Humanitarian and compassionate consideration in Canada: Processing the application for permanent residence

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

Stage 2 assessment

After a positive Stage 1 assessment applicants and their family members listed on the IMM 0008 must undergo medical, security and criminal checks as part of the admissibility assessment. Applicants must be admissible, meet all other requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) including those in section 72 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), and must have a passport (unless they were exempted from that requirement). Applicants in Quebec must also meet provincial criteria.

Concurrent processing of family members for H&C applicants

Family members who are in Canada may become permanent residents concurrently with a principal applicant in Canada. Family members who are outside Canada cannot be processed for permanent resident visas concurrently with the principal applicant in Canada but can be processed as members of the family class supported by a sponsorship once the applicant becomes a permanent resident.

Statutory requirements

Background verifications – Criminal and security checks

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the National Security Screening Division of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) perform security screening and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) conducts screening for criminal records on behalf of IRCC.

Instruct applicant to obtain police certificates for countries in which they spent more than 6 months after they turned 18.

Family members abroad: Background verifications for the applicant’s family members abroad are initiated by the appropriate visa office. See OP 24, section 13 (PDF, 221.88KB), Family members of H&C applicants in Canada.

Medical examination

Issue instructions for medical examination to the applicant and dependent family members. The medical officer’s opinions are considered extrinsic information. If an applicant or any family member is found medically inadmissible, inform the applicant and provide an opportunity for them to make submissions.

Results of statutory requirements are valid as follows:

Criminal checks: No specific validity date.  Check NCMS/FOSS for information about recent charges or convictions. If one year has elapsed from the time of the criminal check, or whenever warranted, a new Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) check is recommended.

Medical checks: Medical results are valid for 12 months from the date of the medical assessment. See also Validity of a medical certificate and Reassessments for a new medical certificate.

Waiver of passport requirement

All foreign nationals (except for protected persons) must be in possession of a document described in R50(1) (passport or other acceptable identity documents) to become a permanent resident (R72(1)(e)(ii)). If an applicant does not have a valid passport you may consider waiving the passport requirement on humanitarian and compassionate grounds provided you are satisfied as to the identity of the individual. Examples of situations in which a waiver of the requirement for a passport may be warranted, include, but are not limited to, when the applicant:

  • has had their passport seized by CBSA and there is no mention in FOSS or on file that identity is a concern
  • has presented other identity documents that are sufficient for establishing identity
  • had a valid passport that is now expired.

If an exemption from the passport requirement is granted insert the following remarks in GCMS and send a letter to the applicant containing the following statement: “I grant an exemption from subparagraph 72(1)(e)(ii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations for [name of person(s)].”

In cases in which the CBSA seized the passport or travel document refer to OB 553.

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