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What Happens To Illegal Immigrants In Canada?


Every year, thousands of people from all parts of the world enter Canada illegally, they come in search of a better life and to be part of a system that works.

Most of them are refugees or asylum seekers who are fleeing persecution, conflict, or human rights violations in their home countries.

While some are people who do not want to go through the legal means of entering Canada because they fear their visa may not be approved for reasons best known to them.


Others enter Canada illegally because they cannot afford to fund their travel to Canada if they follow the right route.

While most of these people are eventually caught and deported, a large number do make it into the country and manage to stay under the radar.

Between January 2017 and March 2018, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported having intercepted over 25,645 people crossing the border into Canada illegally.

While some end up being intercepted, the majority successfully enter Canada under the pretense to be legal residents.

Public Safety Canada estimated that out of the over 25,000 who illegally came into Canada between 2017 and 2018, only just over a thousand were successfully removed from Canada.

The big question is, what happened to the rest, what does Canada do with illegal immigrants in the country?

This article explores Canadian immigration rules, what happens to illegal immigrants in Canada, and the measures the country is taking to prevent citizens of other nations from illegally entering Canada.

We will look at what the country is doing right and what it’s not doing right.

Illegal immigrants in Canada

An illegal immigrant in Canada is someone who is living in Canada without proper documentation or who has entered the country without following the proper immigration procedures.

It can also be someone who has stayed in the country after their authorization to stay in Canada has expired.

They are not only those who come to Canada without permission or proper documentation from the Canadian government.

They are also those whose authorization has expired but instead of leaving the country, they managed to stay in the country while their stay remained unknown to the immigration authorities.

Illegal immigrants come to Canada through various means, some people may come by land, sea, or air without proper documentation or authorization.

Some come through legal means, such as by visiting on a tourist visa and then staying after their visa expires.

They enter the country legally but then overstay their visa or work permit.

Generally, you can find illegal immigrants in every of Canada’s ports of entry.

Illegal immigrants who come to Canada by land are usually called irregular border crossers.

A bulk of these people are constantly caught while a good number of them make it into Canada without being noticed.

People who come to Canada by air are called inadmissible airline passengers.

They are usually allowed to stay in Canada until their hearing date.

While those who come to Canada as students or workers without the proper paperwork are called undocumented immigrants.

They are usually allowed to stay in Canada until their hearing date as well.

While others may claim refugee status after arriving in Canada just to ensure they stay in the country.

Whatever the means of entry, it is important to remember that illegal immigration is a serious crime in Canada.

People who come to Canada illegally are not following the proper procedures and are putting themselves at risk.

How easy is it to cross the Canadian border illegally?

It’s not easy to cross the Canadian border illegally without being detected.

The Canadian border is long and difficult, but somehow in between these difficult long attempts, it’s possible to cross the border illegally, but it’s not easy.

There are a lot of risks involved, and it’s not something anyone should try unless you are ready for the worst.

While we have a staggering number of people who successfully cross, a larger percentage of this number lose their lives before they see the end of the border.

Canada’s illegal border crossing statistics

Before system modifications that enabled the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) to collect data on irregular border crossers in February 2017, the IRB was unable to collect data on irregular border crossers.

Between February to March 2017 and April to June 2022, the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) received over 67,805 claims made by Irregular Border Crossers out of which 28,332 were accepted, 19,646 was rejected and 1,117 were abandoned.

July to September 2017 saw the highest intake of claims with over 8,558 claims received, while July to September 2020 saw the least intake of claims with just over 128 received.

The Refugee Protection Division’s (RPD) decisions to accept or deny requests for refugee protection are appealed to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) of the IRB.

The Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) can be asked to review a claim’s rejection by the RPD to determine whether the RPD was in error.

From April to June 2017 and April to June ​2022, the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) of the IRB received over 16,564 appeals with just over 1,220 allowed.

Number of illegal immigrants in Canada

The number of illegal immigrants in Canada is estimated to be between 20,000 to 500,000 people based on data from the 2016 census.

This represents a small fraction of the overall immigrant population in Canada, which is close to 6 million.

This number is still greatly contested as many reports show there are likely more numbers than currently reported.

That’s because more people who enter the country without proper documentation or overstay their visas are yet to be caught or counted.

What is life like as an illegal immigrant in Canada

Life as an illegal immigrant in Canada is difficult and dangerous as you are constantly living in fear of being caught and deported.

You can’t get a job, you can’t access many basic services or government benefits, which makes it hard to get by.

Many illegal immigrants end up working cash jobs that don’t pay very well and are often exploited by their employers.

Life as an illegal immigrant in Canada is hard, but many people come here because they have no other choice.

They’re hoping for a better life, but the reality is often much different.

What happens to illegal immigrants in Canada

What happens to illegal immigrants in Canada is that when they are caught, they are detained by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and given a hearing to determine if they can stay in the country or not.

If the CBSA decides that you do not have a valid claim to stay in Canada, you’ll be given a removal order to leave the country within a certain time frame.

If you don’t leave within that time frame, you will be deported.

But if CBSA decides that your claims to run to Canada are valid, you will be allowed to stay in Canada and be protected by the country’s law.

For example, if you are being persecuted in your country due to your religious beliefs, race, sexual beliefs, or social opinion.

CBSA will ascertain if sending you back to your country will cause harm to your life.

If their investigation shows a positive response.

You will be allowed to stay in Canada.

This process is not as easy as it sounds, Canada has a rigorous process for screening and admitting refugees, and asylum seekers.

But the result is always positive for those with valid reasons to come to Canada whether as refugees, or asylum seekers.

How to detect an illegal immigrant in Canada?

This is a question that has been on a lot of people’s minds lately.

With the recent influx of refugees and migrants into Canada, many people are wondering how to tell if someone is an illegal immigrant.

There are a few things to look for that may indicate that someone is an illegal immigrant in Canada.

If someone is living in Canada without proper documentation, they may be working off the books and not paying taxes, anyone without a shred of tax evidence could be an illegal immigrant.

If a person does not have a Canadian driver’s license or health card and is above driving age, the person may be an illegal immigrant.

If they are not carrying any identification documents, this is a red flag as well.

If they are avoiding contact with authorities or seem to be hiding something, this is a sign that they may be an illegal immigrant.

Of course, many other factors could indicate that someone is in the country illegally, but these are some of the most common ones.

If you have any suspicion that someone may be in Canada illegally, do not hesitate to report them.

Additionally, these people could act strangely in the presence of law enforcement or government officials.

However, whether or not the behavior is tied to immigration, you should still report it.

Reporting an illegal immigrant in Canada

Reporting illegal immigration has been made simpler by the Canadian government for citizens and residents.

All you need to do is call the Canadian Border Services Agency at 1-888-502-9060 to report alleged illegal immigration.

1-888-502-9060 is CSBA’s Border Watch Toll-Free number.

You don’t have to be concerned about anyone finding out about your report.

This is a tip line; thus your report will be kept confidential.

Your identity will be kept private.

In addition, you can contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada by submitting a report via email.

Your report will remain a secret, just like all others.

To make your report better and help in fast tracking, you need to include specific information while submitting your report.

Include the person’s name, address, and phone number if you know them.

You might also include:

  • Information about their employment status
  • Schedule at work
  • Family (if any)
  • Birthday
  • A description of their traits and physical appearance
  • Details that raised doubt in your mind

This will make the investigation easier.

How hard is it to cross the border illegally?

It is very hard to cross the border illegally, there are a lot of border patrol agents and they’re constantly on the lookout for people who are trying to cross illegally.

It’s extremely difficult – and dangerous. The desert terrain is harsh and unforgiving, and people often die of cold exposure.

If you’re trying to cross with a group of people, it’s still difficult, but your chances of success are much higher.

Even though smuggling organizations have developed sophisticated methods for getting people across the border, it’s still a risky proposition.

That being said, there are ways illegal immigrants have successfully crossed borders without getting caught.

Many do a lot of research and understand the loopholes in the border security system, and sources of ways to exploit these loopholes, and it works most of the time.

You should also try to travel during the off-season when fewer people are trying to cross.

Crossing the border illegally is a risky proposition, but if you’re careful, you can decrease your chances of getting caught.

Is illegal immigration a huge problem in Canada?

Yes, Canada does have an illegal immigration problem. Considering the restrictions, one must meet before you are allowed into Canada.

You may want to think that Canada would be exempted from illegal immigration challenges.

In actuality, Canada has struggled with the issue of illegal immigration for decades.

With reportedly 20,000 to 500,000 illegal immigrants in Canada, the fight to stop illegal immigration in Canada is far from being won.

Efforts to end illegal immigration into Canada have been underway for many years now, but there is still a long way to go.

The Canadian government has put in place various policies and programs to try to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, but these have only had limited success.

The main reason why illegal immigration is still a problem is that there are simply too many ways for people to get into the country.

The long and often dangerous journey across the border is a deterrent for some, but others are willing to take the risk.

And as long as there are people who are willing to take the risk, illegal immigration will continue to be a problem.

The only way to truly solve the problem of illegal immigration is to make it impossible for people to get into the country in the first place.

This would require a complete redesign of the border.

-Increase security at the borders.

-Make it harder for people to cross the border illegally.

-Work with other countries to stop people from leaving their homes in the first place

These are just a few ideas, but if we want to stop illegal immigration, we need to be willing to put in the effort.


There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about what happens to illegal immigrants in Canada.

So if you’re in Canada without proper documentation, you will not be arrested or charged with a crime.

Instead, you will be detained by the Canada Border Services Agency and given a fair hearing to determine if you can stay in the country or not.

If your claims are not valid, you will be asked to leave the country but if they are valid, you will stay in Canada.


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