Humanitarian and compassionate: Financial inadmissibility – Social assistance (A39)

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

An applicant may get a positive Stage 1 assessment even though they are on social assistance, or may become dependent on social assistance after Stage 1. Dependency on social assistance could be a temporary situation or a result of not having been authorized to work in Canada. By the time the application for permanent residence is processed, the applicant may have become self-sufficient.

If an applicant is still in receipt of social assistance after all other processing has been concluded, permanent residence may be refused unless H&C consideration justifies an exemption.

When all other admissibility criteria are met, ask the applicant to provide evidence that they are no longer in receipt of social assistance.

If it appears that the applicant may become self-supporting in the near future, the permanent residence decision may be delayed for a short period of time until evidence of self-sufficiency can be provided. If it is clear after a few months that an applicant is unlikely to become self-supporting in the near future, make a final decision.

Note: For cases in which the applicant is a victim of family violence, an exemption from section 39 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) could be applied. Consult Victims or survivors of family violence for more information.

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