Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C)
Humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) consideration provides the flexibility to grant permanent residence status or a permanent resident visa to certain foreign nationals who would otherwise not qualify in any class, in cases in which there are compelling H&C grounds. Humanitarian and compassionate grounds apply to people with exceptional cases.
Factors for H&C consideration
The applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Several factors are considered in the application process, including:
The H&C decision-making process is a highly discretionary one that considers whether a special grant of an exemption from a requirement of the Act is warranted. This means that officers have a lot of freedom in deciding these applications. Officer’s decision is based on evidence and information provided in the submission. The onus is entirely upon the applicant to be clear in the submission as to exactly what hardship they would face if they were not granted the requested exemption(s). Because there is usually no interview, it is important to send the best possible evidence to support the application and explain all the reasons to stay in Canada.
Reasons for applying under H&C grounds
People usually apply for H&C for two main reasons (e.g. hardship and risk).
Hardship refers to a situation that would cause you serious problems or suffering. You may decide to apply for H&C if you would face hardship if forced to leave Canada and return to your home country.
Medical problems do not usually make your case stronger unless you or a family member risks death because your home country does not offer adequate or appropriate medical treatment. If this is your situation, you must include information about the medical condition in your H&C application, as well as medical information from experts in your home country confirming the danger you or your family member faces if forced to return to your home country.
To prove you would face hardship if deported to your home country you must show you are already well established in Canada. Consider the following factors that contribute to your level of establishment in Canada.
Risk means a serious possibility any of the following might happen to you if you are forced to leave Canada for your home country. You must prove you face one or more of these risks.
Persecution (e.g. being treated badly due to your political or religious beliefs)
Risk of persecution
A Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) officer will review any H&C application containing information about the risks of having to leave Canada. You will not be deported until the PRRA officer has reviewed your application and made a decision.
Poor educational facilities and the possibility of unemployment in your home country are not proof of risk. To determine risk, PRRA officers will only consider new evidence. They can, however, consider important evidence that was not available at the time of your refugee hearing, including medical evidence of torture or evidence of conditions in your home country that affect you. If you are at risk of persecution but have not made a refugee claim, consider making one now. In addition to Convention refugees, Canada protects people who may not fit the UN refugee definition.
If you have children, include opinion letters about them in your H&C application. School counsellors, community health workers, family doctors, teachers, social workers, or psychologists can write letters about the negative mental/physical effects returning to your home country would have on your children. The officer who review your application must consider “the best interests of the child,” i.e. whether your child/children are better off staying in Canada or going
back to your home country with you. The officer will determine how close your children’s ties are to Canada based on whether or not they were born in Canada, whether or not they attend(ed) school in Canada and whether or not they have ever been to your home country.