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Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications, or “H & Cs”, are Canadian permanent residence applications that are filed from within Canada. They are for people who do not have legal status in Canada but who have still made Canada their home. If you are someone, or you know someone, who is living in Canada without the proper paperwork, there still are options! You may be able to qualify for an H & C and obtain Canadian permanent residence status.
Individuals without legal status would be eligible for H&Cs if they have established themselves in Canada by virtue the following:
A good candidate for an H&C application would be someone who has resided in Canada for a number of years and who has some of the factors listed above. Often such applicants do not qualify for other Canadian permanent residence categories such as the Skilled Worker category where applicants are assessed on their English skills or education or work experience.
A typical applicant may be a labourer with little education but has managed to support him or herself in Canada.
A major component of H & C cases is the potential suffering of undue hardship if you are required to return to your home country. It is important to explore an applicant’s background in terms of the social, economic or personal hardship they or their family would be subject to in their home country. Note that the applicant for Humanitarian and Compassionate cases does not have to be subject to persecution. H & C cases are not Refugee cases. However, without showing hardship, it may be difficult to succeed in your application for Canadian permanent residence under the Humanitarian and Compassionate Category.
The completion of application forms, and supporting documentation showing the factors above are necessary for a good H & C application. Once the application package is complete and the government processing fee is collected, the application can be submitted. The application package should have a very detailed submission letter outlining all the H & C factors of the applicant and should explain why the immigration officer assessing the case should approve the application.
Note that H & C cases are discretionary, that is, the immigration officer assessing the case can refuse or approve the case based on their own assessment. Therefore it is extremely important to prepare a very strong submission letter and collect persuasive supporting documentation in support of the Humanitarian and Compassionate Application.
Applications can take around 18-24 months to process, but sometimes longer depending on the case.
During the application process, the applicant remains in Canada to await a decision. It is not recommended that the applicant travel outside of Canada during the H & C process. An interview may be required, as well as a request for additional documentation. Interviews will be conducted at their local CIC office.
If your Humanitarian and Compassionate application is approved, you will be asked to undergo immigration medical exams and obtain police clearances. Once the medicals and police clearances are passed, you will be called in to pick up your Canadian Permanent Residence Card (PR Card).
If your Humanitarian and Compassionate application is refused, then it is essential to act fast! You have only 15 days to appeal the refusal to the Federal Court of Canada. Appealing to the Federal Court involves showing the judge that the immigration officer who refused your case made some errors in law and/or fact. This is not an easy job. However, success is indeed possible. Immigration officers do make mistakes!
Being approved for a Humanitarian and Compassionate application is far from easy. Immigration officers do not readily approve them unless the applicant demonstrates hardship in their home country and that they have established themselves in Canada. Making a strong and compelling case is essential for a successful outcome.
Our law firm has been handling Humanitarian and Compassionate applications for over 15 years. We take a very aggressive approach to these cases, making sure your application stands out! Let our experienced immigration lawyers handle your H & C case so you do not have to live “underground” in fear any longer.
If you are out of status or illegal in Canada, there are options!
The procedures for applying for H & C cases are not exactly straightforward, and applicants that choose to apply without seeking any help from an immigration lawyer are often met with avoidable challenges.
When it comes to H & Cs, risking deportation is the reality. This is why relying on a legal team who specializes in H & C cases will provide you with your best shot at staying in Canada and become a legal resident.
We have helped thousands of individuals to successfully immigrate to Canada through the Humanitarian and Compassionate application. Our experienced immigration lawyers will be able to assess your case and recommend a course of action to best serve your needs. The first step towards your H & C applicaton is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our free immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.
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