Humanitarian and Compassionate
The Humanitarian and Compassionate permanent residence program applies to those who may not qualify under one of the other available permanent residence programs. The Humanitarian and Compassionate program only applies to those with exceptional circumstances.
When examining a request for permanent residence under the Humanitarian and Compassionate program, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Immigration Canada) will examine:
- How a foreign national has settled in Canada. This includes their employment and studies in Canada, the length of time they have spent in Canada, their language abilities in English and/or French, community involvement;
- The foreign national’s family ties to Canada;
- The best interests of any children involved, including Canadian and foreign born children;
- The situation in the foreign national’s home country; and
- The impact and hardship on the foreign national and their family members if the foreign national’s request is denied.
A foreign national may apply for permanent residence under the Humanitarian and Compassionate program either while already in Canada, or from outside Canada. However, in recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to receive a positive decision on an application made from outside Canada.
A foreign national who has made a refugee claim in Canada is not eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Humanitarian and Compassionate program while their claim is pending. If a refugee claimant wishes to apply for permanent residence under the Humanitarian and Compassionate program, they must withdraw their claim before it is heard before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. If a foreign national has received a refusal on their refugee claim, they cannot apply for permanent residence under the Humanitarian and Compassionate program until 12 months have passed from the date of decision. There are exceptions to the one year bar, which includes those who have children under the age of 18 who would be adversely affected if the foreign national was removed from Canada, or if a dependant (spouse, partner or child) suffers from a life threatening medical condition that cannot be treated in their home country.
In order for a foreign national to be successful under the Humanitarian and Compassionate permanent residence program, a strong application package with documentary evidence must be presented. It is important that there be detailed submissions on the reasons why a foreign national should be granted status under this category. If an application for in-Canada permanent residence under the Humanitarian and Compassionate program is refused, the foreign national may only appeal the decision with the Federal Court of Canada.