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:
- how settled the person is in Canada,
- general family ties to Canada,
- the best interests of any children involved, and
- what could happen to the applicant if the request is not granted.
Recent changes to Canada’s immigration law have limited who may apply on H&C grounds and what factors may be taken into account.
- You 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.
- You 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.
- You cannot apply for H&C if you have a pending refugee claim.
- You cannot apply for H&C if you had a negative decision within the last 12 months.
Designated Foreign Nationals
Under Canada’s new law, a group of people who enter or attempt to enter Canada in a way that is against the law can be deemed an “irregular arrival.” This means certain rules and restrictions apply to them.
If you got here as part of an irregular arrival, you are deemed a “designated foreign national.” The Minister of Public Safety advises individuals when they become designated foreign nationals.
You cannot apply for H&C until five years have passed since:
- the day you became a designated foreign national and/or
- the Immigration Refugee Board made a final negative decision on your refugee claim and/or
- you got a negative decision on a pre-removal risk assessment
If you applied for H&C and then became a designated foreign national, your H&C application will be suspended for five years,
- from the date you were designated, or
- from the date of a negative decision from the Immigration Refugee Board or
- from the date of a negative pre-removal risk assessment decision.