Arrests, detentions and removals
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers carry out arrests, detentions and removals of individuals who are not permitted in Canada.
A CBSA officer may issue a warrant for the arrest and detention of a permanent resident or foreign national if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the individual is inadmissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and:
- Poses a danger to the public; or
- Is unlikely to appear for an examination, an admissibility hearing, a removal from Canada or at a proceeding that could lead to the making of a removal order by the Minister's Delegate; or
- Cannot prove their identity to the satisfaction of the officer; or
- Is part of an irregular arrival as designated by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
Immigration law allows for the arrest and detention of foreign nationals without a warrant.
In all cases, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires that the arresting officer inform the arrested individual of:
- The reasons for their arrest;
- Their right to legal representation; and
- Their right to notify a representative of their government that they have been arrested.
Canada's immigration law permits the CBSA to detain permanent residents and foreign nationals under certain conditions. Officers must consider all reasonable alternatives before making the decision to detain an individual. The CBSA is working to ensure that it is exercising responsibility for detentions to the highest possible standards. The physical and mental health and well-being of detainees, as well as the safety and security of Canadians, are primary considerations. The launch of the National Immigration Detention Framework (NIDF) marked the onset of the transformation of Canada's immigration detention system, to make it better and fairer.
CBSA officers can detain a foreign national or permanent resident at a port of entry if:
- It is necessary to complete an examination; or
- 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.
CBSA officers can also detain a foreign national if:
- they have reasonable grounds to believe the person is
- unlikely to appear for an immigration proceeding (e.g., examination, hearing, removal);
- a danger to the public;
- unable to satisfy the officer of their identity.
- they are designated as part of an irregular arrival by the Minister of Public Safety.
Reasons for continuing detention may be found in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
Find out more about detentions.
Removing individuals who do not have the right to enter or stay in Canada is essential to maintaining the integrity of our immigration program and to ensuring fairness for those who come to this country lawfully.
Find out more about removals.
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