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Most applications for Canadian permanent residence must be submitted to a Canadian Visa Office overseas.  However, some individuals who are already in Canada may apply for permanent residence from within the country. The Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Class is for applicants with exceptional circumstances who do not qualify to apply for permanent residence in any other immigration classes. A good example would be an individual who has lived in Canada without status for a long time, but nevertheless established himself/herself in Canada.

Applicants are responsible for proving the existence of sufficient humanitarian and compassionate grounds and providing evidence in support of any statement they make. They must show good reasons for being granted an exemption from usual visa requirements.

Such factors, as the degree of establishment in Canada, family ties to Canadian citizens or permanent residents, social ties to a community, and interests of a child can be taken into consideration when assessing an H&C application. It should be noted that the cost and inconvenience of applying outside Canada is not considered to be a hardship.

You may apply for permanent residence from within Canada based on H&C grounds if you meet the following requirements:
  1. You currently reside in Canada.
  2. You do not qualify to apply for permanent residence from within Canada as Spouse or Common-Law Partner, Live-in Caregiver, Protected Person/Refugee, or Temporary Resident Permit Holder.
  3. You believe that you would experience disproportionate hardship if required to leave Canada.

Applicants are allowed to remain in Canada until a final decision is made. In some cases, an interview at a local CIC office may be required. Applicants under H&C category are not exempt from the requirements of passing medical, criminal and background clearances. H&C applications can take up to several years to process.


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