Humanitarian and compassionate: Processing in-Canada applications

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

Once it has been determined that an applicant is eligibile to have an application assessed, the H&C application is processed in two stages:

  • a humanitarian and compassionate  assessment of the requested exemptions (Stage 1)
  • final decision on the permanent residence application (Stage 2).

Stage 1 procedures for:

Positive Stage 1 assessment

Negative Stage 1 assessment

Stage 2 assessment

Other situations

Withdrawing an application

Applicants who want to withdraw their application for H&C consideration must do so in writing. Send a letter to confirm the withdrawal request.

Communicating with applicants

Obtaining further information from the applicant

The onus is on the applicant to provide all necessary information at the time of their initial application and to inform CIC of any new information.  When further information is required, send a letter to the applicant.

Requested information is received after the specified period of time

Follow these instructions when an applicant’s submission arrives after the specified period of time for response has elapsed:

When a submission arrives late and… then …

the refusal letter has already been sent to the applicant (that is, assessment has already been made on the basis of information on file and the decision was negative)

inform the applicant that a specified period of time was provided for response and that it elapsed with no submissions received so the decision was based on information on file.

You may reconsider a decision if significant information that would have a critical impact on the original decision is received within a reasonable period of time after the final decision.

decision has not been made

  • base the decision on all available information, including the late submission. There is no “penalty” to the applicant.

Loss of contact with the applicant

Document any attempts to communicate with the client and any attempts to verify the applicant’s current address. If correspondence is returned or applicant does not respond, check that the correct address was used and if applicable that counsel was copied. The application must be processed through to a decision (i.e. approval or refusal). You may not “close” an application unless the applicant has formally withdrawn it.

Dealing with fraud or misrepresentation

When misrepresentation or fraud related to a material fact has occurred or is suspected, request written information from the client or schedule an interview, depending on the situation and type of information required.
The following table describes situations and the actions to be taken. Update GCMS notes accordingly.

When... then...

it appears that the applicant used fraud or misrepresentation to obtain a positive Stage 1 assessment

Send a letter to the applicant:

  • inform them that the application may have to be reconsidered
  • indicate the reasons (e.g. the suspected fraud or misrepresentation)
  • advise that submissions may be made.

no reply is received from the applicant

  • Make final decision on the case.
  • Document all attempts to communicate with the client and/or verify the address. 

the applicant makes submissions

Review the applicant’s information and decide whether there is sufficient evidence of fraud or misrepresentation

a review of the submissions results in a finding of sufficient evidence of fraud or misrepresentation

Send a letter to inform the applicant stating that:

  • the original exemption is withdrawn and the application is refused
  • the applicant is subject to an A44(1) report
  • the applicant may submit information about their current situation to be taken into account in making the A44(1) report recommendation.

an applicant submits information to be considered in an A44(1) report recommendation

  • review information on file, including new information
  • make an A44(1) report recommendation
  • send a letter to inform the applicant of decision on the report.

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