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:

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