Humanitarian and Compassionate Application For Canada
Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications or “H & Cs” are Canadian Permanent Residence applications that are filed INLAND (in Canada) to the Case Processing Centre (CPC) Vegreville, Alberta. They are for people out of status in Canada but who have made Canada their home. If you are someone or 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.
However, being approved for a Humanitarian and Compassionate application is far from easy. Immigration officers do not ready approve them unless the applicant demonstrates that he or she will suffer hardship in their home country and 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.
How to qualify for Humanitarian Applications
Humanitarian and Compassionate (H and C) Applications are usually for people living in Canada without legal status in Canada but who have nevertheless established themselves in Canada by virtue the following: (note: not all factors will be applicable in all cases)
- Family ties to Canada who are Canadian Permanent Residents or Canadian Citizens
- Employment in Canada albeit often without a valid Canadian work permit
- Education in Canada albeit often without a valid Study Permit in Canada
- Volunteer work in Canada
- Upgrade of English skills
- Savings and property in Canada
- Social ties to Canada in their communities
Assessing someone who may be a candidate for a Humanitarian and Compassionate
The general profile of a good candidate for an H and C application would be someone who has resided in Canada for a few years, say, five years or longer 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 laborer with little education but has managed to support him or herself in Canada.
Hardship in home country
A major component of H and C cases is an assessment of the undue hardship that the applicant may suffer should they be required to return to their home country by Canada Immigration. 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 do not have to be subject to persecution. H and 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.
What is the procedure for Humanitarian Applications?
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 of $550.00CAD is collected, the application can be submitted to CPC Vegreville for processing. The application package should have a very detailed submission letter outlining all the H and C factors of the applicant and explain why the immigration officer assessing the case should approve the application. Note that H and C cases are discretionary, that is, the immigration officer assessing the case has the discretion to refuse or approve the case based on their own assessment of the merits of the case. 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 and C process. Their file will be transferred from CPC Vegreville to their local CIC office for further processing. An interview may be required as well as a request for additional documentation. Interviews will be conducted at their local CIC office.
What is the next step if the Application is approved?
If the Humanitarian and Compassionate Application is approved, the applicant will be asked to undergo Immigration medical exams and obtain police clearances. Once the medicals and police clearances are passed, the applicant will be called in to pick up their Canadian Permanent Residence Card (PR Card).
What if my Humanitarian Application is refused?
If your H & C application is refused, then its essential to act fast! You have only 15 days to appeal the refusal to the Federal Court of Canada. Appealing to the Federal Court involving 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!