What are Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications?

A Humanitarian and Compassionate Application (H & C) allows for an applicant to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. It is used in exceptional cases. It enables the applicant to apply for their permanent residence on the grounds of H & C and is used for those individuals who do not meet the requirements under any of the other permanent residence categories. H & C application is available also to convention refugees and persons in risk of persecution.

Getting Started

Before an individual begins an H & C application, there are a number of factors to understand first:

Unless waiting for a decision on a PreRemoval Risk Assessment Application, an H & C application does not prevent deportation.

H & C decisions are determined on a casebycase basis.

There must be sufficient and relevant proof pertaining to the H & C grounds.

There is a government processing fee of $550 per adult and $150 per child.

How to build a strong humanitarian and compassionate application

A strong application begins with the right reasons for applying. An H & C application is usually made as a last resort and the applicant must show/prove the immediate need to stay in Canada. There is an endless list of reasons to apply under an H & C application. The two most common ones are used by refugee applicants and they arehardshipandrisk.

Hardship includes a situation where an applicant is or will face serious problem and suffering should he or she be forced to move back to their home country. This can include reasons such as no government in charge, not recognized as a citizen in your home country anymore, medical hardship, need an exemption from one or more requirements of theImmigration and Refugee Protection Act(IRPA) or Regulationsin order to apply for permanent residence within Canada, belief you would endure unusual/undeserved hardship if you are not granted the exemption, etc.

Medical hardship is not always a reason to apply under H & C grounds. A reason to use medical hardship is if you or a family member risk death by returning to your home country due to poor or no medical treatment.

To prove hardship an applicant must display that they are wellestablished in Canada. As each case is different, it is important to provide the best evidence displaying your circumstances. Proving your hardship and establishment in Canada is dependent on factors that you present to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

For example:

  • How long the applicant has lived in Canada.
  • Collecting welfare, if applicable.
  • Ability to understand and speak English/ French and taking action to improve in them.
  • Improve/ further education while in Canada
  • Any relatives in Canada and if you are in contact with them
  • Any Canadianborn children.
  • How much family you have in your home country and if you are in contact with them.
  • Any jobs in Canada/ keeping up with tax payments.
  • Current employment.
  • Any assets abroad.
  • References from people in Canada. (ie. Teachers, friends, work, volunteer etc.)
  • Community involvement.
  • Specific hardship faced if returned to home country. (ie. Being a woman and having limited rights)

This list is nonexhaustive and can continue on for whatever reasons an applicant has that would make him/her face hardship should they return to their home country.

Applying under H & C ground because ofriskmeans that you cannot return to your home country because of at least one of the following:

  • Persecution
  • Torture
  • Risk to life
  • Risk of cruel or unusual punishment

Should the applicant have a PRRA application, they do not risk deportation until a decision is made on that case. PRRA officers only consider new evidence should you already have had a refugee hearing. However, they can sometimes consider important evidence pivotal to your case that was not available during a refugee hearing (eg. Medical evidence, proof of torture etc). If you are in Canada and have not yet made a refugee claim, do so immediately. You must display that you are in immediate danger of persecution and not delay on this matter.


A Canadian immigration officer is bound to consider the best interests of a child. Should you have children involved in your case ensure to display:

  • Any ties the child has to Canada
  • If the child was born in Canada
  • Is the child attending school in Canada?
  • Have they ever been to your home country?

Common Mistakes

Many applications are refused for minuscule mistakes or inadequate information. Ensure that you submit a strong application and avoid making the following common mistakes.

  • The applicant’s only or main ties to Canada is their job and paid taxes.
  • The applicant has been on welfare for a long period of time.
  • Criminal activity.
  • Not personally affected by persecution or human rights in home country.
  • Not disclosing ALL relevant information (even if it is weak).
  • Misrepresenting yourself/situation.
  • Basing claim on poor educational facilities and poor employment opportunities.
  • Not filing application in time.
  • Have a pending refugee claim.

How we can help

If any of the following mistakes seem like something that would apply to you it may be best to not consider applying or hiring a lawyer to represent you. There are many advantages in hiring a lawyer and at A. Princewill Law Firm, we know how to assist you in turning a weak H & C application into a strong one.

Let our immigration lawyers and dedicated team of staff help you overcome a weak application and put together a strong application that addresses all your hardships/risks. We know what CIC is looking for and we will effectively analyze your situation to point out any weaknesses.

Book a consultation today to get started!