Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications in Canada

Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications in Canada

Are you facing challenges in staying in Canada due to exceptional circumstances? A Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) application in Canada might offer a solution. This blog will provide you with a detailed understanding of H&C applications, including their requirements, eligibility criteria, essential documents, and common mistakes to avoid.

What is an Humanitarian and Compassionate Application?

H&C applications are designed for individuals who are unable to meet the standard immigration requirements but have compelling reasons to stay in Canada. These reasons could include medical issues, family ties, or other humanitarian grounds.

Who can submit an Humanitarian and Compassionate Application

This application is intended for individuals seeking permanent residency Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications in Canada.

You may use this application if you:

  • Reside in Canada as a foreign national currently;
  • Require an exemption from one or more requirements outlined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or its Regulations to pursue permanent residency within Canada;
  • Believe that humanitarian and compassionate reasons justify the exemptions you seek; and
  • Are ineligible to apply for permanent residency from within Canada under the following categories:
  • Spouse or Common-Law Partner;
  • Live-in Caregiver;
  • Caregivers responsible for children or individuals with significant medical needs;
  • Protected Person and Convention Refugees; and
  • Temporary Resident Permit Holder.

Requirements for H&C Applications

Anyone can apply for an H&C application, regardless of their immigration status in Canada. However, certain factors may affect your eligibility, such as criminality or security concerns.

To qualify for an H&C application, you must demonstrate:

Exceptional Circumstances: You must prove that you are facing unique and exceptional challenges that prevent you from returning to your home country.  You must provide evidence of extraordinary and compelling circumstances that make it impossible or extremely difficult for you to return to your home country. These circumstances could include political instability, armed conflict, severe human rights abuses, or personal threats to your safety and well-being.

Establishment in Canada: Show that you have established significant ties to Canada, such as family connections, employment, or community involvement. You must demonstrate that you have established significant ties to Canada, indicating your integration into Canadian society. This can be shown through various means, such as:

  • Family Connections: Provide documentation of family members residing in Canada, such as spouses, children, or parents.
  • Employment: Show proof of stable employment history or current job prospects in Canada.
  • Community Involvement: Present evidence of active participation in community activities, volunteering, or contributions to the local community.

Best Interests of a Child: If you have children, you must prove that returning to your home country would not be in their best interests. If you have children, you must illustrate that returning to your home country would not be in their best interests. This involves demonstrating the adverse impact on the well-being, safety, and development of your children if they were to accompany you or be separated from you. You should provide detailed information on:

  • Educational Opportunities: Describe the quality of education available in Canada compared to your home country.
  • Healthcare Access: Highlight the accessibility and quality of healthcare services in Canada for your children.
  • Social Support: Explain the support network available to your children in Canada, including extended family, friends, and community resources.
  • Cultural and Linguistic Integration: Discuss how your children have adapted to Canadian culture and language and the challenges they may face in reintegrating into your home country’s society.

By addressing these points comprehensively and providing supporting documentation, you can strengthen your Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications in Canada and demonstrate why you should be granted permanent residency.

Essential Documents for H&C Applications

When submitting an H&C application in Canada, include the following key documents:

  • Personal Statement: Explain your circumstances, including why you cannot return to your home country and why you deserve special consideration.
  • Supporting Documents: Provide evidence to support your claims, such as medical records, letters of support, or proof of family ties in Canada.
  • Police Clearance Certificate: Demonstrate that you have no criminal record or provide an explanation if you do.
  • Financial Documents: Show that you can support yourself financially in Canada or have a sponsor who can support you.

Common Mistakes on Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications in Canada

 Avoid these common errors when applying for H&C status:

  • Incomplete Applications: Ensure that you provide all required documents and information to avoid delays or rejection.
  • Lack of Supporting Evidence: Provide detailed evidence to support your claims, including medical reports, affidavits, and letters of support.
  • Failure to Address Inadmissibility: If you are inadmissible to Canada, address the reasons for inadmissibility in your application and provide mitigating factors.
  • Ignoring Deadlines: Submit your application before the deadline and respond promptly to any requests for additional information.

Are you subject to a removal order?

If you’re facing a removal order and opt to submit an application for permanent residency based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (H&C), it won’t postpone your departure from Canada. You’re still required to leave on the specified removal date. Meanwhile, IRCC will proceed with processing your application and inform you of the decision in writing.

Simultaneous applications for H&C and renewal of temporary resident status

If you’re seeking to renew your temporary resident status in Canada (as a student, visitor, worker, etc.) concurrently with your H&C application, refrain from including your temporary resident renewal application in the same envelope. You’ll need to pay for this application separately and mail it to the Case Processing Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Note that the Humanitarian Migration office in Vancouver exclusively handles H&C applications.

To be eligible for an exemption from the usual requirements of IRPA, you must:

Seeking consideration under H&C grounds is an extraordinary measure – it’s not merely an alternative method for applying for permanent resident status in Canada.

  • Clearly specify in your application the particular exemption(s) you’re seeking.
  • Provide comprehensive details related to your request, including the rationale behind why you believe an exemption(s) should be granted based on H&C grounds.
  • Demonstrate compelling and sufficient reasons justifying why you should be granted an exemption enabling you to apply for permanent residency from within Canada.

Note: The financial cost and inconvenience of returning to your home country to apply for permanent residency are not, in the absence of other compelling factors, considered sufficient for H&C considerations.

It’s your responsibility to ensure that all circumstances and factors you wish to be considered are included in your application. This should encompass any hardship you anticipate facing if the exemption(s) you’re requesting are not granted. For instance, if you’re citing hardship stemming from circumstances in your country of origin, your supporting documents should cover:

  • The anticipated hardship.
  • Whether the hardship would be pervasive throughout the country of origin or habitual residence.
  • Whether you’ve sought assistance from authorities, including law enforcement or non-governmental organizations, to address or improve your situation in your country.
  • If you haven’t sought assistance from within your country, you must provide reasons for this decision.

1 year bar for Humanitarian and Compassionate Application in Canada

If you’re subject to a one-year bar on applications for permanent residency and you’re seeking an exception to the bar, you must furnish information supporting that request. Additionally, it’s your responsibility to ensure the accuracy and currency of the information you provide. Therefore, if your personal circumstances change after submitting your application, you must promptly notify IRCC in writing. Changes in personal circumstances may include alterations in marital status, the birth of a child, criminal convictions, changes in employment, etc.

Humanitarian and compassionate grounds

According to section A25(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), foreign nationals deemed inadmissible or ineligible to apply in an immigration class can seek permanent residence or an exemption from an Act requirement based on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) considerations. A successful Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications in Canada can provide a pathway to legal status in Canada for individuals facing exceptional circumstances. By understanding the requirements, eligibility criteria, and common mistakes, you can increase your chances of a positive outcome. If you need assistance with your H&C application, consult with an experienced immigration lawyer or consultant for guidance tailored to your situation.

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