Family Class‎ > ‎


This instruction guide contains all the forms and information for a person in Canada to apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Important: If you believe your situation merits humanitarian and compassionate consideration, you must clearly outline those reasons in your application.

Applications for permanent residence made on humanitarian and compassionate grounds are only approved in exceptional circumstances and it could take up to several years to process an application.

There is no guarantee that your application will be approved and there is no right of appeal for a refused application for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

This application is for persons in Canada who would suffer excessive hardship if they had to return to their home country to apply for permanent residence in Canada as required by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Cost and inconvenience are not considered excessive hardship.

Mail the application to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta.

Warning: CIC may not request additional information from you. It is your responsibility to list any and all factors you wish to have considered at the time you submit your application.

Recent changes to H&C applications:

At Royal Assent, several changes to the humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) and temporary resident permit (TRP) provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into effect.

Effective immediately,

  • a person cannot have two H&C applications pending at the same time;
  • H&C decision makers may not consider the risks that are assessed within the refugee protection process, i.e. risk of persecution based on grounds set out in the Refugee Convention or risk of torture, to life or of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, but must continue to consider elements related to the hardships that affect the foreign national
  • failed asylum claimants whose final decisions were rendered within the last 12 months are immediately subject to the bar on requests for TRPs for 12 months from the date that their claim was rejected (or deemed to be abandoned or withdrawn). However, requests for TRPs submitted prior to June 29, 2010 will be “grandfathered” and assessed per the previous legislation.

The new measures also confirm in legislation the existing policy that an H&C application is not considered complete until the appropriate fees have been paid. As well, the new legislation separates out the public policy provision from the H&C provision.

Who may apply?

You may apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds if you:

1. currently live in Canada;


2. are not eligible to apply for permanent residence from within Canada in any of these classes:

  • Spouse or Common-Law Partner;
  • Live-in Caregiver;
  • Protected Person; or
  • Temporary Resident Permit Holder


3. believe you would experience unusual and undeserved or disproportionate hardship if you were required to leave Canada.

If your spouse or common-law partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident:

You are not required to have legal immigration status to apply for permanent residence in the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class.

If your spouse or common-law partner
can sponsor you, you should apply using the application Applying for Permanent Residence from Within Canada - Spouse or Common-law Partner Class (IMM 5289). Visit CIC website or contact CIC Call Centre for more information.

If your spouse or common-law partner cannot sponsor you, you may continue using this application.


If you or a family member is inadmissible to Canada, it is advisable that you resolve your inadmissibility before applying for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Reasons for inadmissibility include, but are not restricted to: criminality, health, financial reasons, misrepresentation, having an inadmissible family member, etc.


In order to be considered for an exemption from any applicable criteria or obligation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, including an exemption to overcome an inadmissibility, 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 should be granted on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Submitting an application for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds does not prevent or delay you from being removed from Canada if you are under a removal order. If you submit an application and you are under a removal order, you will have to leave on the specified removal date. We will continue to process your application and we will notify you of the decision on your application in writing.

What are humanitarian and compassionate grounds?

You must clearly demonstrate that you would experience unusual and undeserved or disproportionate hardship if you were required to leave Canada. The cost and inconvenience of applying outside Canada is not considered a hardship.

Your application will be assessed on the information you provide and a decision will be made based on your personal circumstances and whether it merits humanitarian and compassionate considerations.

CIC may not ask you for any additional information on the humanitarian and compassionate grounds you would like us to assess. You must ensure that all circumstances you wish to have considered are identified and included in your application. You must also include any documents which you believe will support your statements. You are responsible for providing evidence in support of any statement you make on your application.

Note: You must immediately report any change in your circumstances in writing. Refer to the section Updating your address or other information for details.

When reviewing your application, if applicable, the best interests of a child directly affected by the decision made on your application will also be taken into consideration. If you wish to have the best interest of a child considered, you must provide specific information and documents on how the child or children would be affected.

Note: The interests of a child do not outweigh all other factors in a case. The best interests of a child are only one of many important factors that will be considered when making a decision.

Support of your application (undertaking of assistance)

A family member or close relative in Canada may support your application by submitting a sponsorship (undertaking of assistance) that will be considered in conjunction with all other factors presented with your application. Sponsorship is a practical way for a family member or relative to support your application and demonstrates a commitment to support you in Canada. A sponsorship may be an important factor if your ability to support yourself is in question. For more information about sponsorship, refer to Appendix C: Sponsor’s Instructions.

How to apply?

Step 1. Gather the required documents

Step 2. Complete the forms

Step 3. Pay the fees

Step 4. Mail your application

Step 1. Gather the required documents
You and your family members in Canada must send all documents listed on the Document Checklist (IMM 5280).

Step 2. Complete the forms
You and your family members must complete and sign the following forms:

    * Application for Permanent Residence from Within Canada-Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations (IMM 5001
    * Supplementary Information – Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations (IMM 5283)
    * Use of a Representative (IMM 5476), if applicable 
    * Document Checklist – Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations (IMM 5280

If you have a sponsor, refer to Appendix C: Sponsor’s Instructions for instructions on the following forms:

    * Application to Sponsor and Undertaking (IMM 1344A
    * Document Checklist – Sponsor (IMM 5287

  • Photocopy the blank forms so that you and your family members each have two copies: a working copy and a final copy. Keep the working copy for your records.
  • Print clearly with a black pen.
  • Answer in English or French. If applicable, add your native language script for all names and addresses on your application.
  • Use additional sheets of paper if there is not enough space on the form. Indicate your name, the form’s title and the number or letter of the question you are answering.
  • You must answer all questions that apply to you. If a section does not apply to you, answer “N/A” (“Not applicable”). If you leave sections blank or mark “N/A” in a section that is relevant to your situation, your application will be returned and processing will be delayed.

Step 3. Pay the fees

Processing fees

You must pay the processing fees for you and your family members before you submit your application.

Calculating your fees

Processing Fee Number of
per Person
Amount Due
Principal applicant 1 x $550 $550
Spouse or common-law partner   x $550  
Dependent child who is 22 years of age or older or who is married or in a common-law relationship, regardless of age   x $550  
Family member who is under 22 years of age and single   x $150  
AMOUNT PAYABLE Total right column $

Right of Permanent Residence Fee

You will need to pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee before your application for permanent resident status can be finalized. We will send you a request to pay this fee when we are ready to grant you permanent resident status. The fee is $490 per person for you and your spouse or common-law partner.


The following people are exempt from paying the Right of Permanent Residence Fee:

How to pay your fees

You have the option of paying your fees on our website or at a financial institution.

Option 1. Payment of fees on our website

To use this option, you need a credit card and access to a computer with a printer.

Go to our website at and select “Online Services” from the menu bar at the top, then “Payment of fees through the Internet”.

Once you have paid the fees, you must print the official receipt and fill out by hand the “Payer Information” section. Attach the bottom portion (copy 2) of this receipt to your completed application.

Option 2. Payment of fees at a financial institution

STEP 1. Fill in the total

Enter the “Amount payable” you have calculated at the bottom of the Receipt (IMM 5401).

Photocopies of the receipt are not accepted. If you need an original receipt, you can order it from our website or contact the Call Centre.

STEP 2. Complete the “Payer Information” sections on the back of the receipt

If you already know the Client ID assigned to you, enter the number in the box provided. If you do not know your Client ID, leave that box empty.

STEP 3. Go to a financial institution and make the payment

Bring the receipt with you. A financial institution representative will tell you which forms of payment are acceptable. There is no charge for the service.

STEP 4. Send your receipt

Attach the middle portion (Copy 2) of the receipt to your completed application. Keep the top portion (Copy 1) for your files.

Do not include any other type of payment with your application.

Incorrect payment

If you have sent insufficient fees, we will return your application with instructions. You must then pay the additional fees and mail everything back to us. This will delay the processing of your application. If you have overpaid, we will refund the overpayment. We will issue a cheque as soon as possible.


To obtain a refund, you need to send a written request to withdraw your application to the processing centre. The processing fee is only refundable if we receive your request before processing has begun. Once we have started to process your application, there will be no refunds regardless of the final decision.

We will issue the refund to the person indicated on the “Payer Information” section of the receipt. If there is no name indicated on the receipt, we will send the refund to you.


There is a loan option to cover the cost of the Right of Permanent Residence Fee. Loans are not available for processing fees. To qualify, you must show that the loan is necessary and that you have the ability to repay it. If you have been in Canada for three years or longer, you must also show that you were unable to get a loan from a bank or other lending institution.

The Right of Permanent Residence Fee loan application is available on our website or by phoning the Call Centre.

Step 4. Mail your application

Send your application and the items listed on the Document Checklist (IMM 5280) in a large envelope. Do not fold documents. For your personal records, you should make photocopies of all documentation, forms and your fee receipt submitted with your application.

Address the envelope to:

Case Processing Centre
Vegreville, AB
T9C 1W3

Do not include pre-paid return envelopes. You may wish to send your application via registered mail or Xpresspost to track the delivery.

How to ensure your application is not returned to you

Did you:

  • follow the steps outlined in section How to Apply?
  • answer all questions on the forms?
  • print “N/A” (not applicable) for questions that do not apply to you?
  • sign the forms?
  • include all necessary documents listed on the Document Checklist?
  • provide clear photocopies?
  • include certified English or French translations of documents written in another language?

While your application is processed

Updating your address or other information

If you change your address, let us know immediately:

  • on the Web. Use the electronic change of address form found in the “Online Services” section of our website.
  • by telephone. Contact the Call Centre.

If your personal situation changes after you have submitted your application, you must notify CIC in writing. A change in your personal situation can refer to any of the following: marital status, birth of a child, criminal convictions, change of employer, etc. You may also wish to remove a family member from your application or withdraw your application. Indicate your client ID number and your full name on all correspondence.

Send your notification to the following address:

Case Processing Centre
6212-55th Avenue
Vegreville, AB

T9C 1W5

Leaving Canada

Important: If you leave Canada while your application is in process, there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to re-enter.

Checking your application status

You can find out the current status of your application by logging on to e-Client Application Status. You may also phone our Call Centre.

If you do not want your information available online, you can remove online information by logging on to e-Client Application Status. You may also call CIC Call Centre and ask an agent to do this for you.

Current processing times are updated weekly.

Medical exam

You, and all your family members who are not already Canadian citizens or permanent residents, must undergo and pass an immigration medical exam, even if your family members are not processed for permanent residence with your application. Do not have an immigration medical exam until CIC contacts you. CIC will provide instructions on medical exams after you send your application.You will not be able to sponsor family members who do not undergo and pass a medical exam.

If you live in Quebec

The provincial immigration authority, called the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC), must also approve your application. You do not need to fill out extra forms; we will refer your application to the MICC on your behalf. If the MICC refuses your application, we will continue to process your application for permanent residence provided you no longer live in the province of Quebec.

The decision on your application

If your application has been properly completed and includes all the required documents, you will receive a letter informing you of the decision on your case and what you must do next. If you qualify for permanent residence, your family members outside Canada will be required to undergo a medical exam, and you and your family members will have to undergo criminality and security checks.

CIC may contact you to arrange an interview to verify or expand on information contained in your application.

Positive Stage 1 assessment – Interim documentation 

Applicants who have received a positive Stage 1 assessment may be eligible for interim status pending the finalization of their application as indicated in the following sections.

Temporary resident status
Temporary resident status may be extended as long as there is no known inadmissibility.
An extension of one year should be sufficient. 

Where loss of temporary resident status is described, a recommendation for restoration of their temporary resident status should be made, where possible (see IP 6). 

Work permit
Work permits may be issued pursuant to R200(1). Applicants may request a work permit by completing an Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker (IMM 5553).

Study permit
Study permits may be issued pursuant to R215(g). Applicants may request a study permit by completing an Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada as a Student (IMM 5552).

Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)
Some applicants may have already been issued a TRP, for example, persons who were reported at a port of entry or who entered Canada as crewmembers and failed to comply with the requirements.

If you have an H&C application in process in Canada with H&C reasons beyond just your relationship, Immigration will also approve of a change to visitor from student or work permit, or extension of visitor status almost automatically.

If your application is approved, CIC will contact you to arrange a final interview. You will likely be granted permanent resident status at that interview.

Referral to a local CIC office
H&C applications approved by CPC-V that are ready for the final examination are transmitted to the appropriate local CIC for the confirmation of permanent residence appointment. 

H&C applications unsuitable for processing by CPC-V are transmitted to the appropriate H&C Unit at a local CIC where officers will investigate issues of concern and make a final decision. Applications are usually referred to a local CIC when:

  • it includes allegations of risk and it cannot be approved on non-risk H&C factors;
  • the case is complex or requires an in-depth assessment of bona fides or degree of hardship before a decision is made;
  • a personal interview may be required; or
  • refusal is a possible outcome.

PRRA offices may request from CPC-V H&C applications which include assertions of risk for concurrent assessment with a pending PRRA application. Where operationally feasible, CPC-V transmits such applications directly to the requesting PRRA Unit.

If your application is refused, we will inform you in writing and you may be asked to leave Canada.

Appendix A: Dependent children
Appendix B: Police certificates
Appendix C: Sponsor’s instructions

De facto family members 

De facto family members are persons who do not meet the definition of a family class member.
They are, however, in a situation of dependence that makes them a de facto member of a nuclear
family that is either in Canada or that is applying to immigrate. Some examples: a son, daughter,
brother or sister left alone in the country of origin without family of their own; an elderly relative
such as an aunt or uncle or an unrelated person who has resided with the family for a long time.
Also included may be children in a guardianship relationship where adoption as described in
R3(2) is not an accepted concept. Officers should examine these situations on a case-by-case
basis and determine whether humanitarian and compassionate reasons exist to allow these
children into Canada.
  • whether dependency is bona fide and not created for immigration purposes;
  • the level of dependency;
  • the stability of the relationship;
  • the length of the relationship;
  • the impact of a separation;
  • the financial and emotional needs of the applicant in relation to the family unit;
  • ability and willingness of the family in Canada to provide support;
  • applicant's other alternatives, such as family (spouse, children, parents, siblings, etc.) outside Canada able and willing to provide support;
  • documentary evidence about the relationship (e.g., joint bank accounts or real estate holdings, other joint property ownership, wills, insurance policies, letters from friends and family);
  • any other factors that are believed to be relevant to the H&C decision.