Humanitarian and Compassionate Application Refused for U.S. War Resister by Canada Immigration

American War Resisters and Canadian Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications

American war resister, Dean Walcott, who has been denied his application for Canadian permanent residence based on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds told reporters that he has been ordered to leave.  Walcott, an Iraq war resister who has been living in Toronto for two years, said that Canada’s immigration officials have ordered him to leave Canada or face deportation.

Canadian Immigration Officials ruled he would not face undue risk by going back to the United States. Although he would not have had to return to Iraq, Walcott, 27, said a posting at a U.S. hospital in Germany, where he saw the casualties of the war, prompted his decision to come to Canada.”I came up here because I was getting tired of seeing little kids blown up,” he said.

This case demonstrates that discretionary element  involved in Humanitarian and Compassionate applications. Immigration officers, in assessing these cases, consider the undue “hardship” that applicants may face if required to return to their country and their “establishment” in Canada since their arrival. Applications refusals are common and it is often very difficult to satisfy an officer that you deserve to remain in Canada, especially when you are from a democratic western country like the US.  However, making a successful case is not impossible and in many instances, if your case is well documented, you will be approved–even where you do not have legal status in Canada.

For more information about Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications or any other visa or immigration applications, contact Niren and Associates Immigration Lawyers at 416 410 7484 or

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

  • Cesar Cubillos

    My wife, two children and I are refugee claimants from Colombia. We can demonstrate good cause for us not to be forced to return to Colombia (i.e. personal persecution) and we have a lot of documents to prove this. Can we apply for PR based on H&C grounds?

    • Dear Cesar Cubillos,

      Are you currently inside Canada? If so, it seems that you may have a case to apply for PR based on H&C grounds. I would suggest that you consult with a qualified immigration lawyer with further details to better assess your situation as soon as possible.

      Thank you.

  • al

    I made a Refugee Claim in Canada which was deemed abandoned. I then had a PRRA application which came back negative and then I received removal order to my country of birth which i have not lived in for 27 years. I have my own business in Canada and I am married to a Canadian woman whom I support. Can anyone out there help me with this? What can I do?

    • You should contact a lawyer immediately in this case. Since you received a removal order, you do not have much time. You can file a spousal sponsorship based on your relationship to your Canadian wife and may have to file an urgent Federal Court Stay application to stop the removal pending the application.

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