Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations

Most people who apply for permanent residence in Canada must do so from their home country.

Use this application if you are:

  • in Canada, and
  • need an exemption from one or more requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or Regulations in order to apply for permanent residence within Canada;
  • believe humanitarian and compassionate considerations justify granting the exemption(s) you need; and
  • are not eligible to apply for permanent residence from within Canada in any of these classes:
    • Spouse or Common-Law Partner;
    • Live-in Caregiver;
    • Caregivers: caring for children or people with high medical needs;
    • Protected Person and Convention Refugees; and
    • Temporary Resident Permit Holder.

Normally, foreign nationals who wish to immigrate to Canada must apply for and obtain a permanent resident visa from abroad. Foreign nationals do not have the right to apply for permanent residence from within Canada if they do not meet the requirements of an in-Canada immigration class, or if they are otherwise inadmissible.

However, section A25(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) allows foreign nationals who are inadmissible or who are ineligible to apply in an immigration class, to apply for permanent residence, or for an exemption from a requirement of the Act, based on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) considerations.

Note: A person is only allowed to have one H&C application under consideration at any time.

Applying for H&C consideration is an exceptional measure – it is not simply another means of applying for permanent resident status in Canada.

In order to be considered for an exemption from the usual requirements of IRPA, you must:

  • clearly indicate in your application the specific exemption(s) you are requesting.
  • provide all details related to your request including the reasons why you believe an exemption(s) should be granted on H&C grounds.
  • demonstrate that there are sufficient and compelling reasons for you to be granted an exemption allowing you to apply for permanent residence from within Canada.

Note: The cost and inconvenience of returning to your home country to apply for permanent residence are not, in the absence of other compelling factors, sufficient factors for H&C considerations.

How to apply online

Applying online is now the main way to apply for permanent residence.

Other formats

If you can’t apply online, and require accommodations, including for a disability, you can ask for the application in another format (paper, braille or large print).

Sign in or create a Permanent residence online application portal account (opens in a new tab) .

The Instruction Guide (IMM 5291) will help you fill out the forms properly.

You must fill out these digital forms online

You’ll fill out these digital forms online (for yourself, and any family members 18 or older)

  • Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
  • Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
  • Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)

You must also fill out these PDF forms

Features

Using an immigration representative

If you want to appoint someone to do business with us on your behalf, you must

An immigration representative (an immigration consultant or lawyer) can give you advice and help you with your application for a fee. But they can’t

  • open a portal account on your behalf
  • electronically sign the application for you
  • sign into the portal using your username and password

A representative can fill out forms and communicate with us on your behalf through their own account. They can also

  • help you prepare the documents you need to upload
  • answer questions about the forms

After you read the declaration, you must be the one who types your name. This is the legal requirement for your application to be considered “signed,” according to Canada’s immigration law.

If you want to allow us to release information from your application to someone other than yourself who will not act as your representative you must

Photo specifications

You need one photo for each person on your application.

Follow the instructions in the online application to scan and upload both sides of your photo.

Technical issues

If you’re having technical issues applying, contact us using the web form

  • under type of application/enquiry, choose technical difficulties from the drop-down menu
  • in the text box, specify the program you’re applying under
  • upload screenshots from your account that show us
    • the page where you’re having problems
    • the error message(s) you get

If you need to upload a number of images, find out how to combine them into 1 document.

Pay your application fees

In most cases, your fees will include:

You have to pay your fees online (opens in a new tab) .

Biometrics fee

Find out if you need to give your biometrics.

In most cases, you must pay a biometrics fee when you submit your application. Otherwise, you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo.

After you pay the biometrics fee with a complete application, we’ll send you a letter confirming that you need to give your biometrics and where you can go. You must show this letter when you give your biometrics.

You must give your biometrics in person. Make sure to book an appointment if this service is offered. Find a collection point close to you.

Temporary changes to biometrics

Book your biometric appointment as soon as you can to avoid processing delays.

If you can’t book an appointment by the deadline on your biometric instruction letter, there may be measures in place to help you.

Submit your online application

Before you submit your application, make sure you:

  • answer all questions
  • electronically sign your application (type your full name exactly as shown on your passport)
  • include your processing fee receipt
  • upload all the supporting documents

If your application is incomplete, we’ll reject it. You’ll have to fix any errors and then re-submit it.

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