Resumption of removals

On November 30, 2020, the Canada Border Services Agency announced that it was resuming removals, which had been suspended in light of the pandemic since March (with exceptions in cases of serious criminality/security inadmissibility, or voluntary departure).

The Canadian Council for Refugees is opposed to the decision to resume removals. See our letter to the Minister of Public Safety calling on the government to reinstate the suspension of removals.

We are aware that the government’s decision to resume removals has caused a lot of fear and distress for people potentially affected, as well as those around them.

Based on the experiences of CCR members, we believe that relatively few removals are in practice taking place so far.

It is important to note that some groups of people are still protected from removal, despite the general decision to resume removals:

Nationals of certain countries to which Canada does not generally remove

Canada has in place a policy of not removing people to certain countries or regions (known as Temporary Suspensions of Removals and Administrative Deferral of Removals). Currently the policy applies to the following countries/regions:

  • Afghanistan
  • Burundi
  • Central African Republic
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Gaza Strip
  • Haiti
  • Iraq
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Somalia – certain regions only: Middle Shabelle, Afgoye, and Mogadishu
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen


There are exceptions to this policy in cases of serious criminality/security inadmissibility, or voluntary departure.

People from these countries are normally eligible for a work permit or a study permit since they cannot be removed.

Applicants for the new Pandemic health-care workers permanent residence pathway

The CBSA has given assurances that they will not remove anyone who is applying or expects to apply for the recently opened pathway to permanent residency for claimants working in the health-care sector.

Individual requests for deferral

Individuals called in for removal can also present a request for deferral of removal based on their personal situation, the best interests of an affected child, etc.