Establishing identity: Statutory declarations

The process for verifying the identity of refugee claimants when satisfactory documentation is not available involves the sworn statements of statutory declarations, or "statdecs."

This process was codified in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which evolved from the Aden Agreement of 2000.

Here are statdec documents that will be helpful in establishing identity:


A statutory declaration or “statdec” is a sworn statement. In this case, it is a statement relating to the identity of undocumented Convention refugees applying for permanent residence status in Canada. The Immigration Act (IRPA) requires TWO sworn declarations for each applicant who doesn’t have identity documents. One from the applicant herself or himself — the client. The second EITHER from someone who knew the applicant before coming to Canada OR from a credible organization that can swear to the applicant’s identity.

  1. The statutory declaration forms are a guide. If you want to make a statutory declaration another way, that is fine, but make sure that you include all the information required in the Aden judgement (see that file).
  2. The statutory declarations have to be signed by a person who is legally authorised to administer an oath. e.g. a lawyer, judge, notary public or legal clinic. As well, the statutory declarations can be signed by a credible organization as stipulated in IRPA. Your lawyer or a legal clinic can help you do your statutory declarations.
  3. Don’t try to make this look formal and legal. Tell your story in simple language. If you need more room, attach more paper. The story is the most important part, more important than making the form look proper.
  4. These forms are also available at legal clinics. A print version of this guide is available on-line in PDF format.
  5. If you need more information, or are willing to tell how this worked for you, please contact CPJ.