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Humanitarian & Compassionate Application

Humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) consideration, under A25 and A25.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, provides the flexibility to grant permanent residence status or a permanent resident visa to certain foreign nationals who would otherwise not qualify in any class, in cases in which there are compelling H&C grounds. Applicants may make submissions on any facts affecting their personal circumstances that they believe are relevant to their request for H&C consideration.

Grounds For H&C Application

People who would not normally be eligible to become permanent residents of Canada may be able to apply on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds. H&C grounds apply to people with exceptional cases. Applications to become a permanent resident based on H&C grounds are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Factors that are looked at include:

  • Establishment and ties to Canada;
  • General family ties to Canada;
  • The best interests of any children involved;
  • Ability to be sponsored;
  • Hardship of return to country of origin;
  • Hardship of return to Canada upon others;
  • Public Policy Considerations;
  • Other factors.

Eligibility For H&C Application

Applicants may use this application to apply for permanent residence from within Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (H&C) if applicants:

  • are a foreign national currently living 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; and
  • believe you would experience unusual and undeserved or disproportionate hardship if you are not granted the exemption 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,
    • Protected Person and Convention Refugees,
    • Temporary Resident Permit Holder.

Restriction for H&C Application

Recent changes to Canada’s immigration law have limited who may apply on H&C grounds, and what factors may be taken into account.

Factors are as followed:

  • Applicants may only request H&C if you are applying for permanent resident status in Canada, or for a permanent resident visa abroad. H&C requests from temporary resident applicants will not be considered.
  • Applicants cannot have more than one H&C application at the same time.
  • H&C decision makers will not assess risk factors such as persecution, risk to life, cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. (This does not apply if Applicants applied prior to June 29, 2010.)
  • Applicants cannot apply for H&C if you have a pending refugee claim. To do so, applicants must withdraw refugee claim before Applicant’s Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) hearing (i.e., before substantive evidence has been heard). (This does not apply to people with pending refugee claims who applied on H&C grounds before June 28, 2012.)
  • Applicants cannot apply for H&C if there was any negative decision from the IRB within the last 12 months. If the IRB decides applicant’s refugee claim is abandoned or withdrawn, that counts as a negative decision. This is called the “one year bar.”  The bar does not apply if:
    • Applicants have children under 18 who would be adversely affected if you were removed from Canada, or
    • Applicants have proof that you or one of your dependants suffers from a life-threatening medical condition that cannot be treated in your home country.