H&C PR applications (Humanitarian and Compassionate PR)

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The Canadian immigration laws made provisions to consider unique scenarios where applicants need to stay permanently in Canada, but they do not qualify for any immigration programs. In such exceptional circumstances, applicants can get exemptions from specific requirements based on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds.

H&C grounds are usually used as a last resort, and the percentage of approvals is extremely low. As the H&C application is unique, IRCC assesses it on a case-by-case basis, and not everyone is eligible to apply for H&C.

Individuals who find themselves in Canada without status who have been living in Canada for at least 3 years may be good candidates to apply for PR through H&C.

The legal test sets out specifically that applicants must clearly demonstrate that they would experience unusual and undeserved or disproportionate hardship if they were required to leave Canada.

The application will be assessed on the information the applicant provides and a decision will be made based on the applicant’s personal circumstances and whether these particular circumstances merit H&C consideration. Applications to become a permanent resident on H&C grounds are approved only in exceptional circumstances. It can take many years to process an application.

There is no guarantee that your application will be approved. If refused, in certain cases asking the Federal Court of Canada to review the decision is advisable. Many in-land H&C applications are based on a significant degree on economic and cultural establishment in Canada.

Factors that will be considered:

  1. Does the applicant have a history of stable employment?
  2. Is there a pattern of sound financial management?
  3. Has the applicant integrated into the community through community organizations, volunteer or other activities
  4. What hardship would occur if the application for a visa exemption were refused:
  • the level of inter-dependency, support available in the home country

  • whether the applicant is able to work

  • is there a significant degree of establishment

Immigration Legislation also cites a statutory obligation to take into consideration the best interests of the child when examining and deciding the circumstances of a foreign national making a H&C Application. This is one of the strongest factors that can be argued under H&C applications.