convention refugee or a person in need of protection.
The first step is the intake in which the Canadian Border Services Agency officer (CBSA officer) will determine eligibility for a refugee claim, including ensuring you are not inadmissible. If there is any alleging inadmissibility concerns on grounds of security, violating human or international rights, serious criminality, organized criminality, you will be found inadmissible. Do not mistake a CBSA officer with the Mounties you see in the movies. The are highly educated, highly trained and highly motivated. Show respect. Leave humour for another day.
A Basis of Claim (BOC) form details all the information of the claim is made with the same significance and effect as a statement made under oath (although changes and/or additions to the BOC form can be at a later date, changes may lead to your disadvantage as perception is of huge importance).
Documents to establish identity as well as evidence to support your claim will be required. The stories you hear about passports being flushed down the loo, is only necessary in very rare cases, and will probably land you in detention. Where that information cannot be produced the claimant will be asked to explain why and what steps were taken to obtain the evidence.
If a claim is made at a port of entry the original BOC form must be provided to the RPD within 15 days from when the claim is made.
If the claim is made in-land, the BOC form must be submitted to the officer at the time the claim is made.
The officer has 3 days to determine if the claim is eligible for referral to the RPD. Where the officer fails to make a determination within 3 days, the claim is considered eligible.
If the claim is found eligible, the claimant will be allowed to remain in Canada for the duration of the processing of the refugee claim.
Upon claiming protected person status, the claimant must appear for a hearing and carries the burden of proof that they are in fact a convention refugee or a person in need of protection.