Passport and handcuffs

Immigration Arrest: What Should You Do? 

Michael Golden Law Corporation  Oct. 5, 2023

In Canada, individuals suspected of illegal entry, unauthorized arrival, or violating immigration laws could be arrested by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It’s vital to understand your legal rights during this situation, including what to expect throughout the process and the immediate next steps to take after an immigration arrest. 

At Michael Golden Law Corporation, we’re ready to help. We have the resources to guide and represent clients in their immigration arrest issues. Our dedicated team can investigate the reasons for your arrest and outline a detailed strategy to help you chart a path forward. Ultimately, we’ll strive to protect your rights during this emotional time and help you seek relief from deportation or removal. 

Set up a one-on-one consultation with us. Our firm proudly serves clients across Vancouver, BC, and the surrounding areas, including Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Surrey. 

Common Reasons for Immigration Detention

Here are some common reasons why a non-citizen may be arrested and detained by Canadian immigration authorities: 

  • Illegal entry into Canada 

  • A criminal conviction for offences such as drug trafficking, sexual assault, and violent weapons 

  • Noncompliance with immigration requirements 

  • Failure to cooperate with the Government of Canada to prove their identity 

  • Having links to organized human trafficking or crime 

  • Being a danger to the security of Canada 

  • Violation of visa terms or conditions 

If you or someone you know has been arrested for immigration-related issues, speak with a dependable immigration lawyer immediately. Your lawyer can help you understand your rights and your options moving forward. 

Your Rights If You Are Arrested

Here are some of your legal rights after an immigration arrest: 

  • You have the right to know the reasons for your arrest. 

  • You have the right to be informed of your constitutional rights by the arresting CBSA officer. 

  • You have the right to identify yourself after an immigration arrest. 

  • Unless you’re in an immigration inquiry, you have the right not to respond to any question asked by the police officer. 

  • You have the right to be represented by a lawyer. 

  • You have the right to inform a representative of the government of your home country that you have been arrested. 

  • You have the right not to sign any document without your lawyer’s consent. 

  • You have the right to secure your release by posting a bond. 

In the event of an immigration arrest, being aware of your rights can help you make intelligent decisions, even in the heat of the moment. It’s easy to become your own worst enemy when it comes to these cases; an experienced lawyer can advocate for your best interests every step of the way. 

What to Do If You Are Arrested 

If you have been arrested by a CBSA officer for breaching the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or violating immigration laws, provide your name and means of identification to the arresting officer. However, do not answer any question asked by the officer without your lawyer. 

Keep in mind that you may be placed in an immigration hold until your detention review. Under the law, the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) must hold the review within the next 48 hours after your arrest. At the detention review, you may be represented by your legal counsel. 

What Happens Next?

Although no two cases are exactly alike, here’s what typically happens after you’ve been detained by the CBSA officers following an immigration arrest: 

  • The CBSA will inform the Immigration Division of the IRB of the detention. 

  • A detention review hearing will be scheduled immediately or within 48 hours. 

  • The Immigration Division will send you a notice about where and when the detention review will take place. 

  • You will receive various copies of documents and evidence that the CBSA intends to use against you at the detention review hearing. 

  • The Immigration Division member (the person presiding over the hearing) will listen to arguments, review available evidence, and determine if the detained person should be released or remain in detention. 

Hiring an immigration lawyer is critical during this difficult time. A lawyer can help you at any stage of this process. 

Speak With a Lawyer About Your Case

Being arrested and detained by the CBSA officers can be a terrifying experience. But you have to remember: you have rights. No matter how overwhelming your situation can feel, it’s important to protect these rights. At Michael Golden Law Corporation, we’re committed to defending and representing clients who have been arrested for immigration law violations. Our team can fight vigorously for your rights, represent you diligently at the detention review, and help you achieve the best available outcome for your unique circumstances. 

Contact us at Michael Golden Law Corporation today to schedule a simple case evaluation. We proudly serve clients across Vancouver, BC, and surrounding communities including Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Surrey.