Protected persons: Processing applications for permanent residence – Stage 2: Admissibility

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

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Before granting permanent residence to a protected person, it is necessary to ensure certain objectives are met. These are

  • to offer safe haven to persons with a well-founded fear of persecution based on Refugee Convention grounds, as well as those at risk of torture or cruel or unusual treatment or punishment [A3(2)(d)];
  • to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to maintain the security of Canadian society [A3(2)(g)]; and
  • to promote international order, justice and security by denying access to Canadian territory to persons, including protected persons, who are security risks or serious criminals.

To meet the first objective, protected persons are exempt from some of the grounds of inadmissibility that apply to others seeking permanent residence. The other objectives are met by requiring all persons to undergo medical and security clearances prior to being granted permanent residence.

Convention refugees or protected persons, and the family members included in their application for permanent residence, may be granted permanent residence unless they are inadmissible under the following provisions: A34, A35, A36(1), A37 or A38(1)(a) or (b). Note that the inadmissibility of a family member has no bearing on the admissibility of a protected person. However, it is essential that family members in Canada who were not included in the protected person’s positive IRB decision have their immigration history/status looked into.

Extrinsic information and procedural fairness

Extrinsic information is

  • information that is from a source other than the applicant; and
  • information that the applicant does not have access to or is not aware of, and that is being used in the decision.

Officers are required to inform the applicant in writing of any extrinsic information being used in the decision. Applicants must be given the opportunity to respond to this matter by providing any information they would like to have considered. The letter should describe the extrinsic information and, if applicable, detail how this information differs from that provided by the applicant, to the extent that this information could be viewed as a misrepresentation of a material fact and/or render the applicant ineligible for permanent residence.

Applicants should be instructed to write to the office within 60 days of the date of the letter and be advised that failing to do so will result in a decision based on the information on file, including the extrinsic information. Applicants must also be informed that an extension of the 60-day time period is possible if they contact the office immediately with a satisfactory explanation and an indication of the length of extension they require.

Security and criminal screening

Background and security checks must be conducted for all applicants and their accompanying family members 18 years of age or older to ensure that they have not become inadmissible since their arrival in Canada. The Case Processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-M) or the local Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office will initiate this clearance procedure in the Global Case Management System (GCMS).

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) performs security screenings and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) conducts screenings for criminal records on behalf of IRCC. The IRCC office handling the clearances will request security screening from CSIS using GCMS. The CSIS results are valid for 48 months. If the results expire, the office must submit a new request for screening to CSIS through GCMS.

For criminal screening, verify non-computer-based (NCB) entries and other notes in the system for information about recent charges or convictions. The National Case Management System (NCMS) can also be checked if applicable. If there is any adverse criminal information, a Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) check is recommended. If one year has elapsed from the time of the criminal check, or whenever warranted, a new CPIC check is suggested. There is no specific validity period imposed for criminal checks.

Protected persons must submit police clearance certificates (PCCs) from the countries where they have resided for more than six months since the age of 18 years. Note that PCCs are not required from the countries from which the applicant sought protection.

The results of the CSIS and RCMP checks are communicated through GCMS. These results are used to help an officer make an admissibility determination. If it is determined that an applicant is inadmissible on serious criminal or security grounds, the CPC-M must transfer the file to the applicable IRCC office for refusal. If the application is refused, the client must be advised of the decision in writing.

Protected temporary residents class (PTR class)

This class was created to facilitate the acquisition of permanent resident status by refugees in urgent need of protection. Members of the class, who are issued temporary resident permits (TRPs) to come to Canada before a permanent resident visa can be issued abroad, may apply for permanent residence from within Canada but without the applicable waiting period as required by the permit holder class. There is no fee for applications made in this class.

Eligibility for permanent resident status in the PTR class

TRP holders may become permanent residents in this class provided they either

  • became a temporary resident on the basis of a TRP issued for protection reasons, after having made a claim for refugee protection outside Canada under section 99 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; or
  • were issued a Minister’s permit under the former Act after seeking admission to Canada as members of the Convention refugee class, source country class or country of asylum class.

PTR class applicants and their accompanying family members will not be required to undergo another security check if the original security check is still valid. Should the security clearance be expired (it remains valid for 48 months), another security clearance is required. The CPC-M or the local IRCC office will initiate the second clearance as necessary in GCMS.

Medical examination

Protected persons (including members of the protected PTR class) and their accompanying family members in Canada and abroad are required to undergo a medical examination [R30(1)(a)].

Protected persons (including members of the PTR class), and their accompanying family members will not be required to undergo a subsequent medical examination if they have a valid and unexpired medical certificate indicating they are not inadmissible on health grounds.

The medical examination is not for the purpose of declaring a protected person or their family members to be medically inadmissible in accordance with subsection A38(2). The examination takes place to identify medical conditions so that treatment can occur. Inadmissibility on health grounds based on excessive demand on health and social services does not apply to protected persons (including members of the PTR class) or their family members in Canada and abroad. They may be granted permanent residence.

However, they would be inadmissible on health grounds if they are likely to be a danger to public health and safety [A38(1)(a) and (b)]. An application for permanent residence by an inadmissible person will be refused in this case. Refusal of the application does not affect the determination regarding the need for protection, and any applicant who is a protected person may remain in Canada. Officers should verify in GCMS whether applicants and family members in Canada have completed a medical examination.

If it is indicated that a medical examination has not been completed, officers should send the applicant medical forms [IMM 1017] and a list of designated panel physicians.

If the validity of the examination has expired, officers may seek an extension of the validity in specific circumstances from the Migration Health Branch. Refer to guidelines for reassessments of medical certificates before contacting the Migration Health Branch.

For more information, see Medical procedures.

Automatic partner notification to family members of protected persons

Automatic partner notification of HIV does not apply to members of the PTR class.

For more information, see Procedure for HIV positive cases.


There may be reasons to allow persons who are inadmissible under section A34, section A35, section A36(1), section A37, or paragraph A38(1)(a) or (b) to remain in Canada under the authority of the TRP.

If issuing a TRP is warranted, officers should

  • email a full report and recommendation to the Director of Case Review, CMB, NHQ (red flagged to indicate high priority), and the Director General, CMD, and copy the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA); and
  • advise visa offices to stop processing applications from family members overseas.

Inadmissible applicant or family member

If it is determined that an applicant is inadmissible on serious criminal, security or medical grounds, the CPC-M must transfer the file to the applicable IRCC office for refusal. If the application is refused, the client must be advised of the decision in writing and the office processing the file must inform the visa office (where there are overseas dependants) of the refusal.

If a family member for whom permanent residence is sought is inadmissible, the protected person and other family members may be granted permanent residence, as the general rule regarding inadmissible family members does not apply to protected persons seeking to become permanent residents [A42].

Note: Because the inadmissibility of a family member will not affect the admissibility of the principal applicant, non-concurrent processing is possible. It is not necessary to await the admissibility results for all dependants before the principal applicant is approved and landed.

The decision of an officer to refuse to issue a visa to an inadmissible or ineligible family member is not subject to reconsideration by the officer processing the application of the protected person in Canada.

If the applicant or a family member in Canada is inadmissible, a report under section A44 may be written on the individual concerned. The file should be transferred to the appropriate delegated authority.

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