a. Who can be detained and why?
A foreign national or permanent resident may be detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) if there are reasonable grounds to believe that he or she:
• is inadmissible to Canada and is a danger to the public,
• is unlikely to appear for a hearing or removal, or,
• has not established his/her identity.
b. What are your rights?
If you are detained, you have the rights to:
• Be represented by counsel at your expense or to receive legal aid, if you qualify. You will be given the necessary information about the legal aid services available to you. You may also designate a friend or a member of an organization or association to represent you.
• Be informed of the reason for your detention.
• Contact your embassy or a representative of your country’s consulate at your request.
• Ask that the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canada be informed of your detention if you do not want a consular representative to be contacted.
• Be assisted by an interpreter, if you do not understand or speak the language in which proceedings (that is, detention reviews, immigration hearings, etc.) are conducted.
• If you are a minor under the age of 18, or in the opinion of the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), are unable to understand the nature of the proceedings, a designated representative may be appointed to help guide you through the proceedings.
Within 48 hours of being detained, a member of the Immigration Division will review the reasons for your detention at a hearing called a detention review. After this initial review, there will be another detention review within 7 days. After this, the Immigration Division will review the grounds for detention at least every 30 days.
If you are detained, the first step is to retain counsel to represent you. Contact us immediately if you need help being represented before the Immigration Division.