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Humanitarian & Compassionate  (H&C) Immigration

About Humanitarian and Compassionate immigration

Section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) allows the officers to exempt individuals from almost any immigration law requirements if it is justified by humanitarian and compassionate considerations. Exemptions are not permitted for the following reasons: security, human rights violations, and organized criminality.

Applicants may appeal for H&C discretion both from inside and outside Canada. For example, a medically inadmissible parent (who applies under the Parent / Grandparent Sponsorship Program) may appeal for H&C discretion in his / her sponsorship application.

Or the applicant can be completely ineligible but still can request admission based on Humanitarian & Compassionate grounds. There is no separate H&C application from outside Canada. Instead, reasons for H&C discretion must be provided in a regular permanent / temporary residence application.

On the contrary, a separate H&C application can be filed if the applicant is inside Canada. A few popular scenarios for inland H&C applications are:

  • failed refugee claimants file an H&C applications in the  final attempt to stay in Canada;
  • a parent  / grandparent asks for H&C discretion if they want to stay with their families in Canada;
  • a temporary foreign workers (for example, seasonal agricultural workers).

What are H&C grounds?

In general, following Kanthasamy V Canada (Citizenship & Immigration) case,  officers are instructed to consider if the circumstances of the applicant "would excite in a reasonable [person] in a civilized community  a desire to relieve the misfortunates of another."

Here are some other grounds that officers are considering in an H&C application:
  • hardhsip (including if returned to the country of origin);
  • best interests of a child (children);
  • establishment in Canada for inland applications;
  • ties to Canada;
  • factors in the coutry of origin including adverse country conditions;
  • inability of the country to provide medical treatment;
  • family violence considerations;
  • consequences of the separation of relatives;
  • inability to leave Canada has led to establishment in Canada;
  • ability to establish in Canada for outland applications;
  • other unique and exceptional circumstances.

One-year H&C Bar

Failed refugee claimants are prohibited from applying for Humanitarian & Compassionate Considerations for 12 months since the date of the negative decision of the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), or the Federal Court.

There are two exceptions to this bar:
  • medical condition posing a risk to life;
  • best interests of the child (under 18 years of age).

How we can help you with an application for permanent residence based on Humanitarian & Compassionate considerations?

Humanitarian & Compassionate applications are not regular. Each one is unique, and each one should present its merits in the best light to grant a positive decision.

To grant an exception from the Canadian immigration laws, the officer must become absolutely assured that your circumstances are unique and they justify granting you the status of the permanent resident of Canada bypassing all immigration laws and regulations.

H&C application is not about filling out the forms and filing them to IRCC Backlog Reduction Office in Vancouver, British Columbia. It's about building a story based on the true events of your life that should, preferrably, be proved by documentary evidence.

H&C applications are some of the largest cases that we file, as we need to demonstrate so much evidence of your circumstances, your establishment in Canada and your ties to Canada, your role in the community, considerations of the medical professionals, letters of support etc.

Building an H&C application requires careful strategy and consideration. The onus is on the applicant to prove that they deserve the exemption. Canadian immigration authorities are scrutinizing such applications and official statistics say that most of them are denied.

For many, H&C application is one last chance to stay in Canada. This is why it is so important to not waste this chance and make the best out of your case.

At Sokolov Immigration, we are committed to unite families and secure successful outcome of H&C applications. We will prepare a strong and convincing case that will highlight what the officer is looking for and will maximize your chances for a favourable result.


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