Resettlement: Cases for priority or special processing 


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

Some applicants may require special attention and priority given the nature of their circumstances. The related caseload and targets must be managed accordingly.

Vulnerable persons

Applicants at a heightened risk of danger, such as women and children, may require priority.

Referrals for urgent protection

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) may refer cases for urgent protection. The urgency level is decided when received by IRCC. Special procedures are followed for all cases.

Applicants persecuted for their diverse sexual orientation or gender identity or expression (SOGIE)

Circumstances for confirming whether applicants are being persecuted for having a diverse SOGIE, and considerations for processing to ensure a safe and respectful resettlement process.

Requests for priority processing

Applicants, sponsors or others may ask that a case be prioritized: many factors need consideration before making this decision.

Public policies

The Minister may prioritize the resettlement of populations using a public policy. Instructions for each public policy are discussed with applicable missions. The same general parameters and considerations apply to most public policies.
Consult General background on public policies.

Global human rights defenders stream

These instructions provide guidance on assessing and tracking applications under the resettlement stream for human rights defenders (HRDs).

For processing stages of all resettlement programs, refer to:

Contact us

For further information on instructions, contact us at

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