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Just the Facts: Asylum claimants

Released: 2019-05-17

The number of asylum claimants—those individuals requesting refugee protection upon or after arrival in Canada—more than tripled from 2015 to 2017, rising from 16,058 to 50,389. Despite the increase, the pace of growth has slowed, with 55,023 asylum claimants arriving in Canada in 2018. The number of asylum claimants had reached previous peaks in 2008 (about 37,000) and 2001 (about 44,000).

Released today, the article "Asylum Claimants," released as part of Just the Facts, provides more details on this trend, the characteristics of asylum claimants in Canada, and their outcomes after arrival.

Asylum claimants tend to be younger than the general population of Canada, with over 26% of 2017 asylum claimants aged 0 to 14. This compares with about 16% of the population living in Canada in the same age group. The majority of asylum claimants are male (55%), especially among those aged 15 to 54.

Asylum claimants whose claims are approved can apply to become permanent residents as protected persons in Canada.

Similar to other groups of immigrants to Canada, protected persons see their economic outcomes improve the longer they have been living in Canada. For those admitted in 2006, protected persons in Canada had mean salaries and wages of $21,800 one year later. This rose to $33,300 ten years after admission. For all immigrants admitted in 2006, the mean salaries and wages rose from $25,900 one year after admission to $40,700 ten years after admission.

  Note to readers

This Just the Facts incorporates results from several sources including the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB, survey number 5057), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) figures, and figures from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police available online: The estimate of the proportion of the population living in Canada aged 0 to 14 is based on those living in Canada on July 1, 2017 (Statistics Canada, Table 17-10-0005-01 Population estimates on July 1st, by age and sex).

This product was the result of a collaboration between Statistics Canada and IRCC.

IRCC figures are considered preliminary and subject to change. Updated data are published to the IRCC website on a monthly basis as they become available and according to the monthly data release schedule. For the most up-to-date data available, please refer to

Asylum claimants are individuals who request refugee protection upon or after arrival in Canada. Asylum claims can be received at a port of entry, at a Canada Border Services Agency inland office or an IRCC inland office. Claims are then referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. While their claims are being considered, these individuals are considered non-permanent residents in Canada.

Asylum claimants whose claims are accepted can become permanent residents. For more information on this process, please refer to the IRCC website: Backgrounder: Claiming asylum in Canada – what happens?


The release "Just the Facts: Asylum Claimants" is now available online.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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