If the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) believes that you do not have the legal right to enter or remain in Canada, whether as a permanent resident or foreign national, you may be detained. This also can happen if your identity cannot be established, if you are deemed unlikely to appear for a scheduled interview, if you are being investigated for security reasons, or if you may be a danger to the public. Under normal circumstances, the Immigration Division (ID) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) will review the reasons for your detention within 48 hours at a formal hearing. During the Detention Review, you will be given an opportunity to make the case for your release, and witnesses may provide testimony, if available. It is recommended that you hire an immigration lawyer to assist you with this matter to better negotiate your release and address the factors at play. For instance, you may agree to abide to certain conditions, such as reporting to CBSA on certain days, and living with a specific person. In addition, a cash or performance bond by a “bondsperson” may be required, whereby money is deposited to the government to guarantee your compliance. Such a bond will only be returned if you abide by your conditions.
If the ID determines that you should be detained, the next detention review will take place within 7 days, and if you are not released at that time, every 30 days after that. (Different timelines apply for Designated Foreign Nationals, or “irregular arrivals”). If you are released and breach your conditions, you will likely be detained again. You may request that the conditions be changed after some time, depending on the circumstances. With many years of experience in immigration, we can discuss with you your rights and obligations, and ensure your case has the best possible outcome.