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Canada: Information on the security and documentation checkpoints, including immigration and customs checks, that international arrivals are subject to at Dorval Airport (Montréal)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 April 1997
Citation / Document Symbol CAN25065.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Canada: Information on the security and documentation checkpoints, including immigration and customs checks, that international arrivals are subject to at Dorval Airport (Montréal), 1 April 1997, CAN25065.E, available at: [accessed 29 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


The following information was provided by the chief supervisor of security with the Autorité de Aeroports du Montréal (Dorval) in a 4 April 1997 telephone interview.

The procedure for international arrivals is a sealed process, and access to the terminal is controlled. International arrivals cannot have contact with the public or exit the airport until all searches and check points have been passed.

 Passengers arriving on international flights will typically exit the aircraft via a boarding ramp and proceed down a sealed corridor until they arrive at the customs and immigration desks, where documentation is verified and searches carried out.

 Under special circumstances passengers arriving on an international flight may disembark from the plane directly onto the tarmac. In this case, the passengers will be directed by escorts into the terminal. The landing strip is fenced off and an international arrival cannot leave the airport without passing through customs and immigration procedures.

There are two documentation checkpoints for international arrivals, customs and immigration. The passengers must walk down a series of corridors in order to arrive at the first documentation checkpoint, the customs desk. The corridor is a sealed hallway, but there are no security cameras and passengers walk unescorted. The length of the corridor that the passenger must walk in order to proceed from the boarding gate to the customs desk can vary as some international arrival gates are more than 500 metres away from the customs desk. There are no washrooms or unsecured exits along the corridors designated for international arrivals.

The source noted that she could not rule out the possibility of a security breach occurring as the Dorval airport is undergoing renovations at the present time, but stated that this would be a remarkable circumstance and require the collaboration of airport personnel.

For information on standard port-of-entry interview and documentation verification procedures at Canadian customs and immigration desks, please consult Employment and Immigration Canada's Immigration Manual: Port of Entry (PE), available at Regional Documentation Centres.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Autorité de Aeroports du Montréal, Montréal. 4 April 1997. Telephone interview with chief supervisor of security at Dorval International Airport.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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