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Asylum seekers in Québec

Over the last few months, Québec has seen an increase in the number of asylum claims made in its territory. Most of these claims are being made by foreign nationals who have been intercepted by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers during irregular crossings of the United States-Québec border.

From January 1 to June 30, 2017, more than 18 500 asylum claims were made in Canada, of which about 6505 were made in Québec (35.5%). In comparison, 23 895 asylum claims were made in Canada in 2016, of which 5505 were made in Québec.


August 17, 2017

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  • On August 15, 2017, 256 new asylum seekers were provided with accommodation.
  • 3307 asylum seekers are being temporarily housed in the Greater Montreal area as at August 16, 2017.
  • Since July 2017, approximately 1007 asylum seekers waiting for their claims to be processed by the federal government have found permanent accommodation through MIDI’s partner community organizations or independently.
  • 6505 asylum claims made in Québec were processed by the federal government between January and June 2017.
  • The majority of asylum seekers come from Haiti, India, Mexico, Colombia and Turkey.


What you need to know about asylum seekers in Québec

An asylum seeker is someone who, upon entering a country or during a temporary stay, requests protection in Canada. A distinction can be made between asylum seekers and refugees. A refugee is someone who has been granted asylum and who is arriving in the country as a permanent resident or who can obtain this status while in the territory, after having requested and received asylum.

The federal government is solely responsible for border control and processing asylum claims.

For its part, the Québec government provides essential services to persons awaiting a decision on their refugee claim by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. With the assistance of several organizations and the various government ministries involved, asylum seekers can access the following services:

  • last resort financial assistance, under the responsibility of the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS);
  • temporary accommodation, under the responsibility of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS);
  • permanent accommodation, under the responsibility of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI);
  • healthcare, under the responsibility of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS);
  • French courses, under the responsibility of MIDI;
  • access to school, under the responsibility of the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES).



For more information on the asylum seekers or immigration procedures for asylum seekers, consult:

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Last modification : 2017-08-17
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