Who can claim asylum at the border?

If you are coming from the United States, you should know that the Canadian government has put restrictions on who can claim asylum at the border between Canada and the United States.

Under the Canada–U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), you cannot make a claim at a Canadian border post unless you qualify for an exception to the Agreement. 

 

What is the Canada–U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA)?

The Canada–U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) is an agreement between Canada and the United States. Under the Agreement, you are required to request refugee protection in the first safe country you arrive in (either the United States or Canada), unless you qualify for an exception to the Agreement.

 

The Canada–U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) does not apply to you if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen. 
  • You are a stateless person and have lived in the U.S. for a significant period of time. 

 

You can also claim asylum at a Canadian border post if you qualify as one of the following exceptions to the Agreement:

  • You have a valid Canadian visa, a work permit or a study permit.
  • You are under 18 and your parents are not in the United States. 
  • You face the death penalty in your country or the United States. 
  • You have close family members who are living in Canada. The Canada–U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) recognizes a family member as one of the following: spouse, legal guardian, child, father or mother, sister or brother, grandfather or grandmother, grandchild, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, common-law partner, or same-sex spouse with a legal status in Canada. 

 

Find more information about the Canada–U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) on the Canada Border Services Agency’s website. 

Download a PDF version of this document in English, Français, Español, عربي, and Kreyòl

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