Who qualifies for Humanitarian and Compassionate?
Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications, or “H & Cs”, are Canadian permanent residence applications that are filed from within Canada. They are for people who do not have legal status in Canada but who have still made Canada their home. If you are someone, or you know someone, 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 would be eligible for H&Cs if they have established themselves in Canada by virtue the following:
- Family ties to Canadian permanent residents or Canadian citizens
- Employment in Canada often without a valid Canadian work permit
- Education in Canada often without a valid Study Permit in Canada
- Volunteer work in Canada
- Upgrade of English or French skills
- Savings and property in Canada
- Social ties to Canada in their communities
How an H & C Candidate is Assessed
A good candidate for an H&C application would be someone who has resided in Canada for a number of years and who has some of the factors listed above. Often such applicants do not qualify for other Canadian permanent residence categories such as the Skilled Worker category where applicants are assessed on their English skills or education or work experience.
A typical applicant may be a labourer with little education but has managed to support him or herself in Canada.
Hardship in home country
A major component of H & C cases is the potential suffering of undue hardship if you are required to return to your home country. It is important to explore an applicant’s background in terms of the social, economic or personal hardship they or their family would be subject to in their home country. Note that the applicant for Humanitarian and Compassionate cases does not have to be subject to persecution. H & C cases are not Refugee cases. However, without showing hardship, it may be difficult to succeed in your application for Canadian permanent residence under the Humanitarian and Compassionate Category.
Most Common FAQ's
What is the Procedure for H & C Applications?
The completion of application forms, and supporting documentation showing the factors above are necessary for a good H & C application. Once the application package is complete and the government processing fee is collected, the application can be submitted. The application package should have a very detailed submission letter outlining all the H & C factors of the applicant and should explain why the immigration officer assessing the case should approve the application.
Note that H & C cases are discretionary, that is, the immigration officer assessing the case can refuse or approve the case based on their own assessment. Therefore it is extremely important to prepare a very strong submission letter and collect persuasive supporting documentation in support of the Humanitarian and Compassionate Application.
How long does the application take to process?
Applications can take around 18-24 months to process, but sometimes longer depending on the case.
During the application process, the applicant remains in Canada to await a decision. It is not recommended that the applicant travel outside of Canada during the H & C process. An interview may be required, as well as a request for additional documentation. Interviews will be conducted at their local CIC office.
What happens if my H & C application is approved?
If your Humanitarian and Compassionate application is approved, you will be asked to undergo immigration medical exams and obtain police clearances. Once the medicals and police clearances are passed, you will be called in to pick up your Canadian Permanent Residence Card (PR Card).
What happens if my H & C application is refused?
If your Humanitarian and Compassionate application is refused, then it is essential to act fast! You have only 15 days to appeal the refusal to the Federal Court of Canada. Appealing to the Federal Court involves showing the judge that the immigration officer who refused your case made some errors in law and/or fact. This is not an easy job. However, success is indeed possible. Immigration officers do make mistakes!