Humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) considerations for applicants in the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class

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

Applicants in the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class may request H&C consideration under A25(1) to overcome most applicable criteria or obligations of the Act. Some applications will be processed in this class while others will be transferred to the H&C queue for processing.

Applicants may request H&C consideration at any time before a final decision is made on their application. Applicants must provide all information that they wish to have considered. The applicant must satisfy the decision-maker that the H&C factors in their case justify the granting of an exemption from any applicable criteria or obligation of the Act. They must demonstrate that not being granted the requested exemption would constitute a hardship, over and above the hardship associated with being required to leave Canada.

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Applications processed in the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class

Applicants under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SCLPC) who have requested humanitarian and compassionate consideration will be processed in the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class if they meet both of the following eligibility requirements of the class:

  • they are the spouse or common-law partner of a sponsor and cohabit with that sponsor in Canada [R124(a)]
  • they are the subject of a sponsorship application [R124(c)]

Applicants who are processed as members of the SCLPC class benefit from concurrent processing of overseas dependants as well as an exemption from both R133(4), the minimum necessary income requirement, and A38(2), the medical requirement with respect to excessive demand on health and social services, if their application is successful.

Processing requests for humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) consideration to overcome inadmissibilities and other applicable requirements

If justified based on H&C grounds, spouse or common-law partner in Canada class applicants may be granted an exemption from inadmissibilities not covered by the spousal public policy. They will not, however, benefit from the temporary administrative deferral of removal afforded to those eligible under the spousal public policy.

Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements of R124(a) and R124(c) may request an exemption, on H&C grounds, from any requirement, such as:

Applications processed under the Humanitarian and Compassionate Consideration queue

Put in the H&C queue all applicants who do not meet the requirements of R124(a) or R124(c) and who request humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) consideration. Such applications will be processed based on the date of receipt and following H&C procedures.

Applications identified at the eligibility screening stage will be transferred to the H&C queue by the case analyst at the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-M). Those identified later will be transferred by the officer responsible for the processing of the case. Send a letter to the applicant informing them that their application has been transferred to the H&C queue for processing.

Eligibility requirements of the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class are not met due to a change in circumstances after the first stage eligibility approval

If after a determination that they meet the eligibility requirements of the class (first stage approval), an applicant requests H&C consideration due to a change in circumstances related to the R124(a) and R124(c) eligibility requirements, transfer the file to the H&C stream for processing. In such cases the applicant no longer meets the requirements of the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada class.

However, their first stage approval will not be revisited unless the change in circumstances involves misrepresentation or fraud (see ENF 2/OP 18 Evaluating Inadmissibility). This means that most individuals with first stage eligibility approval may benefit from a stay of their removal and be able to apply for a work permit while their application is in the H&C queue. Send applicants a letter explaining that their application has been transferred to the H&C queue for processing.

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