Temporary residents: Security deposits and guarantees

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) provides that officers, managers and others with the delegated authority may impose security deposits and guarantees on permanent residents and foreign nationals who are the subject of a report as per A44(1), an admissibility hearing or a removal order.

CIC's objectives concerning the use of security deposits and guarantees are to:

  • impose the payment of deposits or the posting of a guarantee on foreign nationals and permanent residents within Canada to ensure compliance with any terms and conditions that may be imposed under IRPA and its Regulations; and
  • allow the release of a person held in immigration detention, based on that person's agreement to abide by any terms and conditions of release, to ensure compliance with IRPA and its Regulations.

Fraud alert for clients

Protect yourself from a telephone scam that relates to security deposits. We’ll never ask you for any sort of security deposit or payment over the telephone. Learn more about Internet, email and telephone scams.

What is a security deposit?

A security deposit is a sum of money deposited to undertake compliance with any terms and conditions imposed by an official under IRPA. It may be provided either by the person who is the subject of the terms and conditions or by a third party.

Details regarding the deposit:

  • the amount of money required will be determined by the officer on a case-by-case basis;
  • payments are accepted in cash, certified cheque, bank draft, money order or debit card (credit card payments are not accepted);
  • inland offices accept deposits in Canadian funds;
  • ports of entry (POE) accept deposits in US currency if the depositor does not have sufficient Canadian funds;
  • no interest is paid on the sum of money deposited.

What is a guarantee?

A guarantee is a written undertaking by a third party that the person who is the subject of the guarantee will abide by the terms and conditions imposed by an officer or member of the Immigration Division. The guarantor is not required to provide a security deposit, unless the subject of the guarantee does not comply with the terms and conditions. A guarantee is also referred to as a conditional bond.

How are security deposits and guarantees imposed?

Security deposits and guarantees can be imposed at a POE or inside Canada to ensure compliance with conditions imposed under the following circumstances:

  • upon admission to a person or group of persons (typically an entertainment group);
  • to a permanent resident or a foreign national who is the subject of a report, admissibility hearing, or a removal order;
  • where a person is detained and an officer orders their release before the first detention review by the Immigration Division;
  • at a detention review or admissibility hearing.

The amount of the deposit or guarantee is fixed by an officer on the basis of the:

  • financial resources;
  • obligations imposed;
  • costs that would likely be incurred to locate and arrest the person or group, to detain them, to hold an admissibility hearing and to remove them from Canada; and
  • costs that would likely be incurred to enforce it (In the case of a guarantee).

What must guarantors do?

Third parties who post a guarantee and/or deposit a sum of money (R47(2)) must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, physically present and residing in Canada;
  • be able to ensure that the subject of the bond will comply with the conditions imposed;
  • provide evidence of their ability to fulfill the obligation arising from the guarantee;
  • provide an address and advise the Department before any change in that address;
  • not have signed or co-signed other guarantees that are in default; and
  • have the capacity to contract in the jurisdiction where the guarantee is given.

What conditions are imposed on security deposits? 

All security deposits and guarantees must impose the following conditions (R48):

  • provide the Department with the address of the person posting the guarantee and advise the Department before any change in that address;
  • present themselves at the time and place that an officer or the Immigration Division requires them to appear to comply with an obligation imposed on them under the Act.

In addition, an officer may impose other conditions which may include:

  • unless authorized, prohibited from attending any education institution;
  • unless authorized, prohibited from taking any academic, professional or vocational training course;
  • not authorized to work in any occupation other than stated;
  • not authorized to work for any employer other than stated;
  • not authorized to work in any location other than stated;
  • must leave Canada by the specified date.

Processing security deposits and guarantees

Stay of Removal

Guarantees: A stay of removal from the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) has the effect of rendering the guarantee null and void. The guarantee is left in the file and no further action is to be taken unless the terms and conditions were breached before the stay was ordered.

Security Deposits: A stay of removal from the IAD has the effect of cancelling a security deposit. The security deposit will be refunded unless the terms and conditions were breached before the stay was ordered.

Withdrawal

If a guarantor wants to rescind or cancel their guarantee, they must apply with an officer or a member of the Immigration Division; they must also appear in front of the officials with the subject of the guarantee. Officials will not locate and arrest the subject of a guarantee in order to relieve the guarantor of their obligations.

If the subject of the guarantee has another guarantor, they need to be present to sign conditions imposed by the officer or the member of the Immigration Division.

Forfeiture

The individual that provided the security deposit is liable for the forfeiture of the deposit should the subject default or breach any of the conditions imposed.

If the subject breaches any conditions, the guarantee may be enforced. Officers assess the merit of each case and submit a recommendation to their manager.

Refunds

Once the conditions of a security deposit have been met, the office that initially imposed the bond must initiate a refund.

It is very important that the office receives the current address in order for the refund cheque to be mailed.

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