CIMM - Asylum

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Key Messages

Supplementary Messages

Asylum Funding

Municipal and Provincial Funding


Whether Asylum Claims Affect Processing Times

New Ineligibility

Supporting Facts And Figures

Asylum claims in 2019:

From January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, Canada received over 64,000 asylum claims. Overall asylum claim volumes are up by 16% in 2019 compared to 2018. The number of regular asylum claims over the same period increased by 34%, and the number of irregular asylum claims decreased by 15%.

The overall number of asylum claims received has increased four-fold from over 16,000 in 2015 to over 64,000 in 2019.

Top 10 source countries of irregular and regular asylum claims - 2019
Rank Irregular Regular
1 Nigeria India
2 Colombia Mexico
3 Pakistan Iran
4 Congo, DR China
5 USA Colombia
6 Haiti Pakistan
7 Sudan, DR Turkey
8 Angola Nigeria
9 Turkey Venezuela
10 Venezuela Haiti

Data extracted from IRCC-Cognos on February 7, 2020.

Interim Housing Assistance Program

Interim Housing Assistance Program (2018-2019)
Year Provinces Funding
2018-2019 Manitoba $3M
2018-2019 Ontario (Toronto) $26M
2018-2019 Total $29M
Interim Housing Assistance Program (2019-2020)
Year Provinces Funding
2019-2020 Ontario (Ottawa) $17.1M
2019-2020 Ontario (Toronto) $62.0M
2019-2020 Ontario (Peel) $2.2M
2019-2020 Ontario (Hamilton) $0.22M
2019-2020 Quebec $250M
2019-2020 British Columbia $6M
2019-2020 Manitoba $5M
2019-2020 Total $342.52M


Budget 2019 investments support the Border Enforcement Strategy and increase the asylum system’s capacity to provide timely protection to those who need it and ensure failed claimants are removed faster. This approach has 3 pillars:

  1. Detect and discourage misuse of visa systems, by preventing travel to Canada by individuals who may not be legitimate temporary visa applicants. This includes:
    1. Targeted investments and outreach strategies have been made to correct misinformation about our asylum system and discourage irregular migration. This has included encouraging would-be claimants to “get the facts” about Canada’s asylum through our social media channels and targeted advertising campaigns.
    2. Undertaking proactive engagement with targeted recalcitrant countries to increase removals cooperation. Improving the timely removal of inadmissible individuals is one of the strongest deterrents of irregular migration.
  2. Manage arrivals at the border, while ensuring the safety of Canadians, and maintaining contingency plans in the event of an influx of asylum seekers. This includes:
    1. Legislative changes have been made, including one to bar access to the Immigration and Refugee Board for those who have made asylum claims in a number of other countries with which Canada has an information sharing agreement, in order to discourage the making of multiple claims in different countries. Instead, as soon as removal proceedings are initiated, these individuals have access to a pre-removal risk assessment, including a mandatory hearing, to ensure that they are not returned to a situation of risk.
      • By the end of January 2020, around 500 asylum claims were found ineligible under the new ineligibility provision 101.1 (c.1) which came into effect on June 21, 2019. (Source: IRCC Cognos as of February 9, 2020)
    2. Plans have been put in place to manage intake and potential surges (e.g., mobile processing units, extra summer interim lodging capacity at Lacolle, Quebec).
  3. Invest in a fast, fair and final asylum system. Temporary funding will allow the Immigration and Refugee Board to make decisions on up to 50,000 asylum claims and 13,500 appeals by fiscal year 2020-2021. Temporary funding was also provided streamline pre-hearing processes and ensure asylum program integrity via an Integrated Claim Analysis Centre pilot in Toronto.
    1. The asylum system is on track to meet targets and the growth in the backlog of asylum claim has slowed. The Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board is on track to meet its target of 50,000 finalizations in 2020-2021. The Integrated Claim Analysis Centre was launched on September 30, 2019, and will triage 55% of national intake.

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