Humanitarian and Compassionate Application to Canada: Fee, Process & other Details

Humanitarian and Compassionate Application

Individuals seeking permanent residence in Canada typically apply from their home country. However, exceptions exist for those in Canada facing challenges meeting Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) requirements. These exemptions, based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, allow applicants to seek permanent residency within Canada, despite not meeting standard criteria. This is what the Humanitarian and Compassionate Application is about.

The Humanitarian and Compassionate Application permits individuals already in Canada to request permission to stay while their residency application is processed. It recognizes compelling reasons such as safety concerns, family ties, or hardships in their home country. It provides a means for immigration officials to balance policy with humanitarian considerations, ensuring flexibility within the system. Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications acknowledge the complex realities individuals face and offer a pathway for those needing special consideration to establish permanent residency in Canada from within the country.

Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications are usually the last attempt to stay in Canada. In this article, we will talk in detail about the Humanitarian and Compassionate application, fee, eligibility, how one can apply for it, and other details.


Table of contents


What is the Humanitarian and Compassionate application to Canada?

In Canada, immigration laws are designed to ensure that individuals who wish to become permanent residents meet certain criteria. However, there are situations where an applicant may face inadmissibility or not meet the standard requirements of the law. In such cases, there is a provision under Section 25(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, where the Minister of Immigration can exercise discretion.

This provision allows the Minister to consider the circumstances of foreign nationals applying for permanent resident status, especially if they are already in Canada. Even for those applying from outside Canada, if they face certain inadmissibility issues, the Minister can review their case. This review is based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, particularly taking into account the best interests of any children directly affected.

In simpler terms, it means that if someone is facing challenges in their immigration application due to certain reasons, the Minister has the authority to make exceptions. This could involve granting them permanent resident status or exempting them from certain requirements of the immigration law, if it’s believed to be justified by compassionate considerations. This provision acknowledges the importance of considering individual circumstances, especially when there are vulnerable individuals, such as children, involved in the process.

H&C consideration may be granted to foreign nationals who would otherwise not qualify for permanent residence status in any class. For example, suppose a foreign national is inside Canada and does not qualify for permanent residency through the economic or family streams of immigration. In that case, they may qualify to plea for H&C relief. 

However, this option is not available for certain categories such as spouses, caregivers, protected persons, or temporary resident permit holders. The application process for H&C consideration is a unique opportunity, allowing individuals to request exemptions from IRPA requirements based on well-documented reasons demonstrating the necessity of applying for permanent residence from within Canada. It is important to note that seeking H&C consideration is not a routine pathway to permanent resident status, and the mere inconvenience or cost of returning to one’s home country is not considered a sufficient basis for H&C considerations.

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Who is eligible to use the Humanitarian and Compassionate application?

This application is intended for individuals who wish to apply for permanent residence from within Canada based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (H&C). You are eligible to use the Humanitarian and Compassionate application if you:

  • Are a foreign national residing in Canada currently;
  • Require an exemption from one or more requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or Regulations to apply for permanent residence within Canada;
  • Believe that humanitarian and compassionate considerations warrant the exemptions you are seeking; and

Are not eligible to apply for permanent residence from within Canada under any of the following categories:

  • Spouse or Common-Law Partner;
  • Live-in Caregiver;
  • Caregivers for children or people with high medical needs;
  • Protected Person and Convention Refugees; and
  • Temporary Resident Permit Holder.

Who is ineligible to use this application?

You cannot apply for a Humanitarian and Compassionate application if you:

  • Are a Canadian citizen,
  • A permanent resident,
  • Have a pending Humanitarian and Compassionate Application awaiting a decision,
  • Have an active refugee claim,
  • Have been designated as a foreign national within the past 5 years.
  • Had a refugee claim rejected (including abandoned claims) within the past 12 months by either the Refugee Protection Division or the Refugee Appeal Division of the IRB, or
  • Withdrew a refugee claim within the past 12 months (not applicable if the withdrawal occurred before your hearing at the IRB).

There are situations where the conditions do not apply to certain foreign nationals:

  • If a foreign national would face a risk to their life upon removal due to inadequate health or medical care in each of their countries of nationality, or if they don’t have a nationality, their former habitual residence.
  • If the removal of a foreign national would negatively impact the best interests of a child who is directly affected.

Documents required for the Humanitarian and Compassionate application form

Before we move forward with the process of applying for the Humanitarian and Compassionate application, let us take a look at the documents required.

If you are mailing your application, do not submit originals unless otherwise stated as documents submitted will not be returned. Also, keep a copy of the completed forms and all documents that you submit online or by mail.

For any document not in English or French, you are required to provide:

  • The translated document in English or French, and
  • An affidavit from the individual who performed the translation (if they are not a certified translator).
DocumentApplying onlineApplying by mail
Complete the IMM 0008 which is the Generic Application Form for Canada.The principal applicant will fill out this form as part of the online application.
A PDF version of the form is not necessary.
PDF filled out and signed by the principal applicant.
Additional Dependants / Declaration (IMM 0008DEP) if applicable.The principal applicant must complete, date, and sign this form if there are more than five dependents, regardless of whether they are accompanying or not.Completed, dated, and signed by the principal applicant if there are more than five dependents, whether they are accompanying or not.
Complete the form for Background / Declaration (IMM 5669):
Provide detailed personal history for the last 10 years or since the age of 18 (if under 28).
Include all:
Jobs
Periods of unemployment
Study
Vacations
Being a homemaker
Write “n/a” in sections not applicable.
Complete this form as part of the online application for the following individuals:


The principal applicant
Spouse or common-law partner (whether they are accompanying or not)
Each dependent child over the age of 18 years (whether they are accompanying or not)
Submit a fully-filled out PDF document, dated and signed by everyone in the following list:


The principal applicant
Spouse or common-law partner (whether they are accompanying or not)
Each dependent child over the age of 18 years (whether they are accompanying or not)
Complete the form, IMM 5283, which is for Supplementary Information – Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations
List all relevant factors and provide supporting evidence.
Complete this form as part of the online application for the following individuals:
The principal applicant
Your family members, only if they have different humanitarian and compassionate grounds and are included in this application.
Submit a fully-filled out PDF document, dated and signed by everyone in the following list:
The principal applicant
Your family members, only if they have different humanitarian and compassionate grounds and they are included in this application.
Additional Family Information (IMM 5406).
Complete this form as part of the online application for the following individuals:
The principal applicant
Spouse or common-law partner (whether they are accompanying or not)
Each dependent child over the age of 18 years (whether they are accompanying or not)
Fill out, sign, and include this form in your application if you have a paid or unpaid representative.
Both the principal applicant and the representative, whether applying online or by paper, must sign it.
Include two original photos of the principal applicant and each family member in Canada.
On one of the photographs, write
the name of the person 
date of birth of the person who appears in the photo 
the date the photo was taken.
Leave the other photograph blank.
Use of a Representative (IMM 5476), if applicableInclude a photo of the principal applicant and each family member in Canada.
On the back of each photograph, write the name and date of birth of the person in the photo as well as the date the photo was taken.
Follow the instructions provided in the online application and the guide.
Fill out the form, IMM 5475 which is the Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual, if applicable.Include a photo of the principal applicant and each family member in Canada.On the back of every photograph, write the name and date of birth of the person in the photo and the date the photo was taken.
Photo Requirements:


Photos must be taken within six months before application submission.
Include a photo of the principal applicant and each family member in Canada.
On the back of each photograph, write the name and date of birth of the person in the photo as well as the date the photo was taken. Follow the instructions provided in the online application and in the guide in
Include two original photos of the principal applicant and each family member in Canada.
On the back of one of the photographs, print the name and date of birth of the person who appears in the photo as well as the date the photo was taken. Leave the other photograph blank.
Passport related detailsInclude passport pages for the principal applicant and each family member in Canada. The pages must display
The passport number
The photo, name, date, and place of birth
Passport issue and expiry date
Entry and exit stamps, visas for Canada and any other countries
Stamps made by a Canadian authority showing the most recent entry into Canada.
Provide proof of your status in Canada (e.g., visitor visa, study permit, work permit, temporary resident permit, including out-of-status documentation).
Include birth certificates or other official identity documents for the principal applicant and all family members in Canada.
Include marriage certificate if applicable.
Provide proof of common-law relationship if applicable, such as joint financial accounts, leases, or statutory declarations.
Include divorce, annulment, or death certificates if previously married.
Provide custody papers for dependent children from previous relationships if applicable.
Include adoption papers if the applicant is an adopted child.
Submit originals of police certificates.
Provide details of criminal convictions if applicable.
Include photocopy of pardon obtained from the National Parole Board if applicable.
Include any document supporting humanitarian and compassionate grounds for processing the application from within Canada.
Provide certified translations for all documents not in English or French (e.g., police certificates, birth certificates).
Include a copy of the receipt showing the amount paid.
Document Checklist (IMM 5280)

How to apply for a Humanitarian and Compassionate application to Canada?

Applying for a Humanitarian and Compassionate application to Canada is a significant process for individuals seeking immigration relief based on compelling humanitarian grounds. This avenue offers an opportunity for those facing exceptional circumstances to apply for permanent residence within Canada, bypassing the standard immigration procedures. 

It’s a pathway available to foreign nationals residing in Canada, necessitating a thorough understanding of eligibility criteria and submission protocols. Successfully navigating this process requires diligence, comprehensive preparation, and a clear understanding of Canadian immigration law. Find a detailed step-wise process for the Humanitarian and Compassionate application form below.

Step 1: Collect Required Documents

Refer to the document list above to help you gather the required documentation. Make sure the essential documents are absent or if scans are clear, or else your application might be returned to you.

Step 2: Complete the Application Process

1. Sign in to or create a permanent residence online application portal account.

2. Fill out the following digital forms online for yourself and any family members aged 18 or older. These forms have been explained later in this article.

   – Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)

   – Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)

   – Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)

3. Fill out the following PDF forms; you don’t need to physically sign them. You have to upload them to your online application. As the principal applicant, electronically sign for the entire application, including those of your family members.

   – Document Checklist [IMM 5280]: Use this checklist to ensure you include all required forms and documents.

   – Supplementary Information [IMM 5283]: If applicable.

Complete and sign these PDF forms; print and sign them by hand, and have any third party involved sign them by hand before uploading them with your application.

Application Form for Canadian Permanent Residence (IMM 0008)

This form is to be filled out by you, the principal applicant. Here are the application details.

Language preference: Select your preferred language for correspondence (letters or emails), interviews, and interpreter requests. If your native language is not listed, choose “Other”.

Reside in Canada: If Quebec is your intended destination, additional forms are unnecessary. If eligible, your application will be forwarded to the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration du Québec (MIFI), and they will issue the Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ).

Personal Details: Get the checklist of details here

  • Family name: Or last name or surname. If completing the form on behalf of a child to be adopted in Canada whose details are unknown, input your family name(s).
  • Given name: Also known as first name and middle name. Do not use initials. For children to be adopted in Canada, input “Child” or leave the given name field blank.
  • Physical characteristics – sex: If selecting “X” for gender, complete the Request for a Change of Sex or Gender Identifier [IRM 0002] form if applicable.
  • Physical characteristics – Eye color: For children to be adopted in Canada, select “Other” if details are unknown.
  • Birth information – Date of birth: If the complete date of birth is unknown, use 1901/01/01 and include an explanatory letter.
  • Birth information – Place of birth: As indicated in your passport or travel document. For children to be adopted in Canada, select “Unknown” for the city or town and the country of adoption.
  • Citizenship(s): Select “Stateless” if applicable. For multiple citizenships, indicate the other country of citizenship in the second field. For children to be adopted in Canada, select the country of adoption.
  • Current country of residence: You must legally reside in this country. For refugee claimants in Canada, select “Canada” regardless of lawful admission status. For individuals who lost their status, select “Other” and enter “Out of status, requires restoration” in the details field.
  • Previous countries of residence: Total time spent in a country should be at least 6 months, not necessarily consecutive. Provide detailed explanations if “Other” status is selected.
  • Marital and relationship status: Select applicable status: single, married, common-law, divorced, legally separated, or widowed. An annulled marriage is legally declared invalid.

Current mailing address:

  • Include a post office box (P.O. box) number if applicable. If no P.O. box, include street number. Correspondence will be sent to this address unless an email address is provided.
  • If appointing a representative, their address must be provided in this section and on form Use of a Representative [IMM 5476].

Email address:

Use name@provider.net format. By providing your email, you authorize IRCC to transmit your file and personal information.

Passport

  • Passport/travel document number: Enter exactly as shown on your passport or travel document. If multiple passports, indicate the one for Canada travel.
  • Issue/expiry dates: Located on the biodata page of your passport. 

National Identity Document: Enter the national identity document number as shown on the document.

Education/Occupation Details

  • Highest level of education: Select the appropriate level from the list. For dependent individuals, select their highest level.
  • Current occupation: For dependents not employed, indicate “not employed”.
  • Intended occupation: For dependents not planning to work in Canada, indicate “None”.

Language Details

  • Native language/mother tongue: Select the language learned at home during childhood. If not listed, choose “Other”.
  • Test from a designated testing agency to assess English or French: Choose the appropriate testing agency.

Dependant’s Details: Indicate if the dependent will accompany you to Canada. If not, explain why.

  • Dependant’s relationship to the principal applicant: Select the appropriate relationship.
  • Dependant type: Choose the appropriate type: A, B (if applicable), or C.

Consent and Declaration of Applicant: Follow instructions at the bottom of the online application to view the declaration. Read and confirm all statements, then type your name in the blue field to electronically sign the application. Ensure all information provided is truthful, complete, and correct before submission.

Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)

For Refugee Claimants in Canada: This form should only include family members listed in your application for refugee protection who are currently residing with you in Canada.

Personal Details:

  • Family and Given Names: Family name, also known as last name or surname, and given names, also known as first name and middle name. These must match exactly as they appear on your passport, travel document, or identity document.
  • Questionnaire: If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions, explain in the details field.
  • Education: If you did not receive a diploma, leave the “Type of certificate or diploma issued” field blank.
  • Personal History: Ensure there are no gaps in time. Failure to account for all periods may delay your application processing.
  • Activity Types: Specify types of activities such as employment, unemployment, or educational activities.
  • Status in Country or Territory: Indicate your status, whether it’s a work visa, citizenship, study visa, or visitor visa.
  • Membership and Association with Organizations: List organizations you are affiliated with, including political, social, youth, student organizations, trade unions, or professional associations.
  • Government Positions: Specify government roles such as civil servant, judge, police officer, or employee in a security organization.
  • Military and Paramilitary Service: Ensure there are no gaps in time regarding military or paramilitary service.
  • Addresses: Provide full addresses without abbreviations, including apartment or unit numbers if applicable.

Declaration of Applicant: Carefully read and understand all statements. Type your full name into the blue field as your digital signature, certifying the completeness, truthfulness, and accuracy of the information provided.

Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)

  • Section A: Include personal details for yourself, spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, and both parents. Indicate whether you or your spouse were physically present at the marriage ceremony.
  • Section B: List details for married children, adopted children, step-children, children in the custody of others, and children adopted by others. Answer all questions, marking “Not Applicable” where sections do not apply.
  • Section C: Provide personal details for brothers, sisters, half-siblings, and step-siblings.

Certification: By clicking the “Complete and return to application” button, certify that you understand all questions and that the information provided is accurate, truthful, and complete.

Supplementary Information Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations (IMM 5283)

This form should be filled out by

  • The principal applicant.
  • Family members, if they have different H&C grounds, and are included in this application.
  • Include all factors you wish to be considered. Provide evidence to support any statements made on this form.

This form should be completed in:

  • English or French only.
  • Typed or printed in black or blue ink.
  • Answer all applicable questions. If a section does not apply, write “Not Applicable”.

Personal Information

Question 1Provide:
Last name (surname/family name) as on your passport or valid identity document.
Given name(s) as on your passport or valid identity document.
Date of birth.
Country (or countries) of citizenship.
Question 2Provide information about whom you were living with before coming to Canada:
Last name (surname/family name).
Given name(s).
Gender (F-Female, M-Male, or X-Another gender).
Relationship to you.
Country of birth.
Date of birth.
Address.
Family Members Living in Canada
Question 3Detail immediate family members (parents, non-dependent children, brothers, and sisters) living in Canada:
Last name (surname/family name).
Given name(s).
Gender (F-Female, M-Male, or X-Another gender).
Relationship to you.
Country of birth.
Date of birth.
Address.
Question 4Mention if you are living with someone in Canada. If yes, provide details:
Last name (surname/family name).
Given name(s).
Gender.
Relationship to you.
Country of birth.
Date of birth.
Address.
Question 5Provide details of immediate family members living outside Canada:
Last name (surname/family name).
Given name(s).
Gender.
Relationship to you.
Country of birth.
Date of birth.
Address.
Question 6Indicate if you are currently subject to a removal order. Provide details if applicable.
Declaration of Applicant
Provide all documents supporting your case for H&C considerations.
Note: By signing, certify that all provided information is complete, accurate, and factual.
Question 7Provide a comprehensive explanation outlining why you are seeking exemptions from the requirements of IRPA based on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds. Include details about the hardships you anticipate facing if the requested exemption is not granted.
Question 8If you or a family member is deemed inadmissible to Canada, furnish all pertinent documents regarding the inadmissibility, such as conviction certificates, rehabilitation records, or record suspension (formerly known as a pardon) applications. Specify the exemption you are seeking and justify why you believe you should receive it.
Question 9Offer information that you believe supports your request to have your application for permanent residence processed from within Canada, focusing on your family and/or relationships.
Question 10Provide details regarding any child affected by your application, and if applicable, elucidate the hardships your child or children would endure if the requested exemptions are not granted. Ensure that you provide specific information and supporting documentation regarding the potential impact on the child or children.
Question 11Describe how you have established yourself in Canada, potentially showcasing your involvement or participation in the community. If available, submit supporting documentation such as letters from community organizations or religious institutions. If documentation is unavailable, explain.
Question 12Submit any documentation that supports your assertions regarding how you intend to support yourself and your family during the application process. For instance, include a letter from your employer outlining your employment status and financial stability.
Question 13Highlight any additional information you wish to be considered in your application, ensuring that it is relevant and supportive of your case.

Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)

Complete this form if you:

  • Appoint a representative.
  • Need to update representative contact information.
  • Cancel a representative’s appointment.

A representative is someone who-

  • Is appointed using the IMM 5476 form.
  • Gives advice or guidance during the application process.
  • Conducts business on your behalf with IRCC and CBSA.

Step 3. Payment of Humanitarian and Compassionate Application Fees

You can utilize the table below to determine the total Humanitarian and Compassionate Application Fees required to be paid. The processing fee must accompany your application.

Details Amount 
Processing fee (per person)CAD 570
Right of permanent residence fee (per person)CAD 515
Dependent childCAD 155
Biometrics (per person)CAD 85
Biometrics fee for a family of 2 or more people applying at the same time and placeCAD 170

After payment of fee, select the “Save” button to save a PDF version of the official IRCC receipt. Remember to upload this receipt to your online application as well.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

Now that your application is prepared, you can proceed with its submission for processing. To facilitate a swift processing time, please ensure the following:

  • Answer all questions thoroughly.
  • Electronically sign your application by typing your full name exactly as indicated on your passport.
  • Include your processing fee receipt.
  • Upload all required supporting documents.

Humanitarian and Compassionate Application: Processing in-Canada applications

Once an applicant’s eligibility for application assessment is over, the Humanitarian and Compassionate Application process starts. This can unfold in two distinct stages:

1. Humanitarian and Compassionate Assessment of Requested Exemptions (Stage 1)

Stage 1 procedures are for

  • All candidates
  • Candidates with familial ties
  • Other situations
    • Individuals subject to a removal order.
    • Assessment following removal.
    • Consecutive Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications and simultaneous submissions for H&C.
    • Evaluation of H&C applications compared to Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA).

Positive Stage 1 assessment

  • Procedures following a Positive Stage 1 assessment
  • Positive Stage 1 assessment – Interim documentation
  • Request for Certificat de Sélection du Québec (to live in Quebec)
  • If the applicant has left Canada

Negative Stage 1 assessment

  • Procedures following a negative Stage 1 assessment

2. Final Decision on the Permanent Residence Application (Stage 2)

Stage 2 assessment involves:

  • Processing the application for permanent residence.
  • Positive Stage 2 assessment
  • Negative Stage 2 assessment

Applicants desiring to withdraw their Humanitarian and Compassionate Application must formally do so in writing by sending a letter to confirm their withdrawal request. Here are all the stages of the H&C application in more detail.

Stage 1 Processing in Canada

All Applicants

During the processing of Stage 1 for humanitarian and compassionate considerations in Canada, all applicants undergo an assessment of exemption requests. When assessing an exemption request, the following guidelines are adhered to:

– The objectives of the Act are taken into account.

– Consideration is given to exempting any applicable criteria or obligation of the Act, including inadmissibilities (except A34, A35, A37 inadmissibilities if the application is received after June 19, 2013), when the foreign national has specifically requested an exemption or when it is evident from the material that the foreign national is seeking an exemption (see also Granting exemptions on one’s initiative).

– Applicant’s submissions are reviewed in light of all available information, considering all known inadmissibilities.

– An exhaustive evaluation is undertaken, considering all factors relevant to the application, to make sure that Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) considerations warrant granting the requested exemption.

– The decision-maker objectively weighs the facts fairly and impartially, considering both positive and negative elements. The determination considers the most important facts, the most persuasive evidence, the most compelling arguments, and the reasons behind them.

– Facts favouring a finding of hardship are separated from those that do not.

– It is determined which facts have been established on the balance of probabilities and which statements are supported by the submissions.

– The decision is made on whether the facts establish that the applicant would face hardship if they were not granted the requested exemption or permanent residence.

– In the H&C decision, reasons are provided for why one piece of evidence was preferred over another. The focus is on evidence directly applicable to making a decision or particularly significant to support the decision. Not every piece of evidence supplied by the applicant needs to be mentioned.

– If credibility is central to the decision, the applicant is interviewed.

– When extrinsic information is considered, the applicant is informed and provided with an opportunity to respond.

Applicants with Family Relationships

For spouses and common-law partners, it’s essential to note that marriage or the existence of a common-law relationship alone does not automatically warrant a positive humanitarian and compassionate decision, nor does a physical separation of the couple. There are no definitive factors guiding the processing of a Humanitarian and Compassionate Application. While the presence of marriage or a common-law relationship holds significance, all aspects of the case must be considered before determining whether to grant an exemption. The potential impact of separation on the relationship and other family members should be taken into account.

If someone applies for Humanitarian and Compassionate help but also has another application for Spouses and Common-law Partners in Canada, and they didn’t ask for H&C help in that application, their H&C request shouldn’t be reviewed.

Applicants Under a Removal Order

Similarly, persons under a removal order who submit a Humanitarian and Compassionate Application and pay the appropriate fee, are entitled to a decision on that application. There won’t be any pause in the removal process unless a positive Stage 1 assessment is given.

In cases of post-removal assessment:

– If Stage 1 assessment cannot be conducted before an applicant’s removal from Canada, it will be done after the removal.

– The applicant bears the responsibility of providing submissions. There is no requirement to request updated submissions from applicants, even those who have been removed while their Humanitarian and Compassionate Application is pending.

– If the applicant submits further information regarding their current circumstances post-removal, those submissions must be considered.

– In the absence of submissions from the applicant post-removal, the case should be considered based on the information presented pre-removal, taking into account usual H&C factors such as establishment in Canada and the best interest of the child. The fact that the applicant has been removed should not come in the way of the application’s merits.

– Interview attendance in Canada should not be requested from an applicant. If an interview is necessary and cannot be conducted before removal, it may be conducted via telephone or Skype.

– The applicant should know about the decision made.

Consecutive or Concurrent Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications

When an applicant undergoes a Humanitarian and Compassionate assessment and subsequently submits a new application, any information and findings from previous such applications may be considered. The decision-makers must also take into account any new information submitted with the most recent application.

Simultaneous submissions for H&C and PRRA

When an applicant files both an H&C and a PRRA application, both evaluations may proceed concurrently.

Evaluation of H&C Applications Compared to PRRA

H&C assessment is more flexible than PRRA. It doesn’t only consider persecution like PRRA does, including risk to life, torture, and cruel or unusual treatment or punishment. In H&C applications, everything is looked at, and a decision is made if the situation causes severe and undeserved difficulty.

Positive Stage 1 Assessment 

Procedures after a Positive Stage 1 Assessment

If the delegated decision-maker determines that humanitarian and compassionate considerations warrant the grant of the requested exemption(s), a positive Stage 1 assessment may be made.

Upon making a positive Stage 1 assessment, it applies solely to the current application and is referred to as approval in principle. This positive assessment entails:

– Exempting the applicant from in-Canada eligibility criteria based on humanitarian and compassionate considerations to facilitate processing the application for permanent residence from within Canada.

– Exempting the applicant from meeting any criteria or obligations of the Act or Regulations from which they have been granted an exemption by the delegated authority.

– Allowing the foreign national to become a permanent resident, subject to certain requirements [R72(1)(b) and (e)], unless waived specifically in the Stage 1 assessment.

– Implementing a stay of removal (R233) and permitting the applicant to apply for a work permit [R207(d)] and/or study permit [R215(g)].

General procedures following a Positive Stage 1 assessment include:

– An approval in principle letter is sent to inform the applicant that the exemption has been granted while reminding them and their dependants to still meet any admissibility requirements not covered by the exemption. Failure to meet these requirements may result in the application for permanent residence being refused at Stage 2.

– The paper file and GCMS with detailed remarks about the exemption granted, date of exemption, and the relevant section of IRPA is updated.

– Initiating the processing of the application for permanent residence (Stage 2).

Interim Documents 

There are procedures when:

– There are sufficient H&C grounds and the requested exemption has been granted (positive Stage 1): A copy of the IMM 0008 is forwarded to the MIDI for selection who will then inform CIC of the decision of selection.

– Application involves health inadmissibility:

If the MIDI issues a Certificat de Sélection du Québec:

The process continues to permanent residence.

If the MIDI does not issue a Certificat de Sélection du Québec:

– If necessary, applicants will come to know that they might be allowed to move to another province or territory.

– If the MIDI does not issue a Certificat de Sélection du Québec and the applicant does not move to another province:

The application will be rejected because there is no Certificat de Sélection du Québec, and then the applicant will receive the appropriate refusal letter.

– If the MIDI does not issue a Certificat de Sélection du Québec and the applicant moves to another province:

The application is forwarded to the local CIC responsible for the applicant’s new place of residence. The CIC will finalize the case, hereafter. They will not recheck the initial Stage 1 decision if there is no evidence of fraud or misrepresentation).

Requesting for a Certificat de Sélection du Québec

To become a permanent resident, the applicant must fulfill the requirements outlined in R68, which include ensuring that both they and their family members, whether accompanying or not, are not inadmissible and meet the Act and Regulations’ requirements (unless exempted from this requirement at Stage 1).

All information concerning the applicant’s requirements and admissibility up to the point of being granted permanent resident status, including the permanent residence interview, must be assessed. A final negative decision may occur at any time during processing if the applicant or their family members are deemed inadmissible.

If the Applicant Has Left Canada

Applicants who receive a positive Stage 1 assessment after being removed from Canada by the Minister, or who leave voluntarily, and who do not have any other reasons for being deemed inadmissible, may be allowed to come back also. However, there is no obligation to admit applicants who have received a positive Stage 1 Humanitarian and Compassionate assessment and wish to return to Canada to complete the application.

When a positive Stage 1 assessment is made after an applicant has left Canada, a Stage 1 approval letter and IMM 5669 Schedule A are sent to the applicant and/or counsel.

If the applicant does not respond within 60 days, a final decision is made with the information on the file.

If the applicant provides the requested information, the application is sent for Stage 2 processing.

Negative Stage 1 Assessment

Procedures Following a Negative Stage 1 Assessment

Procedures following a negative Stage 1 assessment are as follows:

– A refusal letter informing the applicant that the exemption will not be granted will be sent.

– If the applicant lacks valid immigration status in Canada, they might be instructed to leave Canada. If voluntary departure is appropriate, include instructions for confirmation of departure and follow-up to ensure the client departs. If departure is not confirmed within the allocated time, notify CBSA that the client is believed to be in Canada without status.

– If there is an outstanding removal order, the CBSA Removals Unit of the negative decision will be informed.

– The paper file, GCMS, and records with the refusal information will be updated.

Temporary Resident Permit (TRP):

In some instances, although a Humanitarian and Compassionate Application is refused, issuance of a TRP may be appropriate. For example:

– If a family member included in a permanent residence application cannot be granted permanent residence due to inadmissibility, a TRP may be issued to the inadmissible family member while permanent residence is granted to the principal applicant and other accompanying family members (The principal applicant is granted an exemption to overcome the inadmissibility of the family member (A42)).

– If there are compelling reasons to allow the applicant to remain in Canada temporarily, even if there are insufficient grounds to grant an exemption under H&C.

The Humanitarian and Compassionate Application is refused, and a rationale is provided before issuing a TRP.

Processing the Application for Permanent Residence

After passing Stage 1, applicants and their listed family members must undergo medical, security, and criminal checks to be allowed in. They must meet all rules under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, including section 72 of the IRPR, and must have a passport unless exempt. Quebec applicants need to meet provincial criteria too.

Simultaneous handling of family members for H&C applicants: Family members who are already in Canada can become permanent residents at the same time as the principal applicant. However, family members who are outside of Canada must go through the permanent resident visa process at a different time than the principal applicant in Canada. They can instead be processed as part of the family class, supported by sponsorship, once the principal applicant becomes a permanent resident.

Statutory requirements:

Background verifications – Criminal and security checks:

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the National Security Screening Division of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) handle security screening, while the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) conducts criminal record checks on behalf of IRCC.

Applicants are advised to obtain police certificates for any countries they stayed in for over 6 months after turning 18. The visa office initiates background verifications for the applicant’s family members living abroad.

Medical examination:

The applicant and dependent family members receive instructions for the medical examination. The medical officer’s opinions are regarded as external information. If an applicant or any family member is found medically inadmissible, the applicant is informed and provided an opportunity to make submissions.

The results of statutory requirements are valid as follows:

– Criminal checks: No specific validity date. A new Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) check is recommended if one year has elapsed from the time of the criminal check, or whenever warranted.

– Medical checks: The results from medical assessments remain valid for 12 months from the date of the examination.

Waiver of passport requirement:

All foreign nationals (except for protected persons) must possess a document described in R50(1) (passport or other acceptable identity documents) to become permanent residents (R72(1)(e)(ii)). If an applicant does not have a valid passport, the passport requirement may be waived on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, provided the identity of the individual is satisfactorily established. If an exemption from the passport requirement is granted, appropriate remarks are inserted in GCMS, and a letter is sent to the applicant containing the exemption statement.

In cases where the CBSA seized the passport or travel document, the OB 553 is referred. 

Positive Stage 2 Assessment

Once the results of the statutory requirements have been received and no apparent inadmissibility (for which the applicant has not been granted an exemption) is detected, the application processing is completed.

Considerations include:

Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF):

H&C applicants, regardless of the principal applicant’s age, must pay the RPRF (R303), except in the following cases:

– A principal applicant who is classified as a “dependent child” of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

– Dependent children of the H&C principal applicant, residing in Canada.

For applications processed within Canada, payment of the RPRF is mandatory prior to granting permanent resident status.

Non-payment of the RPRF:

– If an applicant fulfills the requirements but is unwilling or unable to pay the RPRF, notify them in writing that the application will be put on hold until the RPRF or loan approval is obtained. The letter should also outline the response period and the repercussions of not replying within the specified timeframe.

– Allow a reasonable period for applicants to come up with the money, but avoid indefinite or unreasonable delays in making a final decision on granting permanent residence. If it becomes evident after a few months that an applicant is unlikely to pay the RPRF shortly, a final negative decision for non-compliance should be made.

Confirmation of Permanent Residence:

– Before creating the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5688/5292) for the applicant and any accompanying family member(s), verify the validity of criminal, security, and medical results, and ensure the Certificat de Sélection du Québec if required, is on file and valid.

Final examination interview:

At the final, mandatory interview, the following tasks are conducted:

  – Verifying the validity of the applicant’s passport or other identity documents.

  – Ensuring all principal applicant’s family members have been examined.

  – Ensuring that the applicant and any family members in Canada do not depend on social assistance (unless exempted for A39).

  – Asking the required questions concerning criminality, war crimes, and other statutory questions (found on the IMM 5669, section 6).

  – Having applicant(s) sign and date their Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5688/5292).

  – The interviewer must sign and date each part of the IMM 5688/5292.

No show:

– If an applicant does not attend their confirmation of permanent residence interview, the instructions outlined in Loss of contact with the applicant, including sending the appropriate decision letter will be followed.

Outstanding criminal charges:

– If information about pending criminal charges emerges during the final interview, the interview is delayed or rescheduled until the criminal charges are resolved. A conviction may render the applicant criminally inadmissible or ineligible for permanent residence.

Concurrent applications:

– If granted permanent residence while having a pending refugee claim or judicial review application for a negative PRRA or Refugee Protection Division decision, the Refugee Protection Division of the IRB or the Department of Justice will intervene accordingly.

When the applicant has left Canada:

 – If Stage 2 is positive and the applicant left Canada, they must apply for an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC), if needed, to the visa office within 60 days of the decision notification.

– The visa office (via email) of the positive decision and that the applicant may apply for an ARC.

– If the applicant does not apply for an ARC within 60 days, the final decision with the information available on file is made.

If the applicant requests an ARC, it will be processed as per standard procedures. Once approved or if not needed, the visa office will:

– The applicant is informed that they are responsible for any travel expenses, cost recovery fees and, if applicable, repayment of removal costs.

– The fee is collected.

– The permanent resident visa and confirmation are issued once all ARC requirements are met.

Negative Stage 2 Assessment

When an applicant has received an exemption to address inadmissibility, neither they nor their family members should have any other inadmissibilities at the time of the final decision. If additional inadmissibilities are discovered at Stage 2, and when it is determined that the H&C factors do not outweigh these inadmissibilities, the application for permanent residence should be refused unless an exemption is granted on the Minister’s initiative or at the request of the applicant.

In these situations, the following steps are generally taken:

– A final decision is made.

– In the case of a refusal, a refusal letter is sent.

– When applicable, an A44(1) report is also prepared and sent to the Minister’s delegate with a recommendation.

An applicant might not be refused at Stage 2 solely because they are inadmissible for being out of status (A41).

Other situations

Withdrawing an Application: Applicants wishing to withdraw their application for H&C consideration must submit a written request to do so. A confirmation letter should be sent to acknowledge the withdrawal request.

Communication with Applicants: Requesting further information from the applicant. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide all necessary information at the time of their initial application and to notify CIC of any new information. When additional information is needed, a letter should be sent to the applicant.

Receipt of requested information after the specified period: Follow these guidelines when an applicant’s submission arrives after the specified response period has elapsed:

  • When a submission arrives late and the refusal letter has already been sent to the applicant (that is, an assessment has already been made based on information on file and the decision was negative), the applicant is informed that a specified period was provided for response and that it elapsed with no submissions received, so the decision was based on information on file. Authorities may review a decision if substantial information that would significantly impact the original decision is received within a reasonable period following the final decision.
  • When a submission arrives late and a decision has not been made, the decision is based on all available information, including the late submission. No “penalty” is imposed on the applicant.

Loss of contact with the applicant:

Efforts to communicate with the client and verify the applicant’s current address should be documented. If correspondence is returned or the applicant does not respond, verify that the correct address was used and, if applicable, that counsel was copied. The application must proceed to a decision (i.e., approval or refusal). An application may not be “closed” unless formally withdrawn by the applicant.

Dealing with fraud or misrepresentation:

When misrepresentation or fraud related to a material fact has occurred or is suspected, written information should be requested from the client or an interview should be scheduled, depending on the situation and the type of information required. The following table outlines situations and the corresponding actions to be taken. GCMS notes should be updated accordingly.

When it appears that the applicant used fraud or misrepresentation to obtain a positive Stage 1 assessment: A letter is sent to the applicant:

   – Informing that the application may have to be reconsidered.

   – Indicating the reasons (e.g., the suspected fraud or misrepresentation).

   – Advising that submissions may be made.

When no reply is received from the applicant:

   – A final decision is made on the case.

   – All attempts to communicate with the client and/or verify the address are also recorded.

When the applicant makes submissions: The applicant’s information is reviewed and sufficient evidence of fraud or misrepresentation is also checked.

When a review uncovers enough proof of fraud or misrepresentation-

   – A letter to inform the applicant is sent stating that:

   – The initial exemption is revoked, and the application is denied.

   – The applicant is subject to an A44(1) report.

   – The applicant can provide current information to influence the A44(1) report recommendation.

When an applicant submits data for A44(1) report recommendation consideration:

   – Information on file, including new information, is reviewed.

   – An A44(1) report recommendation is made.

   – A letter to inform the applicant of the decision on the report is sent.

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Humanitarian and Compassionate Application: Processing Time

The processing time for Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) applications varies and depends on various factors such as caseload, complexity, documentation, and procedural requirements. Timelines may fluctuate due to administrative procedures, workload prioritization, and resource allocation within immigration systems. However, the average processing time for a Humanitarian and Compassionate Application is around 19 months. Applicants are advised to stay informed about updates and timelines provided by immigration authorities during their application process.

In conclusion, Canada’s Humanitarian and Compassionate application process exemplifies the nation’s commitment to compassion and fairness in immigration policy. Through this mechanism, individuals facing exceptional circumstances can seek refuge and opportunity in Canada, even if they do not meet standard immigration criteria. The provisions, such as exemptions and considerations for children’s welfare, underscore Canada’s dedication to human rights and dignity. 

By offering avenues for relief to those in need, the Humanitarian and Compassionate Application serves as a vital tool in fostering inclusivity and providing hope to vulnerable populations. It stands as a beacon of compassion, reflecting Canada’s values on the global stage.

Humanitarian and Compassionate Application to Canada FAQs

1. What is a Humanitarian and Compassionate application to Canada?
A:
The Humanitarian and Compassionate Application allows individuals who don’t meet regular immigration requirements to seek permanent residence in Canada based on exceptional humanitarian or compassionate grounds.

2. Who can apply for a Humanitarian and Compassionate Application?
A:
Any foreign national in Canada facing exceptional circumstances, such as risk to life or adverse effects on children, may apply. Even those outside Canada may apply for a permanent resident visa under H&C grounds.

3. What is the Humanitarian and Compassionate Application fees?
A:
Humanitarian and Compassionate Application fees for processing is CAD 570.

4. How long does it take to process a Humanitarian and Compassionate Application form?
A:
Processing times vary depending on the complexity of the case and workload. Generally, it can take 19 months for a decision to be made.

5. Can someone apply for a Humanitarian and Compassionate Application if they have a removal order?
A:
Yes, individuals with a removal order can apply for a Humanitarian and Compassionate Application. Certain exceptions may apply, particularly if there are risks to life or adverse effects on children upon removal.

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