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Humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) application

The humanitarian and compassionate application, or H&C application, is an application for permanent residence in Canada based on humanitarian grounds.

It is NOT a regular permanent immigration program because the application is:


Only people who meet the requirements will be accepted.


The immigration officer must be convinced by the evidence and arguments in the case to approve it.

➔ is often used last.

When all other pathways to immigrate permanently to Canada have been exhausted or when it is the only option available.

➔ is generally intended for people who already live in Canada

A person outside of Canada may submit an application, but IRCC is not obliged to, and typically does not, consider it.

The H&C application:

What are humanitarian grounds?

Qu'est-ce qu'une considération humanitaire ?

In the H&C application, you must be able to answer the following questions, among others:

Why are you in Canada?

Why is it necessary for you to stay in Canada permanently?

What is preventing you from returning to your country of origin?

Each humanitarian ground (reason/argument) you bring up must be supported by evidence.

What is the evidence?

Exemples de motifs et de preuves

Here are some examples of arguments and evidence you can present:

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Father and Son Playing Outside

Examples of reasons:

You are the biological or adoptive parent of a child (regardless of his/her place of residence and nationality) who will suffer the negative consequences of your return to the country of origin.

Examples of evidence:

Birth certificate, letters from the child and his friends, drawings and photographs, letters from adults about the child, money transfers, letters from teachers, school reports, expert reports (psychologist, social worker).

Well-being and best interests of any child affected by your case

Disabled Woman on Wheelchair

Examples of reasons:

Your child, your spouse and/or yourself suffer from a serious physical or mental illness which requires medication and/or treatment that is not accessible in your country of origin, either because they do not offer it or because you would not be able to afford it.

Examples of evidence:

Medical reports and records, letters from health professionals, evidence of lack of accessible care in the country of origin.

Serious impact on your health or the health of a family member included in your application

Young Woman Looking Down with Sad Look

Examples of reasons:

You may not have access to employment and/or housing in your home country, you may face poverty, discrimination, persecution, and/or violence from a family member, a spouse, your community etc.

Examples of evidence:

Documents relating to the situation in the country, letters or other documents from family, neighbors, etc. in your country of origin on local impacts, national documentation binders of the IRB, human rights reports (ex. Amnesty International, U.S Department of State), NGO publications, articles from peer-reviewed journals, media articles, medical reports as well as any element allowing to make the connection between this factual evidence and your particular individual situation.

Your fears for the future and the risks you run in the event of a return

Women Coworkers Chatting Outside Over Coffee

Examples of reasons:

You have lived in Canada for several years and you can demonstrate your integration into society (professional activity, volunteering, studies, mastery of one or more official languages, French or English language course etc.)

Examples of evidence:

Support letters from employers, clients and/or co-workers, bank statements, property documents, insurance policies, rent receipts, recommendation letter from landlord, pay stubs, financial documents, income statements, training certificates, attendance sheets, support letters from teachers and/or other students, support letters from volunteer coordinator and/or other volunteers.

Your establishment in Canada

Pregnant Woman Hugging Husband and Young Son

Examples of reasons:

Members of your family or circle of friends live in Canada, your children were born and/or raised in Canada, you have built a social or support network (friends, colleagues, neighbors, acquaintances) in Canada.

Examples of evidence:

Support letters from anyone within your social or support network, proof of family status and ties, birth certificates from family members who are permanent residents or Canadian citizens.

Your links to Canada

What are the situations where I cannot be eligible?

Dans quels cas puis-je ne pas être admissible ?

In order to submit an H&C application, you CANNOT:

Have an refugee claim in process at the RPD or RAD (with no exceptions); or

Have received a final negative decision (RPD, RAD or Federal Court) on a refugee claim within the past 12 months, but with 2 exceptions:

➔ in case of a serious health problem or consequences for a child

Be inadmissible to Canada for reasons of national security, human rights violation or organized crime (with no exceptions).

If, on the other hand, you are inadmissible for criminality, serious criminality, health or financial reasons, you can request an exemption.

How can I submit my H&C application?


Create an account on the Permanent Residence Portal, and answer the questions on the forms with the help of Guide 5291.


Collect and upload all evidence to support your application.


Write up your arguments.


Pay the fees online.


When the application is complete, electronically sign it on the portal and submit it. 



You will fill out digital versions of the following (answering the questions directly on the portal):

  • Generic Application Form for Canada IMM 0008 

  • Schedule A - Background/Declaration IMM 5669

  • Additional Family Information IMM 5406

You will also fill out and upload the following PDF forms:

  • Document Checklist IMM 5280E

  • Additional Information IMM 5283

And, if applicable:

  • Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual IMM 5475

  • Use of a Representative IMM 5476

Tips for writing:

  • Put the strongest arguments first

  • Read IRCC's instructions for decisionmakers regarding humanitarian and compassionate consideration

  • Summarize the argument at the start of each section

  • Refer to documents/evidence, quote paragraphs from letters and supporting documents

  • End each point with a strong conclusion  

  • Use convincing language   


  • To submit this application, you must pay an IRCC-required processing fee online of CAD $635. Include an additional CAD $635 if you add your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner to the application, and an additional CAD $175 for each dependent child.

  • Each adult will also have to pay a RPRF of CAD $575, but this can be paid later (after the first stage of approval). You may also have to pay the biometrics fee of CAD $ 85 per person or CAD $ 170 per family..

What are the H&C application stages?

In order to obtain permanent residence on humanitarian grounds, you must receive approval in two stages:

1. Approval in principle

➔ Your H&C application has been reviewed and approved because you meet the eligibility requirements and you have provided sufficient evidence of humanitarian grounds to justify being accepted.

2. Finalization of permanent residence

➔ You meet the requirements for permanent resident status (medical exam, criminal record and security check). You will receive instructions for all of these. 


➔ You always have the option of updating your file until a final decision is made.

➔ Dependent family members (spouse or child) who are abroad cannot be included in the application. However, you must declare them and they will then have to go through IRCC's background checks. As soon as you receive permanent residence, you can sponsor them (if they are still considered dependent members of your family).

➔ The information presented on this page does not constitute legal advice. It is important to ask a lawyer or other legal counsel for professional advice before making decisions.

➔ Information current as of July 10, 2024.



Immigration and Refugee Board. ​This independent administrative tribunal is responsible, for instance, for deciding on the merits of refugee claims. Two of its divisions are the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) and Refugee Appeal Division.


Common-law partner:

Person with whom you have been living in a marriage-like relationship, without being legally married, for at least 12 consecutive months. Common-law partners can be of the same or opposite sexes.

Conjoint de fait

Federal Court:

Canadian court that can, for instance, review immigration decisions taken by the IRB, IRCC or CBSA.

Cour fédérale


Person to whom you are linked in a legally valid civil marriage. Spouses can be of the same or opposite sexes.



Right of Permanent Residence Fee. People whose application for permanent residence has been approved cannot become permanent residents until these fees have been paid. The right of permanent residence fee does not apply for dependent children of the primary applicant, sponsorship of adopted children, orphaned siblings, nephews or grandchildren, protected persons and refugees.




Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The agency of the federal bureaucracy responsible for programs and services having to do with immigration, establishment, resettlement of refugees and citizenship.


Conjugal partner:

Person living outside of Canada with whom you have been maintaining a conjugal relationship for at least 1 year, but with whom you cannot reunite for reasons beyond your control. Conjugal partners can be of the same or opposite sexes.

Partenaire conjugal
Résidence permanente

Permanent residence:


Allows a person to immigrate to Canada legally and permanently. A Permanent Resident can usually apply for Canadian citizenship after 3 years.

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