Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Application

A Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) application allows you to ask for special permission to stay in Canada while your permanent residence application is being processed. This is usually used as a last attempt to stay in Canada.


If you have received a negative decision on your refugee claim you are not able to submit a H&C application if less than 12 months has passed since a negative decision from the IRB-RPD or IRB-RAD.

You can be exempt from the 12 months wait if:

  • Forcing you to leave Canada would not be in the best interests of a child in Canada or outside Canada who’s directly affected by you leaving, or
  • Your life or the life of one of your dependents would be at risk because one of you would not be able to get necessary health or medical or psychological care if you were forced to leave.

Things to consider prior to making a H&C application

  • An H&C application does not prevent you from being deported, unless you’re waiting for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA).
  • If you are under a removal order and decide to submit an application for permanent residence based on H&C, it will not delay your removal from Canada. You must leave on the specified removal date. Your application will continue to be processed and you will be notified of the decision in writing.
  • The chances of succeeding in an H&C application depend on your particular situation. Consult a lawyer to see your chances of having your H&C approved.
  • You must prove you deserve to have your H&C application approved ― you are responsible for providing the appropriate information and documentation. You are responsible for making sure that all circumstances and factors that you wish to have considered are provided in your application.
  • Applying for H&C is not free: The government fees are $550 per adult and $150 per child. If you decide to hire a lawyer to help with your application, the cost will likely be high due to the amount of work involved. Before you apply for H&C, decide whether it is worth the expense.

Factors that may be considered in your application

When completing your application, it is important to keep in mind some of the factors that may be considered when your application is being accessed. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Establishment in Canada (which can include financial, professional, academic, volunteer)
  • An inability to leave Canada that has led to establishment
  • Ties to Canada
  • Best interests of any children affected by your application
  • Health considerations
  • Family violence considerations
  • Consequences of your separation from relative
  • Factors in your country of origin (not related to seeking protection)
  • Any other relevant factors you wish to have considered that are not related to seeking protection.
Best interests of the child

The best interests of any children directly affected by the decision made on your application will be taken into consideration in the assessment of your application.

Factors related to the best interests of the child may include but are not limited to the:

  • Age of the child
  • Child’s establishment in Canada
  • Conditions in the country of origin that could impact the child
  • Medical needs of the child
  • Child’s education, or
  • Child’s gender.

How to apply

Gather documents

You must provide evidence that will support any statement you make on your application. Include any additional supporting document(s) explaining your hardship, best interests of a child, or any other factor you may want considered.

If you do not include all required documents, your application may be returned to you, which will cause delays in the processing of your application.

Complete the application

The following are the forms that must be completed and submitted for all applicants:

Submit your application

Mail your application to:

IRCC – Humanitarian Migration Vancouver

#300 – 800 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC

V6Z 0B6

After your application

Until you receive a decision, you can and should continue to update your application.

You may receive the following communication after submitting this application.

  • If your application is received and properly completed
    • Your application will be processed
    • You may be contacted to arrange an interview, or to verify or expand on information contained in your application.
  • If your application is received and incomplete
    • Your application will be returned to you.
  • If your application is approved
    • You will be informed in writing and provided with further information on the next steps to proceed to obtain your permanent residence status (i.e. medical instructions, background checks).
  • If your application is refused
    • You will be informed in writing. Discuss next steps with your lawyer.
  • If your application is received with insufficient or nonpayment of fees
    • Your application will not be processed, and it will be returned to you with further instructions.