Refugee Protection Claims Made by Irregular Border Crossers


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.

Refugee Protection Claims Made by Irregular Border Crossers, Top 10 Countries of Alleged Persecution - February 2017 to June 2019

​AcceptedRejectedAbandonedWithdrawn & OtherTotal
Total(all countries)Footnote 1 45,517 9,069 7,​786 707 782 18,344 27,167
​Nigeria 13,565 1,2063,087 157 59 4,509 9,056
Haiti 7,798 8972,738 243 141 4,020 3,778
Colombia2,158 224 107 3531 397 1,761
Turkey 1,600 1,192 19 12 18 1,241359
Pakistan 1,367 255 13410 25 424 943
Congo, Democratic Republic 1,322 64 46 19 20149 1,173
Sudan1,150 452 8218 29 581 569
Eritrea 1,05070628 29 771 379
United States of America1,000 5 345 30 62442 558
Other Countries13,5313,9971,161 162361 5,681 7,844
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Note 1

Partial data for February and March 2017.

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