Canada Border Services Agency
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Fact Sheet



As part of its enforcement of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) may remove from Canada any person who has been issued a removal order for breaching the Act. There are three types of removal orders and each one has different consequences. A removal order can be appealed in certain situations. People cannot be removed from Canada if they have appealed a removal order and the appeal has not been decided, or if they have been found to be people in need of protection.

Who is responsible?

Depending on the type of removal order required, the order is issued either by a CBSA officer or by a member of the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), an independent tribunal. The IRB's Immigration Appeal Division hears appeals of eligible removal orders. The Federal Court may review the Immigration Appeal Division's ruling. Once all avenues have been exhausted, CBSA officers carry out the removals. In some cases, a medical officer may assist them.

Types of removal orders

If either a CBSA officer or a member of the IRB's Immigration Division determines that a person has not complied with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, he or she may issue one of the following removal orders:

Departure order: A departure order requires that the person leave Canada within 30 days after the order becomes enforceable.

Exclusion order: A person who has been removed as a result of an exclusion order cannot return to Canada for one year unless the written permission of the CBSA is obtained. However, people who are issued exclusion orders for misrepresentation cannot return for two years without written authorization from the CBSA.

Deportation order: A person who has been removed as a result of a deportation order is permanently barred from returning to Canada. Such people may never return unless they receive written permission from the CBSA.

All three removal orders require the person concerned to confirm his or her departure from Canada with the CBSA.

A departure order automatically becomes a deportation order when someone who has been issued a departure order does not leave Canada as required or leaves Canada without confirming his or her departure with the CBSA.

Departure and exclusion orders are usually issued for less serious violations.

If a person files a claim for refugee protection, a conditional departure order is issued against them and will not come into force until a negative refugee determination decision is made. Once a departure order comes into force, the person subject to removal has a 30-day period in which they can voluntarily comply with their departure requirements. Failure to comply within 30 days of their negative determination decision will result in the departure order to be deemed a deportation order.

In all cases, the individuals and their authorized representatives are informed of the reasons for the removal and are given a copy of the removal order. Family members in Canada who are dependants of the person subject to a removal order may be included in the removal order provided they are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents 19 years of age or over.

Removals: How

Once a removal order has been issued, the CBSA carries out the removal as soon as possible. The CBSA can assign an escort officer if there is a determination that an escort is required to facilitate the removal. If there are any health concerns, a medical officer may assist the CBSA in escorting the person out of the country.


Foreign nationals who hold a permanent resident visa, permanent residents and protected persons who have had removal orders issued against them at an examination or admissibility hearing can appeal to the IRB's Immigration Appeal Division. However, they cannot appeal if they have been found inadmissible for any of the following reasons:

  • They are a security threat;
  • They have violated human or international rights;
  • They have received a sentence of at least two years for criminal activity;
  • They are or have been involved in organized crime; or
  • They have made a misrepresentation, except in cases where the person is the sponsor's spouse, common-law partner or child.

An appeal can be launched by the person who was ordered removed or by the CBSA on behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Safety or the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. The Immigration Appeal Division can stay (postpone) removal orders.

The Immigration Appeal Division hears appeals. If the appeal is rejected, the person can ask the Federal Court to review the Division's decision. The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Safety can also request a review.

Removals: Reasons for delays

Sometimes there is a delay between the time a removal order is issued and the time the person actually leaves Canada. The reason(s) for this can include the following:

Appeals and legal proceedings: The person has appealed the removal order or may be involved in other legal proceedings, such as a criminal trial.

Travel documents: The CBSA may have had difficulty obtaining passports or visas to permit the person to enter another country.

Identity: The person's identity or citizenship cannot be confirmed.

Failure to appear: The person does not appear for removal at the proper time or location, and the CBSA must issue an immigration arrest warrant.

Temporary suspension of removal: Dangerous conditions exist that make it impossible to safely return the person to the country of origin.

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