Arrests, detentions and removals

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers carry out arrests, detentions and removals of individuals who are not permitted in Canada.

Arrests

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.

Detentions

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.

Reasons for continuing detention may be found in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. If the officer believes that better alternatives to detention exist, the officer may instead exercise their authority to offer release on conditions.

Find out more about detentions.

Removals

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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