Arrest and Immigration Detention in Canada
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Immigration Arrest and Detention

More Information About Immigration Arrest and Detention

If you have been detained by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) it is important that you know how to proceed as quickly as possible since the first detention review will be held by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) within “48 hours” or two business days.

“Immigration holds” are intended to keep people who are suspected of being in violation of Canada’s immigration laws in custody to ensure their attendance at an immigration hearing or attendance at their removal from Canada. In more rare cases, people can be held if their identity is in question.

If you or someone you know is detained by the CBSA, there is the possibility that you can be released at the discretion of CBSA officer or by an order of the Immigration Division (ID).

By law, detention reviews must be conducted no later than two days following an arrest. If the person is not released, another detention review will be held in 7 days if the person has not yet been removed from Canada. If they are not released at the 7-day review, they will have another review every 30 days until released or removed from Canada. Reviews may be held before the next scheduled review by a request in writing to the IRB.

At each detention review, you are allowed to be represented by counsel. It is very important that your counsel be experienced in immigration hearings. These hearings are very different from criminal bail hearings as they are governed by different laws, regulations, procedures, and case law. These reviews are held at the detention centres themselves or, in some case by video-conference.

In the event of an arrest, with or without warrant, please call us 24-hours a day on our emergency line at 1.888.484.8137. Please note that this telephone number is an approved lawyers telephone line and is specially set up to receive toll free calls from any detention facility in Ontario.

Frequently asked questions about ​immigration detention

When you are arrested by immigration, a notice of your arrest and detention should be forwarded to the immigration division at the immigration and refugee board without delay. You can call the registry of the Immigration Division for your region of Canada in order to determine when the next detention review hearing is scheduled.

A detention review hearing may either be conducted within the institution where you are being detained by a board member and CBSA officer visiting your place of detention. Alternatively, detention reviews may be conducted by teleconference or by video conference with officials at the offices of Immigration and Refugee board. You must contact the board in advance in order to determine the details of where the detention will be conducted.

If you wish, you may offer to post a bond in order to secure your friend’s release from custody. A bond under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is similar to bail in a criminal court proceeding. In order to post bail it must be established that you are a person who is eligible to post a bond and also that you are a suitable bonds person. You may be examined by the refugee board or by the immigration officer in order to establish your suitability.

If you are not released from custody, there will be a further detention review hearing scheduled as the Act requires. After several unsuccessful attempts at detention review hearings, it is important to gather new evidence or secure new bonds people in order to better argue that your ongoing detention isn’t necessary to ensure your attendance at subsequent immigration proceedings, including your removal.

How can Mamann, Sandaluk & Kingwell help me with my immigration detention?

Lawyers at Mamann, Sandaluk & Kingwell have appeared in hundreds of detention review hearings and have an excellent understanding of the law as it relates to immigration arrest and detention. There is no law firm in Canada with more experience or a better track record representing clients who are in immigration custody than us.