In Canadian immigration law, “Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) cases” refer to a specific category of applications for permanent residence that are considered on the basis of exceptional circumstances and compelling humanitarian or compassionate reasons. These cases are meant to provide a way for individuals who would not normally qualify for permanent residency to be considered due to their unique and challenging situations.
Humanitarian and Compassionate cases can encompass various scenarios, including:
- Risk to Life or Safety: Cases where the applicant or their family members face serious risks to their life, safety, or well-being if returned to their home country. This could include situations of violence, persecution, or dangerous living conditions.
- Best Interests of a Child: Cases where removal from Canada would have a severe negative impact on a child’s well-being or development, especially when there are Canadian-born or permanent resident children involved.
- Medical Hardship: Situations where the applicant or their family member is facing serious medical issues that require specialized treatment or care, which may not be available in their home country.
- Family Separation: Cases where separating family members would result in extreme hardship, such as a spouse or child facing persecution or harm in their home country.
- Established Roots in Canada: Applicants who have developed strong community ties, such as employment, education, volunteer work, or long-term residency, and their removal would result in significant hardship for themselves and those connected to them.
- Uniqueness of the Case: Each H&C case is evaluated on its individual merits, and unique factors or circumstances that may not fit within standard immigration categories can be considered.
It’s important to note that H&C applications are discretionary, and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis by immigration officers. The application process involves providing evidence and documentation to support the claims of hardship or exceptional circumstances.
H&C cases require careful preparation, thorough documentation, and often legal advice to present a compelling case to immigration authorities. If successful, an applicant may be granted permanent residency in Canada based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.