Canada has one of the most comprehensive immigration systems in the world that takes into account the circumstances and hardships that an applicant might face. An application for permanent residence in Canada is a shining example of how Canada is willing to assist people from all walks of life. Applicants may use this application to request “special consideration” on allowing exemptions that might normally preclude them from obtaining the permanent status they seek. This application is in no way a shortcut to status in Canada but rather a last resort for those who might face undue or unusual difficulty due to circumstances beyond their control.
In order to be eligible for H&C application, as the applicant, you:
- 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:
Applying for H&C consideration is an exceptional measure it is not simply another means of applying for permanent resident status in Canada. You must 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. You are responsible for making sure that all circumstances and factors that you wish to have considered are provided in your application. This must include any hardship you believe you will suffer if you are not granted the exemptions you are requesting.
For example, if you are claiming hardship arising from circumstances in your country of origin, your supporting documents should include the following:
- the hardship you anticipate,
- whether the hardship would be faced in all areas of the country of origin or country of habitual residence,
- whether you ever sought assistance from the authorities, including police or non-governmental organizations, to change or improve your situation in your country, and
- if you have not sought assistance from within your country, you must provide reasons why you have not done so.
These application types are very document intensive and require knowledge of the IRPA and IRPR, respectively. It is strongly recommended that you seek legal representation if you are attempting to complete such an application.