For asylum seekers: What you need to know

Changes to the Safe Third Country Agreement

On March 24, 2023, Canada and the United States announced the expansion of the STCA across the entire land border, including internal waterways. The expansion takes effect as of 12:01 a.m. EDT on March 25, 2023. If you crossed the border to make an asylum (refugee) claim and don’t meet one of the Agreement’s exceptions, you’ll be returned to the U.S.

Safe Third Country Agreement remains in effect

The STCA and the Additional Protocol continue to be in effect. People entering Canada from the US along the land border

  • are still not eligible to make a refugee claim
  • will be returned to the US unless they meet 1 of the relevant exemptions or exceptions under the STCA

Learn more about the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision.

Seeking asylum is not a shortcut to get around normal immigration rules and procedures. There must be legitimate reasons why asylum is necessary or it won’t be granted.

Canada respects its international obligations toward those who genuinely need help and protection. However, we must also make sure that all laws are followed to protect the safety, security and health of Canadians.

Asylum claimants face a rigorous process to determine whether or not they have a legitimate claim according to Canadian and international laws. Our rules-based system will determine the validity of your claim.

You’ll be removed from Canada if you don’t have a legitimate claim, or are not eligible to make a claim in Canada.

Find out more about the asylum process.

Other ways to come to Canada

There are many immigration options for those interested in coming to Canada. Learn more about Canada’s immigration programs:

External resources

Links to websites not under the control of the Government of Canada

Links to websites not under the control of the Government of Canada, including those to our social media accounts, are provided solely for the convenience of our website visitors. We are not responsible for the accuracy, currency or reliability of the content of such websites. The Government of Canada does not offer any guarantee in that regard and is not responsible for the information found through these links, nor does it endorse the sites and their content.

Visitors should also be aware that information offered by non-Government of Canada sites to which this website links is not subject to the Privacy Act or the Official Languages Act and may not be accessible to persons with disabilities. The information offered may be available only in the language(s) used by the sites in question. With respect to privacy, visitors should research the privacy policies of these non-government websites before providing personal information.

My Refugee Claim (external link) is an additional guide for people making refugee claims in Canada.

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