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Annual detention, fiscal year 2020 to 2021

The CBSA may detain permanent residents or foreign nationals, including minors, under certain conditions, or release them using alternatives to detention. This page provides statistics and analysis on those detained, including where, for how long and under what grounds.

Background and methodology

In fiscal year 2019 to 2020, the CBSA started counting minors in detention differently. Some minors in detention facilities are simply housed in the facility in keeping with their parent or legal guardian’s wishes, while others are in fact detained. In our reporting for previous fiscal years, there was no distinction made between those housed and those being formally detained.

For more information, consult these resources:

Grounds for detention

These grounds for detention may apply to a permanent resident or foreign national who may be inadmissible to Canada. Refer to section 55 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. For more, consult Arrests, detentions and removals.

General detentions

Table 1.1 Detentions as a percentage of entries, by length of detention and by facility
Fiscal year Entries by foreign nationals to Canada Persons detained (total) Persons in detention / daily average) Detainees as a percentage of entries by foreign nationals to Canada Detention days Average length of detention (days) Median length of detention (days) Detentions in IHCs
(number and percentage)
Detentions in non-IHCs
Detentions in provincial facilities
(number and percentage)
Detentions in other facilities
(number and percentage)
2012 to 2013 27,412,327 8,742 539 0.031% 194,249 22.2 3 6,128 / 61% 3,070 / 31% 781 / 8%
2013 to 2014 28,371,259 7,720 538 0.027% 194,017 25.1 3 5,369 / 61% 2,738 / 31% 725 / 8%
2014 to 2015 29,938,646 6,786 497 0.022% 178,498 26.3 4 4,486 / 57% 2,510 / 32% 828 / 11%
2015 to 2016 31,940,610 6,602 451 0.020% 164,449 24.9 3 4,385 / 57% 2,361 / 31% 955 / 12%
2016 to 2017 33,873,180 6,268 364 0.018% 130,538 20.8 3 4,248 / 59% 2,041 / 28% 971 / 13%
2017 to 2018 35,668,185 8,355 333 0.023% 119,712 14.3 2 6,609 / 71% 1,831 / 20% 831 / 9%
2018 to 2019 36,145,370 8,781 342 0.024% 121,709 13.8 1 7,212 / 69% 1,679 / 16% 1,622 / 15%
2019 to 2020 33,083,807 8,825 326 0.027% 115,559 13.9 1 7,064 / 68% 1,932 / 19% 1,359 / 13%
2020 to 2021 2,980,459 1,605 133 0.054% 47,789 29.8 8 901 / 47% 783 / 40% 245 / 13%
Source: CIC DWS - Business Reporting IHDA Datamart

Notes:

Table 1.2 Persons detained by length of detention
Fiscal year 24 hours or less 25 to 48 hours 3 to 9 days 10 to 39 days 40 to 99 days Over 99 days
2012 to 2013 2,631 1,159 2,081 2,138 767 620
2013 to 2014 2,425 918 1,711 1,759 769 631
2014 to 2015 1,994 685 1,632 1,543 688 629
2015 to 2016 1,825 844 1,587 1,498 674 547
2016 to 2017 2,042 891 1,376 1,278 594 427
2017 to 2018 4,085 1,138 1,239 1,233 637 326
2018 to 2019 4,279 1,128 1,421 1,379 621 286
2019 to 2020 4,050 1,101 1,562 1,600 621 241
2020 to 2021 328 143 412 422 260 162
Table 1.3 Persons sorted detained by province
Province 2012 to 2013 2013 to 2014 2014 to 2015 2015 to 2016 2016 to 2017 2017 to 2018 2018 to 2019 2019 to 2020 2020 to 2021
Alberta 259 292 270 234 160 170 187 226 111
British Columbia 1,663 1,399 1,282 1,482 1,801 2,215 1,818 1,470 310
Manitoba 133 127 165 62 70 104 61 72 23
New Brunswick 14 11 11 19 18 10 15 28 10
Newfoundland and Labrador 10 4 5 2 1 10 5 10 13
Northwest Territories 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Nova Scotia 11 14 10 9 14 12 10 14 14
Ontario 5,380 4,578 3,881 3,533 3,159 4,040 4,755 5,265 872
Prince Edward Island 0 0 2 2 1 4 0 2 1
Quebec 1,270 1,287 1,161 1,246 1,034 1,803 1,949 1,755 251
Saskatchewan 50 41 35 38 30 14 15 26 18
Yukon 7 5 3 4 3 2 2 0 0
Note: The sum of the provincial data is greater than the total number of detainees due to transfers between provinces.
Table 1.4 Persons detained by grounds for detention
Grounds for detention 2012 to
2013
2013 to
2014
2014 to
2015
2015 to
2016
2016 to
2017
2017 to
2018
2018 to
2019
2019 to
2020
2020 to
2021
Danger to the public 45 31 36 47 47 67 70 65 36
Examination 240 287 214 276 194 777 394 266 31
Identity 488 354 302 334 290 392 439 564 46
Security certificate 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Suspected inadmissibility on grounds of human/international rights violation 4 0 2 1 0 2 4 4 1
Suspected Inadmissibility on grounds of security 10 6 5 5 2 1 8 7 2
Suspected inadmissibility on grounds of serious criminality/ criminality/organized criminality 61 238 187 167 139 122 47 50 13
Unlikely to appear/danger to the public 831 831 512 394 318 368 493 525 250
Unlikely to appear 7,287 6,187 5,668 5,514 5,402 6,737 7,476 7,509 1,286

Minors

Context

Best interests of the child:
an international principle to ensure children enjoy the full and effective benefit of all their rights recognized in Canadian law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is also a rule of procedure that includes an assessment of the possible impact (positive or negative) of a decision on the child or children concerned.
Minor:
A person under the age of 18.
Accompanied minor:
A foreign national or permanent resident who arrives to Canada accompanied by a responsible adult (parent, guardian).
Detained minor:
A foreign national or permanent resident who is deemed to be inadmissible and is subject to an Order for Detention under section 55 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Housed minor:
A foreign national, permanent resident or Canadian citizen who, after the completion of a best interest of the child assessment, is kept with their detained parent/legal guardian at an IHC at the latter's request. A housed minor is not subject to an Order for Detention and is free to remain and re to enter the CBSA IHC subject to the parent/legal guardian's consent.
Unaccompanied minor:
A foreign national or permanent resident who arrives to Canada unaccompanied by a responsible adult (parent, guardian) and is not effectively taken into the care of such a person.

Note: In fiscal year 2019 to 2020, CBSA started counting minors housed in detention separately from those detained. For this reason, the 2019 to 2020 data appears different than previous years.

Table 2.1: National overview of housed minors
Fiscal year Minors accompanied by parent/guardian Average length of time in a facility (days) Median length of time in a facility (days)
2018 to 2019 103 20.7 10
2019 to 2020 136 16.9 12
2020 to 2021 4 6.25 5

Notes:

  • For more information on the detention of minors see sections 6.11 and 6.12 of the Detention Manual
  • The total number of minors in a facility accounts for all minors (foreign national, permanent residents and Canadian citizens).
  • A Canadian citizen cannot be detained but in rare and exceptional circumstances may be housed with a parent/guardian in a facility if it is in the best interests of the child.
Table 2.2: Housed minors by age, gender and status
Fiscal year Status Gender Age
Foreign national Canadian Male Female 0 to 5 years 6 to 11 years 12 to 17 years
2018 to 2019 94 9 46 57 53 35 15
2019 to 2020 135 1 63 73 73 41 25
2020 to 2021 4 0 3 1 1 1 2
Table 2.3: Housed minors by length of housing and facility type
Fiscal year Length of housing Facility type
Under 48 hours 3 to 9 days 10 to 39 days 40 to 90 days 91 to 180 days Over 181 days IHC Youth centre Other*
2018 to 2019 21 28 40 10 4 0 102 1 0
2019 to 2020 17 32 78 9 0 0 136 0 0
2020 to 2021 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Note: Housing in other facilities includes CBSA ports of entry (POE) and inland enforcement (IE) cells, hospital, etc. Note that POE and IE cells are only used for very short periods of time.
Table 2.4: Housed minors by detention grounds (of parent/guardian) and region
Year Region Parent/guardian grounds Total
Exam Suspected of serious criminality, criminality, organized crime Unlikely to appear Identity
2018 to 2019 Quebec 1 1 33 68 97
GTA 0 0 0 0 0
Pacific 0 0 3 3 6
Summary 1 1 33 68 103
2019 to 2020 Quebec 1 2 24 103 130
GTA 0 0 0 0 0
Pacific 0 0 5 1 6
Summary 1 2 29 104 136
2020 to 2021 Quebec 0 0 1 0 0
GTA 0 0 0 0 0
Pacific 0 0 3 0 0
Summary 0 0 4 0 0
Table 2.5: National overview of detained minors
Fiscal year Total number of minors detained in a facility Accompanied minors (by parent/guardian Unaccompanied minors Average length of time in a facility (days) Median length of time in a facility (days)
2018 to 2019 15 11 4 3.9 3
2019 to 2020 2 0 2 2.5 2.5
2020 to 2021 0 0 0 0 0

Notes:

  • For more information on the detention of minors see section 5.10 of the Detention Manual
  • The total number of minors in a facility accounts for all minors (foreign national, permanent residents and Canadian citizens).
  • A Canadian citizen cannot be detained but in rare and exceptional circumstances may be housed with a parent/guardian in a facility if it is in the best interests of the child.
Table 2.6: Detained minors by status, gender and age
Fiscal year Status Gender Age
Foreign national Canadian Male Female 0 to 5 years 6 to 11 years 12 to 17 years
2018 to 2019 15 0 10 5 3 2 10
2019 to 2020 2 0 2 0 0 0 2
2020 to 2021 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Table 2.7: Detained minors by length of detention and facility type
Fiscal year Length of detention Facility type
Under 48 hours 3 to 9 days 10 to 39 days 40 to 90 days 91 to 180 days Over 181 days IHC Youth centre Other*
2018 to 2019 6 8 1 0 0 0 13 0 2
2019 to 2020 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1
2020 to 2021 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Note: *Other includes CBSA inland or POE offices, hospital, etc. The total by facility type may be higher than the total number of minors detained due to facility transfers.
Table 2.8: Detained minors by detention grounds
Year Region Parent/guardian grounds Total
Exam Suspected of serious criminality, criminality, organized crime Unlikely to appear Identity
2018 to 2019 Quebec 0 0 5 5 10
GTA 0 0 3 0 3
Pacific 0 0 0 0 0
PRA 1 0 0 0 1
SOR 0 0 1 0 1
Summary 1 0 9 5 15
2019 to 2020 Quebec 0 0 0 0 0
GTA 0 0 0 0 0
Pacific 0 0 2 0 2
Summary 0 0 2 0 2
2020 to 2021 Quebec 0 0 0 0 0
GTA 0 0 0 0 0
Pacific 0 0 0 0 0
Summary 0 0 0 0 0

Annual and previous quarterly statistics

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