Immigration Records

Library and Archives Canada holds immigration records, up to and including 1935 for arrivals at ocean and border ports. There are no comprehensive nominal lists of immigrants arriving in Canada before 1865.

From 1865 onwards, passenger lists and border entry lists were the official record of immigration; no immigrant applications or files exist. For a period of five years, from 1919 to 1924, an individual form was used instead of passenger lists and border entry lists. The Form 30A was used for ocean arrivals while Form 30 replaced the border entry lists. The use of passenger lists and border entry lists resumed in 1925.

The passenger lists and border entry lists and the individual forms contain information such as name, age, country of origin, occupation and intended destination of the immigrant. The Government of Canada did not keep records of people leaving the country; there are no passenger lists for departures from Canadian ports. 

Most of the records have been digitized and are indexed by name. Over the coming years, more digital images and nominal indexes will be available on the Library and Archives Canada website. The Search Help pages for databases and for the collections of digitized microforms explain how the records are arranged, how to search the records and how to obtain copies. 

To assist your research, Library and Archives Canada has produced a series of documents and lists that will help you interpret the results of your searches in our databases (see left navigation for a list of LAC's databases on this subject). 

After 1935

Library and Archives Canada does not hold copies of post-1935 records. Records of immigrants arriving at Canadian land and seaports from January 1, 1936 onwards remain in the custody of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. To request a copy of another person's immigration record, you must mail your request to the under-noted office:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Public Rights Administration
360 Laurier Avenue West
10th Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1A 1L1

Deportation Records

Deportation records on individual immigrants and deportees were not retained by the old Immigration Branch. References to some general files relating to deportation, that sometimes include lists of names can be found in the Government of Canada Files (Archived) database.

  • Keywords: "deportation" "deported" "undesirable" "undesirables" "insane"
  • Record Group: 76