I am illegal and facing Deportation from Canada. How can I stop my Deportation?

About deportation from Canada

At our office, we handle many deportation from Canada cases. The Canadian government department responsible for deportation from Canada and removals is the Canadian Border and Services Agency (CBSA). The CBSA is, among other things, in charge of protecting our borders from inadmissible persons and proceeding with removals against inadmissible persons who are already in Canada. 

What can you do when facing deportation from Canada?

Depending on the reason why someone is being deported from Canada, there are a number of approaches to take to stop deportation proceedings. The usual sequence of events go as follows:

  1. The Person receives a letter from CBSA requesting that he or she attend an “interview” at a local Canada Immigration Enforcement office (in Toronto this is known as the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre or GTEC).  This letter usually comes after some failed hearing or application the person has made to stay or remain in Canada.
  2. The Person attends this interview and is advised in writing that a removal date from Canada as been set, usually around a month later.
  3. At this stage, the person can either prepare to “pack his bags” or fight the removal or deportation from Canada. Fighting the removal is a complicated process and should be handled by an immigration lawyer or professional.
  4. Generally the first step is to request that Canada Immigration defer or stop of removal from Canada.  You have to have a valid reason for this request such as a pending an application for Canada permanent residence, medical or educational reasons. Just asking to delay removal will not cut it.
  5. In most cases, Canada Immigration will not agree to defer removal as it is their mandate to proceed with deportations for what they consider “deserving” cases.
  6. Assuming that the request for delay is denied, then the next step is to prepare for what is known as a Federal Court Stay. A Federal Court Stay is a motion to the Federal Court of Canada asking the court to stop the removal. There are many technicalities involved in preparing for and arguing a Stay. It involves drafting legal arguments, researching case law, and assembling supporting documentation that will be reviewed by a Judge. Further, oral arguments to a Federal Court Judge have to be made by lawyers for both sides (the client and Canada Immigration). The Federal Court judge can consider many different factors in making a decision on whether or not to grant or refuse the Stay including humanitarian and compassionate factors, harm to the person and his or her family, the reasons for inadmissibility etc.
  7. If the Stay is granted or approved, then the removal is stopped, usually pending an application for permanent residence, an appeal or some other application. If the Stay is denied, then the deportation proceeds according to schedule and the person is removed from Canada.

The most imporant step one can take in successfully dealing with a deportation from Canada situation is to act quickly. Once you receive a letter from Canada immigration requesting your interview, don’t sit on it. Get help right away. Canada Immigration will not wait.


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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

62 Responses to “I am illegal and facing Deportation from Canada. How can I stop my Deportation?”

  1. CP says:

    Hello, I came to Canada with a visitor visa and have been here for three years. For four years now I’ve been with the same person I met in a Canadian college when I was an exchange student. Are we allowed to get married even though I am illegal?

  2. lucky says:

    Sir i have us visa but i forget to return i-94 form at canada us border before 2 years ago but i had returned in 15 i am in india .can i go to usa again .where to return that form .

    • owen says:

      Hello Lucky,

      This should not be very problematic given that you are currently in India, but if you go back to the US you should keep that I-94 with you when yo go to a port-of entry.


  3. jasmeet says:

    I m deported from canada because of refused refugee claim.but i have visa of usa can i go to usa now.

    • owen says:

      Hello Jasmeet,

      If you have a valid US visa and are not otherwise inadmissible then you can certainly enter the US pursuant to that visa. Please let us know if you have any further questions.


  4. ricky says:

    hi i have been in canada for 10 years now and married to a canadian citizen who i knew for over 25 years .I came to canada in 2004 got married in 2005 got my work permit and all the works ,along the way me and my wife had a few problems so we separated for a few month .I received a letter from immigration canada not border patrol was just a letter saying my application was resused because of a miss document i could not get hold of at the time i was not given a date to leave .I did not leave because of issues i had back in my country .I want to be legal again to be able to help my wife. am afraid if i leave i will not be able to come back to my family is there a way i can fight this i have been illegal for 4 years now what is you best advice i have no criminal records .

    • owen says:

      Hello Ricky,

      There may be some legal options available for you to help you remain in Canada, but you should immediately seek the help of one of our immigration lawyers to give you the best chance of staying in Canada. Please feel free to give us a call and we would be happy to further assist you.


  5. Manuela says:

    I’m an illegal immigrant for 7 years now, i have 2 canadian kids (18 months old and 7 Yrs old). i married a canadian citizen 2 years ago and he did not do my sponsorship yet because we cant afford a lawyer… one of my husband daughter find out that i have no status here, she e-mailed the immigration that my marriage to her father is fraud which is not true becaus we have a baby. now i’m scared that they might deport me. what should i do? i dont want to leave my kids behind,

    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      Hello Manuela,
      I am sorry to hear of your situation. It must be very stressful for you. It is important that you do your best to get some professional help in dealing with your illegal status. If you wish, please fill out our FREE Online Assessment Form, from there someone from our Canadian Immigration team will contact you to give you a more complete answer to your question and what options you may have.

      All the best to you,
      Sarah Jane

  6. chantell says:

    Hi can u please supply me with some answers please. my partner did a refugee claim and PPRA and they all was denied due to lack of evidence/proof. she received her deportation date and since then we been seeking answers they took all of her identifications but she only have her birth certificate from her country. what can we do in this process to stop her from going back home?? i went consultation with a lawyer but her advice was scarce . my friend is to leave the country in this month. we not married but we were together for 2 and a half year. I’m trying to get married so i can sponsor her . what r some ways we can go about it to get another identification to get married before she leaves the country?

    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      Hello Chantell,
      Thank you for your questions, I have given the email address that you provided to a member of the Canadian Immigration Team. They will contact you to help answer your questions

      Sarah Jane

  7. MR. Shan says:

    If I go Canada through illegally can I get asylum over there, can i applied asylum ? One more thing which i heard from reliable sources the Govt of Canada accepted refugee.

    • owen says:

      Hello Mr. Shan,

      Thank you for the question. There may be other options available to you apart from entering Canada illegally and then applying for asylum. In order for us to further assist you, please fill out our free online assessment form and one of our immigration professionals will be in touch with you shortly


  8. Irshad says:

    Hello, Its irshad I & my wife entered in us on b1/b2 category vise then we had illegal entry to Canada & now we both living in Canada since an year how can we get permanent residency of Canada.

    • owen says:

      Hello Irshad,

      Thank you for the question. If you entered Canada illegally then you are very likely unlawfully present in Canada. It would be highly advisable to speak with one of our experienced immigration lawyers regarding your situation in order to avoid deportation. Please fill out our free online assessment form and one of our immigration professionals will be in touch with you shortly


  9. shannon says:

    My name is shannon, i want to share this great testimony of my life to
    every one. I was married to my husband Brown Williams, i love him so much we
    have been married for 8 years now with two kids.He went on vacation to
    England were he met a lady called Jennifer, he told me that he is no longer
    interested in our marriage any more. i became so confused and started
    seeking for help, all effort to bring him back failed until i met an old
    friend called Clara and i told her about my problem then she introduce me
    to a man called Dr osun momohodu who caste a spell for her that brought her ex
    back to her within 3days. I contacted Dr osun to help me bring back my
    husband and he ask me not to worry that the gods of his fore-fathers will
    fight for me. He told me by three days he will re-unite me and my husband
    together. After three days my husband called and told me he is coming back
    to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started
    begging for forgiveness. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for
    what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Dr
    osun on any spiritual problem what so ever, his powers are beyond
    human comprehension.

  10. Taya says:


    My husband received his departure notice and is now leaving back to St. Lucia. He purchased his own ticket and the immigration officer assured us that the removal is taken off his name when he goes to the airport on the day set.

    I am sponsoring him and putting in the papers the day he leaves back to St. Lucia. I was just wondering if because he has the removal notice is there a specific time frame that he has to be outside of Canada for? (so since he has had the departure notice does he have to be in St. Lucia for a certain amount of time before he is allowed to come back to Canada?)

    I only ask about time because our baby is to be born in 4 months and we are crossing our fingers that since he has no criminal record – we are married – and have prepared all extra documents to prove our relationship is real that he will be back to Canada in 4 months.

    • Hello Taya

      If he just received a departure notice and not an order (deportation and exclusion), you can sponsor him and he can return once he is approved. However, because he has an “immigration history”, his case may be looked at more carefully by a visa officer. I would suggest getting professional assistance with a sponsorship application. You have to make a strong case and perhaps address his removal situation. Note, if his removal resulted in removal “order”, he will need an Application to Return to Canada (ARC) before being admitted.
      Best Regards
      Michael Niren

  11. tmabit says:

    hello my husband (common law) is currently being held in jail for possession of narcotics, he is in Canada illegally, can my common law husband be deported for being in Canada illegally and with the charges he faces?

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello Tmabit

      You husband once he is released could be subject to deportation if he is not a Canadian citizen. But it depends on his case of course. You should have an immigration lawyer look at this case more carefully to determine his options.


  12. Zaid says:

    Dear Mr. Michael,

    Thanks a lot about all that :)

    Do you know any Lawyer can help me with that ?

  13. Ian says:

    Hello , please answer my consern about ARC
    I just want to ask because I’m worried and ceriouse
    When you say (ARC )are not easy to get ?
    What do you mean by that ? Is that means that don’t usually give it , i’ld like
    To mention I was deported from Canada a year ago after I’ve been there for 8years
    Refugee dineid but my girlfriend visited me here and we got married and she summit a sponsorship
    Application . Thank you

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello Ian

      What I mean is that when applying for an ARC you have to make a strong case to return to Canada because you were deported before. This means that you have to show a compelling reason to return to Canada and remain there legally. When we prepare ARC applications we put everything into to them to demonstrate our clients are deserving of the permit.

  14. Zaid says:

    Mr. Michael,

    First of all I would to thank you about all that information you gave me. What do you think
    is the best way to know about my situation or with who do I need to contact in the immigration or other department to have the right answer because I am totally up in the air
    also I am still waiting the answer about my new case I mean Nominee Program.
    I tried too many times to contact the embassy here in my back home but still its pretty rear information.

    If you need to provide you with the deeply information about the whole things I can contact with you.

    Thanks again :)

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello Zaid
      Thank you for the kind words. We are here to help!

      You can contact Canada immigration but as you may know it is not easy to get a hold of anyone or get reliable information often. You may want to retain the services of a law firm to assist you in order to resolve your issue.


  15. Zaid says:

    Dear Mr, Michael Niren

    First thanks about the information that you provide me. I would like to ask you about the Nominee Program – Skilled workers , I already apllied throw the MPNP online ( Winnipeg, MB )
    I send them all the required things, as you know they asking me for Settlement Plan my sister make it for me and my case is proccing now.

    secondly I checked my Departure form that the Immigration officer send me when I was in Winnipeg there is no any form number on it or anything its only my file No. and at that time when I left Canada on time I do gave the officer Immigration in Montreal airport the Departure form as they asked me to do, so the one I have now in my hands is a copy, I really dont understand do I need to apply for ARC or not, I checked to many information about that and its look like I dont need to apply for ARC because I left Canada on time and I gave the officer the form in he airport, is that right and do you think my Nominee Program that I applied on Jan, 30th will work with me.

    The website that I took infromation from is

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello Zaid
      Thank you for your question. It may be that your departure was deemed a deportation and that is why you have to apply for an ARC. This case has to be looked at more deeply.


  16. sham says:

    Hi I was deported from canada in 2010 after a failed refugee claim. After the failed claim my lawyers appealed and then went thru all the steps even ep to two days before I left went to high court nothing working. Anyways I left on the date they gave me. Now its been over two years I wish to go back to do a live in caregiver course I do not require a visa to go to canada and I was told I can study in canada up to six month without a study permit which is the length of the course. The school has agreed to give me an acceptance letter to come and study and I’m currently working on my detailed letter I have to subit with my ARC. What are my chances of receiving my ARC??? Please help

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hi Sham

      You will need an ARC to return to Canada. You will have to make a strong case since you had a failed refugee claim. This won’t be easy but it is possible. You should seek professional help for this case.
      Michael Niren

  17. bill says:


    My wife was was deported from Canada because she failed to confirm her departure from Canada when her refugee claim was denied. She is now a legal US citizen, and we only want to go to Canada for vacation and visit family. Does she still need an ARC form filled out.

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hi Bill
      If your wife wishes just to visit Canada and she was deported she may be able to apply for a TRP (Temporary Resident Permit). But to be safe I would complete an ARC form as well. Both applications are somewhat similar. It is never easy to return to Canada after being deported. You are welcome to contact us for help.

  18. Zaid says:


    I was studying in Canada and I get married with the Canadian Girl, so I applied for spouse sponsership, after 2 years the officer immigration called me and asking for the interview I went me and my wife and its was a great then after one week the same officer called again and ask me to the second interview so we wend again but unfortunatly the immigration officer did not belive me, therefore she refused my BR application then I went back to my school and I re-apply to renew my student visa they interview me but finaly they send me deportation letter to leave after 8 days, at that time my wife dont want to help me out, I went back to my country. now 2 years pass and I want back there again and my sister have a BR can she apply for me or is it passible to get back there ?

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello Zaid
      Thank you for you post. I am sorry about your unfortunate situation. If you were deported from Canada, you could apply to return but you would require an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) first. You can apply for an ARC at your Canadian Embassy. ARCs are not easy to get however. Now your sister can’t officially sponsor you to Canada–there is no sister sponsorships. But she can support you for a visit to Canada however.

      I hope that helps

  19. Hane says:

    I was refugee dined for 8 years and got deported , I’ve a wife she Canadian citizen can I come back to Canada ?

  20. alaa says:

    I field in my rfugee and i got letter direction to report also i’m from syria they asked about landline my qustion do you think is done and i can’t get p.r and stay in canada

  21. Smith says:


    My parents apply for Canada refugee status ,and now in process if they denid from govt then can come again Canada .? If I file super visa or visit

  22. Smith says:


    My parents apply for Canada refugee status ,and now in process if they denid from govt then can come again Canada .? If I file super visa or visitor visa…..

  23. ian says:

    hello . i’m a palestinian was deported from canada 3 months ago and i’m married to a canadian citizen now i’ve summit an application for spouse sponsership , i want to know how long the processing time will take and is there anything else i should do ?
    thank you .

    • Michael Niren says:

      Since you were deported your application could take longer than usual. It is hard to know without the details of your case to estimate a time frame. However, you may need a special permit (ARC) to be admitted to Canada after being deported from Canada.

  24. Alfonso says:

    I just get a letter from cbsa to get me pre removal
    Assist if somebody know how can I stop this and stay in canada please contac me

  25. Melissa Farrell says:

    Hi, me and my daughter would like to move to canada, we are both Americans and my boyfriend lives there (canada) and im almost done with Global Visas on getting my work does it work with the next step before I cross the border?

  26. Vivian says:


    I am a U.S. Citizen. My sister was just refused her refugee status in Canada. She wants to come to the U.S. now. My question is whether her immigration history in Canada will affect her entry to the U.S.

  27. petagaye says:

    I’m facing deportation from Canada. My lawyer filed the wrong paperwork. I was born in jamaica, however lived in the U.S. and got my green card. However I came to Canada and remained in Canada for too long. Now I have kids and my father in Canada. I’m being deported to jamaica, although I have never really lived there, have no family there. What can I do?

  28. Divya says:


    One of my friends was interviewed by a deportation officer. She said they would send a letter stating the outcome. AFter two months, my friend received a letter requesting her to submit her passport photo. Why do they need her passport photos?

    Thank you

  29. naeem says:


    My wife is Canadian. She filed a spousal sponsorship application for me. This application went up to the Federal Court of Canada, but was refused. Now I am facing deportation. Is there anything else I can do at this time? Can I send in my spousal sponsorship again with more proof?

    Thank you.

  30. BLISS says:


    My son and I came to Canada and claimed refugee protection two and a half years ago. However, it was denied. Now I got a removal order letter from CBSA. Where should I go from here?

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Bliss,

      The letter you received from CBSA would probably request that you attend an interview at a local Canada Immigration Enforcement office (in Toronto, this is known as the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre). You need to attend this interview. You will also be advised in writing that a removal date has been set.

      At this time, you should request that Canada Immigration defer the removal. However, you must have a valid reason for this request. If your request for delay is denied, you have to prepare for a Federal Court Stay. This process includes many technicalities such as drafting legal arguments, research case law, and collecting supporting documentation. The Federal Court judge will then consider your application and either grant or refuse the Stay.

      If the Stay is granted, the removal is stopped. If denied, the deportation proceeds and you will be removed from Canada.

      Since fighting the removal is a complicated process, I recommend that you get legal help from an immigration lawyer.

      Hope this helps.

  31. Ceki says:

    Hello, My friend came to Canada and claimed Refugee status and was denied. After 3 years she married a Canadian. Her hearing and Federal Court’s decision were negative, and she and her son were deported from Canada. On the deportation letter, there was a paragraph stating that she needs to obtain a letter from a visa officer if she wants to come back to Canada again. Her husband asked the immigration officers at the airport before the deportation about this. However no letter was provided. My friend went to the Canadian Embassy (in her country) and they didn’t provide such letter. Now her husband is completing the sponsorship forms. What do we do? She doesn’t have a letter letting her come back to Canada. Where do we get that letter from? Please help.

    • If your friend was deported from Canada, a “letter” is not what she needs. She needs a specific government document called an “Authorization to Return to Canada” or ARC. An ARC is needed for anyone deported from Canada. If your friend is being sponsored, she needs to apply for an ARC at the Canadian Embassy that has jurisdiction over her case.

  32. Mahsa says:

    Yesterday my husband received the letter for an interview at the Greater Toronto Enforcement Center and this invitation is for request of the Canadian intelligence services. Before this letter we were waiting for our court date for refugee claim. Could you please let me know if they want deport us before any court or hearing? On the bases of your experience does the government send back people to their home without any hearing or court action? If yes why they invited my husband alone? We are small family , me my husband and my child. We are worried about being sent back home if they want arrest my husband or deport us. Please let me know what should I do?

    Thank you

    • Hello
      You should retain the services of an immigration lawyer right away. The CBSA does not remove people who have a pending refugee claim but there could be some allegations of serious criminality which could affect his claim.

  33. David Cooke says:

    What are the grounds to appeal a deportation order?

    Thank you,


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