Canada Immigration and the H&C

Canada provides a special immigration route to Permanent Residency for some on what are called Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds (H&C).

This program is granted in a very limited number of cases and is generally not favored compared to the many other ways that people can immigrate to Canada.

H&C Immigration

Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds refers to a need that an immigrant may have to get a Permanent Residence card because they have already settled in Canada and it would be a great hardship to be removed.

Other reasons that the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) may take into consideration when you apply for H&C are if the applicant already has family ties in Canada, if it would affect the children adversely or if the immigrant applicant would be in any danger if forced to leave Canada.

Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds have many requirements for application and it is very important to follow them closely. Below are some examples of the requirements, further research may be necessary.

  • People applying for H&C can only do so if they are already applying for Permanent Residency and not temporary residency. It doesn’t matter which country the applicant is using to apply for Permanent Residency.
  • If an immigrant is already applying for a refugee visa, they cannot apply on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds as well.
  • If in the past year the IRB has decided against an immigrant’s case they cannot apply on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds.
  • Irregular arrivals (immigrants who landed in Canada without the appropriate paperwork) must wait five years before applying for Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds.

The gist of the program is that it is designed to help immigrants who did not necessarily enter Canada legally, but who have forged deep bonds in the community, to remain within the country.