Humanitarian & Compassionate

Humanitarian & Compassionate

In Canada, the Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) application process allows individuals who are in Canada without legal status or facing exceptional circumstances to apply for permanent residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. This process takes into consideration the unique and compelling factors of an individual's situation that warrant special consideration outside the regular immigration channels.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for an H&C application, an individual must demonstrate that they meet certain criteria:

Established in Canada

Applicants need to prove that they have established themselves in Canada, often through their length of stay, community involvement, family ties, and other integration factors.

Exceptional and Unusual Hardship

The applicant must demonstrate that they or their family members would face exceptional and unusual hardship if they were to leave Canada. This hardship could be related to factors such as health, safety, family separation, and personal circumstances.

Best Interests of a Child

If the applicant has dependent children, their best interests are given significant consideration. The potential negative impact on the child's well-being if they were forced to leave Canada is an important factor.

Inadmissibility Concerns

Even if an applicant meets the above criteria, they may still be found inadmissible due to criminality, security concerns, or other factors. Inadmissibility issues can complicate the H&C application process.

Application Process

An H&C application has 2 stages. You can only stay in Canada if your application is approved at both stages:
  • You are allowed to apply for permanent residence in Canada for humanitarian and compassionate reasons, and
  • You are approved for permanent resident status in Canada.

If you are approved at the first stage, you could still be refused at the second stage. This happens if you don’t meet the requirements for permanent resident status. Because IRCC doesn’t usually interview you, it is important to:

  • send the best evidence you have to support your application, and
  • explain all your reasons to stay in Canada.

Step 5 talks about the types of evidence you can use to show you lived with your partner and to prove abuse or neglect.

Learn about humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds if needed

In some cases, you may be able to apply to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate (often called H&C) grounds. This is another way to apply for permanent resident status. Humanitarian and compassionate grounds or reasons can be anything that makes others feel compassion and want to help. If you decide to make an H&C application, you must give any reasons that you believe support your application. You must also give any evidence that shows why you believe there are humanitarian and compassionate reasons to allow you to stay in Canada.