Canada detention levels

Immigration detention levels in Canada

Canada’s immigration law permits Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers to detain permanent residents and foreign nationals under certain conditions. Of course, officers must consider all reasonable alternatives before making this decision. In this article, we’ll explore when an officer detains an individual, and how many detentions there have been in the last year.

When an officer detains an individual?

According to the CBSA, officers can detain a foreign national or permanent resident at a port of entry if:

  • it is necessary to complete an examination
  • there are reasons to believe that the person is inadmissible on grounds of security, violating human or international rights, serious criminality, criminality or organized criminality.

In addition, CBSA officers can detain a foreign national if:

  1. they have reasonable grounds to believe the person is:
    • unlikely to appear for an immigration proceeding (for example, examination, hearing, removal)
    • a danger to the public
    • unable to satisfy the officer of their identity
  2. they are designated as part of an irregular arrival by the Minister of Public Safety.

Here you can find more info about detentions. Also, you may find reasons for continuing detention in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Detention statistics

The CBSA provided a report of the quarterly detention statistics for the fiscal year 2021 to 2022. According to that report, the number of entries by foreign nationals to Canada in Q2 was nearly three times higher than in Q1. However, the number of detentions increased by only 6%.

The report also showed that Ontario and British Columbia continued to have the largest number of detainees. Nevertheless, the province with the highest increase in the number of detainees between Q1 to Q2 was Quebec. This province had an 8% increase (98 in Q1 and 106 in Q2 of 2021 to 2022).

Immigration detention - CBSA
Image: CBSA

In addition, over the last two quarters, the grounds for detention that were most used were “unlikely to appear” and “unlikely to appear (and) a danger to the public.” Officers can detain a person if they believe a person is unlikely to appear for:

  • examination,
  • an admissibility hearing,
  • removal from Canada, or
  • at a proceeding that could lead to the making of a removal order.
Immigration detention CBSA
Image: CBSA

According to recent data obtained by Reuters, Canada held 206 people in immigration detention as of March 1, 2022. It is a 28% increase compared with March 1 of the previous year. A CBSA spokesperson told Reuters that “when the number of entries (to Canada) goes up, an increase in detention is to be expected.” CBSA also said in the past it uses detention as a last resort.

<<Also Read: Canada welcomed over one million travellers in a week>>

We could help!

If you have an inadmissibility issue, fill out the following form. We will contact you as soon as we can.

    Full Name (required)

    Email (required)

    Have you entered your email address correctly?

    WhatsApp number(optional)

    Are you inadmissible to Canada?

    YesNoI don't know

    Have you received a removal order from Canada?

    Yes, DepartureYes, ExclusionYes, DeportationYes, type unknownNoI don't know

    Any other issues (select all that apply)?

    Do you believe humanitarian and compassionate grounds apply to you?

    YesNoI don't know

    Please explain the issue briefly:

    Upload a file that could help us better understand your situation - only PDF, JPG or PNG and less than 0.5MB

    Read this in Spanish

    Related Posts

    Canada passport destination

    Canada passport holders can now enter 186 destinations

    Feb 8, 2023
    Changes to the Immigration Appeal Division Rules

    Changes to the Immigration Appeal Division Rules

    Feb 7, 2023
    open work permit program for Hong Kong residents

    Canada extended the open work permit program for Hong Kong residents

    Feb 6, 2023
    IRCC Processing Times February 2023

    The Latest IRCC Processing Times: February 2023

    Feb 5, 2023

    Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!

    This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

    The characters and places in the articles:
    All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.

    Important Notes:
    For our official addresses, trust this website only. We currently do not have offices outside Canada. Therefore, anyone who claims to be our agent is committing fraud. Also, note that we do not issue any work permits or study permits or similar documents. The government of Canada has the sole authority to issue such material.

    Click to read the disclaimer.

    Andrea Neira

    Do you have any questions?