How to become a Permanent Resident through H & C grounds

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Who could apply?

Those people who would not be eligible to become permanent residents of Canada may be able to apply on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, also known as H & C grounds. Basically, it is for those who have exceptional cases and can’t go back home. This type of application is assessed on a case by case basis.

What are the major factors to be considered?

There are four major factors:

  • Your children’s best interest;
  • Your family ties to Canada;
  • How well you are settled in Canada;
  • Possible consequences if you are not granted the request.
Additional factors to be considered:
  • It is only for permanent resident applications not for temporary resident applications.
  • You can only have one H & C application at the same time.
  • Risk factors are not assessed by Immigration Canada.
  • Those who have claimed refugee cannot apply for H & C. You have to withdraw your refugee claim to apply for H & C.
  • One year bar: if you had a negative decision on your refugee claim from the IRB within the last 12 months (i.e. abandoned, withdraw or negative decision on refugee claim), you can’t use this option. However, this bar doesn’t apply if:
    • Any children under 18 would be badly affected, or
    • You can prove that you or one of your dependents suffer from a life-threatening medical condition and cannot be treated in your country.
Designated Foreign National

If you enter or try to enter Canada illegally, then you are considered a “designated foreign national.” In this case, you can’t apply H & C grounds until five years have passed since:

    • the day you became a designated foreign national and/or
    • the IRB made a final negative decision on your refugee claim and/or
    • you got a negative decision on a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA).
Removal Order

If you have a removal order, you may be able to apply to stay in Canada on H & C grounds, unless any of the above restrictions apply to you. However, this will not prevent or delay your removal from Canada. You must leave on or before the date stated on your removal order. Immigration Canada will still process your application even if you have to leave Canada. You will get the decision in writing about your case.

If your application is not approved, there is no right to appeal a refused application for permanent residence on H & C grounds. However, in some cases, you can apply to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review.

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