Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds Application

Humanitarian and compassionate ground applications are for people who are not normally eligible to become permanent residents of Canada.

An H&C application is an application for permanent residence for people with exceptional cases. Cases where, having regard to all of the circumstances, including the exceptional nature of these cases, the applicant can demonstrate that decent, fair-minded Canadians would find it simply unacceptable to deny the relief sought. Each case is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

What factors are considered in humanitarian and compassionate ground applications? 

Establishment in Canada 

This may include, 

  • How settled you are in Canada
  • Whether you have any general family ties to Canada

Factors that may be considered when assessing establishment in Canada include: 

  • Work history 
  • academic accomplishments in Canada 
  • Financial establishment 
  • Length of time in Canada 
  • Community involvement 
  • Family ties 

The best interest of any children involved 

This may include, 

  • How any children in Canada or abroad would be affected by the decision 
  • Would any children derive any benefit or suffer hardship if the applicant is removed 

Canada's humanitarian and compassionate tradition supports that notion that children are rarely or never deserving of hardship. 

Factors that may be considered when assessing the best interest of any child involved include: 

  • the children's age 
  • the applicant's financial support to the children 
  • the country conditions that affect the children 
  • matters related to the children's gender 

What would happen if the H&C application is not granted

 This may include, 

  • a global assessment of all relevant factors 
  • any unique or exceptional circumstances that merit relief
  • any unusual, undeserved, or disproportionate hardship 

Factors that may be considered when assessing what would happen if the H&C application is not granted, include: 

  • a medical condition that cannot be treated in the home country 
  • how your physical health or mental health would be affected 
  • fear of violence or abuse in home country 
  • discrimination in home country 
  • lack of family support in home country 
  • economic impact 

Frequently Asked Questions - Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds Applications: 

How is a humanitarian and compassionate ground application different than an application for refugee status? 

Refugee protection assesses different factors than H&C applications. The factors assessed in a refugee claim include 

  • persecution 
  • risk to life 
  • cruel and unusual treatment or punishment

Keep in mind that you cannot apply for H&C if you have a pending refugee claim. After a negative decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, you may need to wait 12 months or have a "one year bar" before you can apply for H&C. 

It is important to seek legal advice to help you determine which claim is most appropriate in your circumstances. 

Where can I apply for H&C relief? 

You can apply from within Canada and from abroad. Historically, there is a much higher rate of approval for applications made from within Canada. 

My temporary resident visa was denied. Can I apply for relief based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds? 

No. Humanitarian and compassionate relief is only available for permanent resident status in Canada. 

I applied for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds but I have not received a decision. My circumstances have changed, can I submit another application? 

No. You cannot have more than one humanitarian and compassionate grounds application at the same time. You should seek legal advice to discover how you can amend your current application. 

I am in Canada due to human trafficking for labour exploitation or sexual exploitation, can I apply for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate ground applications? 

Yes, you may be eligible. Let's talk about how we may be able to help you.