Abstract A new model, using non-destructive two- and/or multiple-beam interferometric techniques, is suggested for measuring the refractive index profile of fibers having regular and/or irregular cross-sectional shape taking into consideration the refraction of the light rays by the fiber. The proposed model is applied for three different fibers having different cross-sectional shapes and different refractive index profiles. These fibers are PPT, homogeneous fiber, with circular cross-section, graded index optical fiber of circular cross-sectional shape and Dralon fiber of irregular cross-section. To validate the proposed model it is used, firstly, to calculate the index profile for a standard PPT fiber. Secondly, the calculated results for the irregular Dralon fiber and GR-IN optical fiber are compared with that calculated using other conventional method. From this comparison, we recommend that the refraction must be taken into account to obtain accurate results especially for birefringent fibers and graded index optical fibers.