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 March 2019

 IntakeFinalizedPending
AcceptedRejectedAbandonedWithdrawn & OtherTotal
Total(all countries)Footnote 141,577 6,885 5,650 618 704 13,857 27,718 
Nigeria 12,771 787 1,958 144 50 2,939 9,832 
Haiti 7,718 623 2,189 225 129 3,166 4,552 
Colombia 1,778 130 78 29 31 268 1,510 
Turkey 1,498 1,065 15 18 1,107 391 
Pakistan 1,198 150 92 18 267 931 
Congo, Democratic Republic 1,012 43 36 17 15 111 901 
Eritrea 1,008 642 21 29 700 308 
Sudan914 315 76 16 25 432 482 
Syria910 524 48 11 60 643 267 
United States of America898 247 25 54 329 569 
Other Countries 11,872 2,603 890 127 275 3,895 7,975 
Note 1

Partial data for February and March 2017.

Return to note 1 referrer