Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Applications

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Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Applications

Foreigners in Canada who are at risk of facing some special hardships, should they go back to their country of citizenship or permanent residence, may apply for Canadian PR (permanent residency) on H&C (Humanitarian and Compassionate) grounds.

H&C applications are in-Canada requests where IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) may grant PR to a foreigner if there are compelling reasons to allow the applicant to live in Canada.

Section 25 of the IRPA (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act) permits an immigration officer to waive most immigration laws provisions if there is justification to do so on H&C grounds.

Who may qualify for H&C?

A person without legal status may qualify to apply for Canadian Humanitarian and Compassionate PR if they can demonstrate that they have established themselves in the country by virtue of factors, including:

  • The adverse conditions in the person’s country of citizenship or residency
  • Strong family ties to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Previous working experience in Canada generally without a work permit
  • Any volunteer work they did in Canada
  • How long the person has been in Canada
  • Whether the conditions that made the person remain in the country were beyond their control
  • Property and savings in Canada
  • Upgrade of French or English skills
  • Strong social ties Canadian communities
  • Whether the person and their family members in Canada have a good civil record

Foreigners who apply for PR on humanitarian and compassionate grounds are generally people living in Canada illegally. These people may be inadmissible to the country on various grounds. Thus, an H&C application allows illegal immigrants to request PR on humanitarian grounds.

Persons with failed refugee claims may also apply for PR on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, particularly if at least 12 months have passed and a minor is involved. Moreover, a person who may qualify PR but IRCC found them inadmissible for reasons such as some legal barriers, or minor criminality may qualify to win Canadian residency under H&C grounds.

Who may not qualify to apply for H&C?

There are some situations where a foreigner is not eligible to apply for residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. If an applicant falls under the following circumstances, Canada may reject their H&C application:

  • Persons applying for PR status from outside Canada
  • Persons we’ve already applied for Canadian temporary resident permit
  • You have made multiple H&C applications at once
  • Your refugee claim is still pending.
  • You have received a rejection from IRB within the year of an H&C application.

How long does the application take?

After submitting your PR application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, the following step is often the hardest: waiting. Bear in mind that an H&C application is typically a slow process. Usually, the processing takes between 24 and 36 months.

However, the waiting time varies from case to case, and your case could take even longer. While you wait for a decision on your application, the Canadian government will allow you to remain in the country.

It is better not to leave the country during the waiting time because you may be called upon at any time for an interview or submit additional documentation.

What if your H&C application is rejected?

If you receive a negative position on your H&C application, you will have to leave Canada almost immediately. However, the Canadian immigration law allows you to appeal the decision.

You can file an appeal to the Federal Court. It would be better if you acted quickly as any time you waste at this stage will jeopardize your case. You only have 15 days to file a Judicial Review at the Federal Court of Canada.

The appeal process is a complex legal battle that requires the help of a skilled immigration lawyer.