Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Application

A Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) application lets you ask for special permission to become a permanent resident of Canada. An H&C is usually a last attempt to remain in Canada.

Who can apply

Before you can make an H&C application, you have to wait for 12 months after the IRB-RPD or IRB-RAD reject your refugee claim.

You may not have to wait to apply if you can show that if you leave Canada:

  • it would not be in the best interests of a child in Canada or outside Canada, or
  • your life (or the life of one of your dependants) would be at risk because of a lack of health care.

Things to consider before you apply

  • While you wait for the decision on your H&C application, you could be removed from Canada.
  • You can stay if you are waiting for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA).
  • If you have a removal order, you must still leave on the removal date unless you apply for an “administrative stay of removal” or for a “stay of removal” before the Federal Court. Ask your lawyer about your chances of getting one of these. 
  • Ask a lawyer about the chance of having your H&C application approved.
  • You must prove you deserve to have your H&C application approved. You must put all the important facts into your application and send in the right documents.
  • Decide whether it is worth the cost. The fees are $550 per adult and $150 per child. If you hire a lawyer, the cost will vary depending on the amount of time involved and the experience of the lawyer.

What to put in your application

Talk to a lawyer because everyone’s situation is different. When applying, keep in mind that IRCC looks for things such as:

  • How connected you are to Canadian life (such as work, school, volunteering)
  • If you are connected because you were unable to leave Canada 
  • Your ties to Canada
  • The best interests of any children involved
  • Health issues
  • Family violence 
  • If separating from a family member would cause serious problems
  • The situation in your country (not related to wanting protection)
  • Any other important issues not related to wanting protection
Best interests of the child

When IRCC considers the best interests of a child, they look for things such as:

  • Age of the child
  • How connected the child is to Canada
  • Conditions in your country 
  • Child’s medical needs
  • Child’s education
  • Child’s gender

How to apply

Gather documents

You must send evidence that supports what you say in your application. For example, you might have documents related to the difficulty you face in your country or the best interests of a child. 

If you do not include all the needed documents, IRCC may send your application back to you. This will slow down your application.

Do the forms

You must do the following forms for all applicants:

Send in your application online with a lawyer who will use the permanent resident representative portal. You will get to review the application before it is sent in.

After you apply

You can update your application right up until you get a decision.

  • If you completed your application properly:
    • Your application will be processed.
    • You may be asked to have an interview, confirm information, or give more details.
  • If your application was incomplete
    • It will be sent back so you can finish it.
  • If your application is approved
    • You will be told in writing and learn the next steps to become a permanent resident (such as a medical exam and background checks).
  • If you do not send the proper payment
    • Your application will not be processed and it will be sent back to you with instructions.
  • If your application is refused
    • You will be told in writing. Discuss next steps with your lawyer.