Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) cases

In Canadian immigration law, Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) cases refer to a specific category of applications for permanent residence that are evaluated based on exceptional circumstances and compelling humanitarian or compassionate reasons. These cases offer a pathway for individuals who do not typically qualify for permanent resident status to be considered due to their unique and challenging situations. The objective of H&C cases is to ensure that individuals facing significant hardships or risks are given a fair opportunity to stay in Canada.

H&C cases can encompass various scenarios, including:

  • Risk to Life or Safety: Situations where the applicant or their family members face serious risks to their life, safety, or well-being if returned to their home country, such as violence, persecution, or dangerous living conditions.
  • Best Interests of a Child: Cases where removal from Canada would severely impact a child’s well-being or development, especially when Canadian-born or permanent resident children are involved.
  • Medical Hardship: Circumstances where the applicant or a family member has serious medical issues requiring specialized treatment or care unavailable in their home country.
  • Family Separation: Situations where separating family members would cause extreme hardship, such as a spouse or child facing persecution or harm.
  • Established Roots in Canada: Applicants who have developed strong community ties, such as employment, education, volunteer work, or long-term residence, and whose removal would result in significant hardship for themselves and those connected to them.


What kind of documentation is required for an H&C application?

An H&C application requires thorough documentation to support the claims made. This can include medical reports, letters from community members, employment records, educational transcripts, proof of community involvement, and any other relevant evidence that demonstrates the hardship or exceptional circumstances faced by the applicant.

How important is legal advice in preparing an H&C application?

Legal advice is often crucial in preparing an H&C application. Given the discretionary nature of these cases and the need for compelling evidence, legal professionals can help applicants present a well-documented and persuasive case to immigration authorities. They can assist in gathering necessary documentation, preparing legal arguments, and navigating the complex immigration process.

What is the importance of the best interests of a child in H&C cases?

In H&C cases, the best interests of any child involved are given significant consideration. Immigration officers assess how removal from Canada would affect the child’s well-being, development, and overall life. This is especially crucial when the child is Canadian-born or a permanent resident, as their welfare is a primary concern in the decision-making process.

How are H&C applications evaluated?

H&C applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by immigration officers who consider the unique factors and circumstances presented. The application process involves providing detailed evidence and documentation to support claims of hardship or exceptional circumstances. Each case is judged on its individual merits, and decisions are discretionary.

Can work experience or community involvement in Canada strengthen an H&C case?

Yes, work experience and community involvement in Canada can significantly strengthen an H&C case. Demonstrating strong ties to the community through employment, volunteer work, education, and long-term residence can highlight the applicant’s contributions to Canadian society and the hardships they would face if removed.

What happens if an H&C application is successful?

If an H&C application is successful, the applicant may be granted permanent resident status in Canada based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. This allows them to stay in Canada legally and access the rights and benefits associated with having permanent resident status.

How We Can Help

Our Eligibility Assessment for Permanent Residence in Canada is a specialized consultation that helps you determine your eligibility for permanent residence through various immigration programs, including Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

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