Canadian Immigration News

Illegal Immigration to Canada: What Can Happen

3.25 minute read
"Crossing the Canadian border without proper authorization is known as illegal immigration. There could be several reasons why an individual might fail to follow proper channels of immigration and cross the border illegally. An individual might seek asylum or failed to obtain a visa through legal channels. However, this will have severe consequences if they wish to gain legal permanent residence status in the long run."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Apr 27, 2021
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Crossing the Canadian border without proper authorization is known as illegal immigration. 

There could be several reasons why an individual might fail to follow proper channels of immigration and cross the border illegally. An individual might seek asylum or failed to obtain a visa through legal channels. 

However, this will have severe consequences if they wish to gain legal permanent residence status in the long run.

Illegal entry is not a criminal offense according to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IPRA). However, if someone does not enter at the port of entry, then they must check in with the authorities without delay.

There are several legal channels one can visit or immigrate to Canada, which includes:

What are the Consequences of Illegal Immigration to Canada?

There can be major consequences if they are discovered without legal status in Canada which include:

Deportation: 

A deportation order is issued to send an illegal immigrant back to their home country. Canada has far less illegal immigration compared to its neighbor, the United States.

If someone is issued a deportation order, they can be deported from Canada. The Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) may detain them and can be restricted from entering Canada in the future.

Inadmissibility: 

Inadmissibility defines the reasons why individuals are not allowed to enter Canada. Inadmissibility reasons range from health risks to criminality.

There are several options available to overcome certain inadmissibilities:

Removal Order: 

There are 3 types of removal orders:

Departure Order: It means one has to exit the country within 30 days. If they fail to comply with the order, then they will require an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC).

Exclusion Order: It means that they can not return to Canada for 1 year without obtaining an ARC. If they have been issued an exclusion order due to misrepresentation, then they can not return without an ARC for 2 years.

Deportation Order: It means that they will be asked to leave the country immediately and will always require an ARC to return in the future.

Applying for an ARC involves writing a detailed explanation of why they weren’t able to comply with the conditions of their removal order.

Failure to comply with the immigration rules and regulations is an indication to officers of possible future repeated behavior.

What is the Safe Third Country Agreement?

The Safe Third Country Agreement is an agreement between Canada and the United States to manage the refugee system for people crossing the Canada-United States border.

The agreement states that the individual must seek asylum in the first country they arrive in unless they qualify for an exception to the Agreement.

This agreement applies to refugees entering Canada through the following Port of Entries:

  • Airports
  • Land Border Crossings
  • Trains

There are 4 exceptions to this agreement:

  • Family member exception
  • Unaccompanied minors exception
  • Document holder exception
  • Public interest exception

If one does not meet these exceptions, then they will be denied entry into Canada.

What Happens If Someone is Caught Illegally Crossing the Canadian Border?

The Canadian Border Service Agency enforces the IRPA at the designated port of entry. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is responsible for enforcing the Canadian law between the port of entry.

If they are caught by the RCMP officials outside the port of entry, then they will be sent to the nearest port of entry.

Once they are cleared by the RCMP, then they will be handed over to the CBSA officials for further processing. If they wish to, then they can make a refugee protection claim with CBSA officials.

The CBSA will determine whether their claim is legitimate and further their case accordingly to the Immigration and Refugee Board.

If their claim is deemed illegitimate, then they will be issued a removal order. They will also be denied entry if the CBSA deems the individual inadmissible due to medical or criminal reasons.

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