Important Changes to Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications

Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications

Several changes to the humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into effect.

Below are a summary of the Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications changes set out to CIC:

  • a person cannot have two H&C applications pending at the same time;
  • H&C decision makers will no longer consider risks that are assessed within the refugee protection process, i.e. risk of persecution based on grounds set out in the Refugee Convention or risk of torture, or of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
The new measures also confirm in legislation the existing policy that an H&C application is not considered complete until the appropriate fees have been paid. As well, the new legislation separates out the public policy provision from the H&C provision.

Some Q and A on the New H&C Policies

– Will my existing H&C application be affected by these changes?
All H&C applications pending at Royal Assent will continue to be examined according to section 25 as it was prior to Royal Assent. This means, for example, that reference to risk factors that fall under section 96 and section 97 will continue to be considered as part of the application.
– Will H&C decisions still consider factors related to risk in a country of origin?
H&C decision makers will no longer consider risks that are assessed within the refugee protection process, i.e. risk of persecution based on grounds set out in the Refugee Convention or risk of torture or of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
H&C decisions will continue to focus on considerations like establishment in Canada, best interests of the child, relationships in Canada, hardships that affect the foreign national and the country of origin’s ability to provide medical treatment.
– Why was the public policy provision removed from the H&C provisions?
The new legislation separates out the use of public policies and H&C decisions because they are two very different options. In H&C applications, decisions are made on a case-by-case basis by a single decision maker and must be justifiable on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
Public policies facilitate processing for a large number of individuals who meet the same general criteria, and they are established by the Minister. Public policies may be justifiable on national interest grounds or on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
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

  • Thakorbhai Patel

    Very good latest information

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