Update your Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications

Updating Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications

When it comes to Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications or H&C Applications as they are often called, it is important to update them on an ongoing basis. Humanitarian and Compassionate Application cases can take over 2 years to process so there is ample opportunity to update them while they wait in the queue at a CIC office.

Humanitarian and Compassionate applications are, as we have discussed, applications for an exemption from the general immigrant visa requirement of applying for Canadian Permanent Residence from outside of Canada. For H&C applicants, if you can show undue hardship you would likely suffer in your home country should you leave Canada and that you have successfully established yourself in Canada, you may be eligible to make an application from within Canada under Humanitarian grounds.

For more information on Humanitarian and Compassionate applications go here and here.

Once of the reasons that it is important to update your applications is that in the event your Humanitarian and Compassionate application is refused, and you wish to file an appeal, that is, file an application for Leave and Judicial Review, you have to adhere to the court’s strict rules of evidence.

For judicial reviews of Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications, documents that were not submitted and issues that were not discussed in submissions before the decision to refuse the application was made, cannot be raised at the Judicial Review stage.  In other words, no “new evidence” is allowed. Unlike an Appeal at the Immigration and Refugee Board, a Federal Court Judge does not have authority to consider “new evidence”.

Therefore it is essential that you update your Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications within a reasonable time frame (6 months to 1 year) after submission. At our office, we do this by proactively contacting our H&C clients to find out the following information since the original submission:

1. Did the client purchase any new property?

2. Better income and savings since the original application?

3. Establishment of a new business?

4. New relationships formed?

5. How have the children progressed in terms of schooling, friends, community etc?

6.Volunteer work?

7.Community integration?


9. Financial support of family abroad?

When updating an application, it is important to make detailed submissions each time as this will have a great impact on the CIC officer’s assessment of the application when it comes time to decision making. And if there is a refusal, the Federal Court will be able to consider all the “updates” you have made as proper evidence. Updating H&Cs is therefore a winning strategy.

Contact Niren and Associates immigration law firm today for help with your Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications.

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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

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