Refugee Protection Claims Made by Irregular Border Crossers, Top 10 Countries of Alleged Persecution

Important notes about statistics on irregular border crossers

  • For the purposes of this report, irregular border crossers are defined as individuals who entered Canada between official ports of entry. Like other refugee protection claimants, irregular border crossers are referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada’s (IRB) Refugee Protection Division (RPD) after Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) makes a determination of their eligibility.
  • The IRB is unable to report on irregular border crossers prior to February 2017, when system changes gave us the capacity to capture data on this population. However, due to some early inconsistencies in data entry it is possible that not all irregular border crossers are reflected in the statistics. In addition, only partial data is available for the months of February and March 2017.
  • The national level statistics in this report are generated by using data entered at referral by IRCC and the CBSA, as well as data from the IRB’s electronic case tracking system.
  • Data is only displayed for the top 10 countries (by referrals), which represents approximately 80% of all irregular border crosser refugee claim referrals.
  • Data is subject to change and caution should be exercised in drawing conclusions regarding trends based on the small number of finalizations to date.
  • The country of alleged persecution in the table below corresponds to the first listed country of alleged persecution as identified by the claimant when they made their claim to an officer from the CBSA or from IRCC, and which was entered in the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) case management system.
  • The table below reflects the data on countries as they are currently captured in the IRB case management system, and is used solely to support the refugee determination process. The fact that these countries are listed should not be construed as recognition of a particular territory’s sovereignty or political status.

Understanding statistics on refugee claims by irregular border crossers

  • Referred: Claims received by the RPD.
  • Finalized:
    • Accepted: The RPD has determined that the claimant is either a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection.
    • Rejected: The RPD has determined that the claimant is not a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection.
    • Abandoned: The RPD has declared that the claim has been abandoned because, for example, the completed Basis of Claim Form was not provided on time, the claimant’s current and correct contact information was not provided, or the claimant did not attend their refugee protection claim hearing or the special hearing on the abandonment of the claim (if required).
    • Withdrawn & Other: “Withdrawn” describes cases in which the claimant does not continue with their claim. The claimant can decide to withdraw their claim before the hearing upon written notice to the RPD. Once substantive evidence has been accepted at a hearing, the claimant must make an application to the RPD to be able to withdraw their claim. “Other” describes cases in which the proceeding is terminated upon notice from a CBSA officer because the claimant is not eligible to claim refugee protection (e.g., determined inadmissible to Canada on grounds of serious criminality or organized criminality) or other situations such as when the claimant has passed away.
    • Total: Total of all claims accepted, rejected, abandoned, withdrawn & other. Claims finalized in the time period indicated may have been referred to the RPD in a previous time period.
  • Pending: All claims that have not been finalized by the end of the identified time period.
  • Country of Alleged Persecution: The first listed country of alleged persecution as entered into the IRB case management system by the officer from CBSA or IRCC when the claim was made and referred to the RPD.

Refugee Protection Claims Made by Irregular Border Crossers, Top 10 Countries of Alleged Persecution - February to October 2017

  Referred Finalized Pending (as of 2017/10/31)
Accepted Rejected Abandoned Withdrawn & Other Total
TotalFootnote 1 14,467 940 374 115 143 1,572 12,895
Haiti 6,304 29 139 68 62 298 6,006
Nigeria 1,911 79 74 13 5 171 1,740
Turkey 631 173 1 1 9 184 447
Syria 539 109 5 3 7 124 415
Eritrea 456 140 2 1 1 144 312
Yemen 412 50 0 0 1 51 361
United States of America 366 0 23 12 3 38 328
Sudan 307 37 10 0 1 48 259
Djibouti 296 45 8 0 0 53 243
Pakistan 233 4 5 0 1 10 223
Note 1

Partial data for February and March 2017.

Return to note 1 referrer