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Detention Reviews

Foreign nationals or permanent residents who have been detained by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for immigration reasons appear before the Immigration Division (ID) of the Immigration and Refugee Board Canada (IRB) for detention reviews. The CBSA may detain, or hold, you (the foreign national or permanent resident) if it has reasonable grounds to believe that you:

  • are unlikely to appear for an examination, hearing or removal,

  • are a danger to the public,

  • are inadmissible – that is, not allowed to enter or remain in Canada – for security reasons, or for violating human or international rights, or

  • have not established your identity to the CBSA’s satisfaction (this only applies to foreign nationals).

When the CBSA detains you, a detention review must be held to decide whether there is reason under IRPA to continue your detention. Within 48 hours of when you are first detained (or as soon as possible afterwards), the ID will review the reasons for your detention. An IRB member will hear arguments from Minister’s counsel about why you should remain detained. You, or your counsel, will respond. The member may then order that
you remain in detention.

If the member orders you to remain in detention, you will appear for another hearing before the ID within seven days of the first review. The ID holds further hearings at least once every 30 days for as long as you are detained. You may ask for an early review of your detention at any time, but you must present new facts to justify the request.

If the member finds that there is no longer a reason under IRPA to continue your detention, then the member may order your release. The member may also order certain terms and conditions, such as posting a bond (a cash deposit) or guaranteeing to do something, such as reporting on a regular basis to an immigration office.

When you appear at detention reviews, you have the right to be represented at your own expense by counsel. Detention reviews are adversarial, i.e., your counsel has to argue against the Minister's counsel before the ID member (who is a decision-maker like a judge in court) why you should not continue to be detained.






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