Source: Pew Research Center
More people sought asylum in Canada in 2017 than at any point in at least a quarter-century, due in part to a spike in applications from Haitians entering the country from the United States, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Canadian government data.
The 50,420 asylum applications Canada received in 2017 were more than double the 23,930 it received in 2016. Applications that meet basic eligibility requirements, such as having no serious criminal convictions, are referred to Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board for further review; the vast majority of applications in 2017 received this referral.
Of the referred cases in 2017, asylum seekers from Haiti (8,286) had the most applications, followed by Nigeria (5,575) and Turkey (2,197). No country saw a bigger increase in referred applications from 2016 to 2017 than Haiti, which had only 631 referred applications in 2016. As a result, Haiti accounted for almost a third (32%) of Canada’s overall increase in referred asylum claims in 2017.