What are Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications
Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications, commonly referred to as H&C applications, are permanent residence applications filed from within Canada. These applications are intended for individuals who lack immigration status in Canada but have established themselves. If you or someone you know is residing in Canada without appropriate documentation, there are viable avenues to explore. An H&C application could lead to acquiring Canadian permanent residence status.
H&C applications are applications for permanent residence from within Canada based on humanitarian grounds. Humanitarian or H&C grounds are a global assessment of all H&C factors. H&C factors include establishment in Canada, thee best interests of any child directly affected by the application, hardship or adverse country conditions the Applicant would be exposed to if left Canada etc. (see below).
H&C applications are an exceptional measures that allow immigration authorities to grant exemptions from the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or Regulations to deserving cases that are not covered by the legislation.
H&C applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all the relevant factors and circumstances of the applicant. The decision on an H&C application is discretionary and final, and there is no guarantee of approval.
This article will explain what H&C applications are, who can apply for them, how to apply for them, and what factors are considered in the assessment of H&C applications.
Who Qualifies for Humanitarian and Compassionate?
Applicants can use the H&C application to receive Canadian PR on humanitarian and compassionate grounds if you:
You CAN apply for permanent residence under H&C if you:
- are a foreign national currently living in Canada without immigration status. Foreign Nationals commonly applicable for an H&C application include:
- Overstay of Visitor Visa who have remained in Canada for a long period of time
- Former study permit holders who remained in Canada after expiry of immigration status
- Refused Refugee Claimants whose 12 year bar has expired
- Former temporary foreign workers wh remained in Canada after expiry of work permit (Caregivers, Seasonal Farmers who remained in Canada, any worker)
- need an exemption from one or more requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or Regulations in order to apply for Canadian PR
- believe humanitarian and compassionate considerations justify granting the exemption(s)
You CANNOT apply permanent residence under H&C if you:
- are a refugee claimant or have a pending refugee claim;
- have been refused refugee protection in the last 12 months;
- are inadmissible for security, human or international rights violations, serious criminality, or organized criminality reasons;
- have submitted an H&C application for which a decision has not been made
- are a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.
NOTE: This program is not for those who seek protection. If you are seeking protection to avoid persecution, danger, etc. the refugee protection program is applicable.
How to apply for H&C applications?
To apply for an H&C application, you need to follow these steps:
- Fill out the application forms and gather the supporting documents. You can find the application package and the instruction guide here. Now you need to fill out the application in the PR portal. You will need to fill out the following forms online:
- Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
- Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
- Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
- Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations (IMM 5283)
- You also need to provide documents to prove your identity, status, education, work, income, family, and H&C grounds. You may need to provide translations if your documents are not in English or French.
- Pay the application fees and the biometric fees. You need to pay the processing fee of $550 for yourself and each of your dependants, and the right of permanent residence fee of $515 for yourself and your spouse or common-law partner. You also need to pay the biometric fee of $85 for yourself and each of your dependants, unless you are exempt. You can pay the fees online here.
- Submit your application online. You can submit your application online through the Permanent Residence Online Application Portal here. You need to sign in or create an account, upload your forms and documents, and pay your fees.
- Wait for the processing of your application and provide updates. The processing time of your application may vary depending on the complexity of your case and the volume of applications. You can check the status of your application online here. You may be asked to provide additional information, such as police certificates, medical exams, or interviews. You must comply with these requests within the given deadlines.
- Receive the decision on your application and complete the final steps. If your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation of permanent residence. You will also receive instructions on how to complete the landing process and become a permanent resident. If your application is refused, you will receive a refusal letter explaining the reasons for the decision and your options to appeal or re-apply.
What factors are considered in the assessment of H&C applications?
The assessment of H&C applications is based on a balance of all the relevant factors and circumstances of the applicant. There is no fixed formula or checklist for determining the outcome of an H&C application. However, some of the common factors that are considered are:
These factors are not exhaustive or exclusive, and other factors may also be relevant depending on the specific case. The weight and significance of each factor may vary depending on the evidence and the context. The immigration authorities will assess the overall merits of the application and decide whether there are sufficient and compelling H&C grounds to warrant an exemption from the requirements of the IRPA or Regulations.
Tips for submitting H&C Applications
- Be honest and consistent: You should provide truthful and accurate information in your application and supporting documents. You should also avoid any contradictions or inconsistencies in your statements or evidence. If there are any changes or updates in your situation, you should inform the immigration authorities as soon as possible. Lying or misrepresenting facts can lead to the refusal of your application or even criminal charges.
- Be clear and convincing: You should explain your H&C grounds in a clear and convincing manner with supporting documentation. You should provide specific examples and details that demonstrate how your circumstances warrant special consideration. You should also address any potential weaknesses or challenges in your case and provide reasons or evidence to overcome them. You should avoid vague or general statements that do not show your personal situation or hardship.
- Be comprehensive and relevant: You should provide comprehensive and relevant evidence to support your H&C grounds. You should include documents that show your establishment in Canada, your hardship, the best interests of the child, your de facto family members, and your family relationships. You should also include documents that show the country conditions and the risks that you or your family would face if you had to leave Canada or apply from abroad. You should also include documents that show the positive impact that your stay in Canada would have on yourself, your family, and the Canadian society.
- Be organized and timely: You should organize your application and documents in a logical and coherent way. You should follow the instructions and guidelines provided by the immigration authorities. You should also submit your application and documents in a timely manner. You should also respond to any requests for additional information or interviews within the given deadlines. You should also keep copies of your application and documents for your own records.
Frequently Asked Questions
The processing period for these applications typically spans 12 to 18 months, and occasionally longer, contingent on the specifics of the case. Throughout the application process, the applicant remains in Canada with their current status pending a decision. It’s advisable not to travel outside Canada during the H&C process.
Completing the application forms and assembling supporting documentation that illustrates the aforementioned factors is imperative for a strong H&C application. Once the application package is completed and the government processing fee is acquired, submission can proceed. This package should encompass a meticulous submission letter that elaborates on all the H&C aspects pertinent to the applicant, establishing the reasons for the case’s approval by the assessing immigration officer. It’s crucial to note that H&C cases are at the discretion of the assessing immigration officer, who holds the authority to either approve or decline based on their own evaluation. Hence, the creation of a compelling submission letter and the collection of persuasive supporting documentation are of utmost importance to bolster the Humanitarian and Compassionate Application.
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).
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!
Why Hire Us to Help with Your H & C Application?
If you find yourself without legal status in Canada, there are options to attain immigration status. The process of applying for H&C cases can be intricate, and those who opt to proceed without the guidance of an immigration lawyer often encounter avoidable difficulties. In the realm of H&Cs, the specter of deportation is a genuine concern. This underscores the importance of entrusting a legal team specialized in H&C cases to provide the optimal opportunity for remaining in Canada and attaining legal residency. Our track record includes aiding numerous individuals in their successful immigration to Canada through the Humanitarian and Compassionate application. Our seasoned immigration lawyers possess the expertise to evaluate your situation and offer tailored recommendations to cater to your requirements.