Humanitarian & Compassionate Grounds

Who qualifies for Humanitarian & Compassionate?


Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications, or “H & Cs,” are Canadian permanent residence applications that are filed from within Canada. Individuals who won’t routinely be eligible to become permanent residents of Canada might be able to apply on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. These individuals don’t have a legal status in Canada, however have made Canada their home.


If you or your known, who is living in Canada without the proper paperwork, there still are options! You may be able to qualify for an H & C and obtain Canadian permanent residence status.


Individuals without legal status will be qualified for H & Cs if they have settled themselves in Canada by virtue of:


  • How settled the individual is in Canada
  • Family ties in Canada
  • Best interest of the children, if any
  • Social ties within Canada and their communities
  • Consequences if the request if rejected, hardships you will face if you return to your home country.
  • Volunteer work in Canada
  • If the person upgraded their language skills- English & French


Rules for Humanitarian & Compassionate Applications:


Certain rules and restrictions apply to people basis which they cannot apply under the H&C ground:

  • If an individual has been classified as a “designated foreign arrival” because of the way they arrived in Canada, they cannot apply under H&C grounds until 5 years have passed.
  • An individual may only apply for H &C grounds if they are applying for permanent resident status in Canada not temporary resident permit.
  • An individual cannot have more than one H&C grounds application at the same time.
  • Risk factors such as persecution, risk to life, cruel and unusual treatment or punishment are not assessed under H&C
  • If an individual has a pending refugee claim, they cannot apply under H&C. If they intend to apply under H&C, they have to withdraw their refugee claim application from IRB.
  • One Year Bar: If an individual received a negative decision from IRB in the last 12 months, they can’t apply for H&C ground. Exceptions to the bar:
    • They have children under 18 who would be adversely affected if removed from Canada, or
    • An individual can prove that they or their dependents may suffer life threatening medical issues that can’t be catered to in their home country.


Documentary Evidence:


This is not an exhaustive list. Each case requires documents as per the need to the case and one should consult with your representative regarding the same. However, they should have these documents handy: Letters from family members, letters from friends and community members, letters from religious or volunteer organizations, proof of employment, pay stubs, education details of children within Canada, if any, photographs of time spent in Canada, medical and bank records.


If an individual is ordered to leave Canada, they might be able to apply to stay on H &C grounds. However, this will not stop or delay the removal from Canada but the application will be processed even if the individual is outside Canada. One should still leave Canada on or before the date ordered.


If the application is rejected, one may apply to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of the negative H&C.


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