Arrests, detentions and removals
Removal from Canada
If you receive a Removal Order you cannot legally remain in Canada and must leave the country. Depending on your situation, your removal order may be effective immediately, or after a negative decision if you had made an appeal. If you have questions about your Removal Order you are encouraged to call 1-833-995-0002, Monday to Friday between 8:00 am to 4:00 pm AST, to speak to an officer who can answer your case-specific questions.
There are three types of Removal Orders issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). These are Departure Orders, Exclusion Orders and Deportation Orders. The form number on the Removal Order indicates what type of order you received.
- With a Departure Order, you must leave Canada within 30 days after the order takes effect.
- You must also confirm your departure with the CBSA at your port of exit. If you leave Canada and follow these procedures, you may return to Canada in the future provided you meet the entry requirements at that time.
- If you leave Canada after 30 days or do not confirm your departure with the CBSA, your Departure Order will automatically become a Deportation Order. In order to return to Canada in the future, you must obtain an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC).
- With an Exclusion Order, you cannot return to Canada for one year.
- If you do wish to return before the 12 months have passed, you must apply for an ARC.
- If an exclusion order has been issued for misrepresentation, you cannot return to Canada for five years.
- If the CBSA paid for your removal from Canada, you must repay that cost.
- With a Deportation Order, you are permanently barred from returning to Canada and cannot return unless you apply for an ARC.
- If the CBSA paid for your removal from Canada, you must also repay that cost before you are eligible to return.
More information on returning to Canada is available on the IRCC website.
Appealing a Removal Order
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is responsible for any appeals to Removal Orders. Consult the IRB website for more information.
You may also apply to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of any IRB decision. Consult the Federal Court of Canada for more information.
Refugee Applications and Removal Orders
If you are a refugee claimant, you will receive a conditional Removal Order. If your refugee claim is accepted, the Removal Order will not be enforced. If you become a permanent resident of Canada the Removal Order will be void. If your refugee claim is rejected, the Removal Order will then come into force. Once all avenues of recourse are exhausted, you must leave Canada immediately.
Failure to Leave
Once a Removal Order takes effect, you must leave Canada immediately.
If you fail to appear for a removal interview or a scheduled removal date, the CBSA will issue a Canada-wide warrant for your arrest. Once arrested, the CBSA may detain you in a holding facility before removal.
In order to ensure you leave Canada, the CBSA may assign an escort officer to accompany you on your departure.
Reasons for delays
There are a variety of reasons that can prevent a removal order from being enforced in an expeditious manner, including:
- Appeals and legal proceedings – The individual appeals the removal order or is involved in other legal proceedings.
- Claims for protection – The individual may be eligible to make an application for a pre-removal risk assessment, and if so, removal cannot proceed until a final decision has been rendered on this application.
- Travel documents – The CBSA may have trouble obtaining passports to allow the individual to enter another country.
- Identity – The individual's identity or citizenship cannot be confirmed.
- Failure to appear – The individual does not appear for removal at the proper time or location, and the CBSA will issue an immigration arrest warrant.
- Administrative deferral of removals (ADR) – The ADR is meant to be a temporary measure when immediate action is needed to temporarily defer removals in situations of humanitarian crisis. The ADR is not meant to address persistent and systematic human rights problems which constitute individualized risk. Once the situation in a country stabilizes the ADR is lifted and the CBSA resumes removals for individuals who are inadmissible to Canada and have a removal order in effect. An individual who is not allowed into Canada on grounds of criminality, serious criminality, international or human rights violations, organized crime, or security can still be removed despite the ADR. An ADR is currently in place for certain regions in Somalia (Middle Shabelle, Afgoye, and Mogadishu), the Gaza Strip, Ukraine, Syria, Mali, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Burundi, Venezuela, Haiti, and Iran.
- Temporary suspension of removals (TSR) – The TSR program interrupts removals to a country or place when general conditions pose a risk to the entire civilian population. Examples include armed conflict within a country or place or an environmental disaster resulting in a substantial temporary disruption of living conditions. An individual who is not allowed into Canada on grounds of criminality, international or human rights violations, organized crime, or security can still be removed despite the TSR. Canada currently has a TSR in place for Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Iraq. The primary difference between the TSR and the ADR are that an ADR is generally put in place within a short period of time to immediately respond to a change in country conditions.
If you can not be removed from Canada because an ADR or a TSR has been imposed, you could be eligible to apply for a work permit or a study permit.
Canadian Victims Bill of Rights
The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR) legislation allows Correctional Service Canada (CSC) to notify registered victims when the offender in their case is removed from Canada before their sentence expires.
To facilitate this work, the CBSA must upload and make available all relevant removal file information for reference on CSC's Offender Management System (OMS).
Under current operational guidelines, CBSA officers input the removal date into the OMS data system as part of the departure verification procedures. This occurs immediately after the removal is confirmed (that is, when the foreign national is legally admitted into another country).
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