Humanitarian and compassionate: Inadmissibility of family members (A42)

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

All family members must be examined even if they are not being processed for permanent residence with the principal applicant. Family members who are not examined, are excluded from the family class as per R117(9)(d) and may not be sponsored at a later date (See OP2 Section 5.12).

Except in a few limited situations, an inadmissible family member, inside or outside of Canada, makes the principal applicant inadmissible, regardless of whether they are seeking permanent resident status. An H&C applicant may specifically request an exemption from A42 which requires that the applicant’s family members not be inadmissible.

You may waive the requirement under R30(1)(a) that family members be medically examined and R68(c) that family members not be inadmissible for a foreign national to become a permanent resident. Granting an exemption from A42 should be done in exceptional circumstances only and when there is no other solution to the inadmissbility and when you are satisfied either that:

  • the family member is unavailable to be examined
  • it would be unreasonable to require examination in light of the circumstances of the case.

It should not be used to overcome a known or suspected inadmissibility of a family member abroad.

Possible scenarios involving examination of family members

  • a case involves an accompanying family member who has been examined and found inadmissible
    • applicants may request an exemption or you may consider an exemption under A25 to overcome the inadmissibility of the family member 
    • the responsibility for granting the waiver or preparing the case for the delegated decision maker, rests with the office responsible for the principal applicant’s file
    • once the A25 waiver is granted for the inadmissibility, a waiver for A42 is not necessary.
  • a case involves a non-accompanying family member who has been examined and found inadmissible. The principal applicant is therefore inadmissible (A42). Applicant requests an exemption, or you decide to consider on your own initiative.
    • it is the delegated decision maker for the principal applicant’s application who decides whether to grant an exemption to overcome the principal applicant’s A42 inadmissibility
    • the waiver is not for the actual inadmissibility of the family member but rather the requirement that a family member not be inadmissible (and as a result of the grant of a waiver, the principal applicant may be issued a permanent resident visa). The non-accompanying family member remains inadmissible.
  • case involves a non-accompanying family member who cannot be examined
    • consider whether every effort has been made to have the family member examined 
    • advise the applicant that if the requirement to examine a family member is waived, the applicant will be barred from ever sponsoring that family member (R117(9)(d)).
    • the authority to waive the requirement that non-accompanying family members be examined in order for a foreign national to become a permanent resident (R68(c)), is delegated to officers
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