If I Have Debt And I Return To Canada, Will I Be Arrested At The Border?

You Might be Worried About being Arrested at the Border on Your Return

According to recent statistics from Equifax Canada, the average Canadian is around $23,800 in debt, or $72,950 if you include mortgage-related loans.

It’s not unusual for Canadians to have some form of debt.

But, what happens if you don’t pay your debt and you leave the country, only to return to Canada at a later stage?

Will you get arrested at the border for being in debt and not paying your creditors?

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What Canadian Border Services could do to you

Some people are under the assumption that the Canadian Border Services Agency (or CBSA, for short) can arrest you when you try to re-enter Canada despite not having paid your debts.

The primary role of CBSA agents is to ensure the safety of Canadian citizens.

Their focus is to prevent crimes such as the smuggling of illegal goods and human trafficking.

They’re also trained to check people’s documentation in case they try to enter the country illegally.

CBSA will typically not detain you at the border if you re-enter Canada, and you haven’t paid off any debts that you owe.

In Canada, outstanding debts to creditors such as banks and other financial institutions are a civil matter.

There’s no “debtor’s jail” like in some countries.

The only reason you’d ever get detained by CBSA agents is if a judge in Canada issued a court order demanding you to get arrested upon reentry to the country.

Although rare, such cases do occur and usually for the following reasons:


  • You have some outstanding child or spousal support payments;
  • You have unpaid criminal fines.


So, in short, you have nothing to fear if you’re returning to Canada and owe some money to banks or other financial institutions.

If you’ve asked yourself, “if I have debt and I return to Canada, will I be arrested at the border?” the answer is no.

What to do if you have debts

Before you return to Canada, it makes sense to have a plan of action regarding your debts.

You’re likely wondering what would be the best way to tackle those debts and get your life back on track upon returning to Canada.

The best thing you can do is to seek debt relief services.

Doing so is the first step to ensure that you’ve got your finances under control, and you can lead a stress-free life without worrying about debts holding you back.

When it comes to debt relief services, one of the best ways to get a fresh start is by contact Bankruptcy Canada.

We are one of the country’s leading experts on bankruptcy and consumer proposals, and we can review your financial situation with you.

Contact us today for a confidential, no-risk, and no-obligation discussion of your financial situation on (877) 879-4770.

We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and our team of friendly professionals is here to help you.

Canadian Bankruptcies

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Bankruptcy FAQs
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Personal Bankruptcy in Canada
What Debts are Erased in Bankruptcy?

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