Humanitarian And Compassionate Grounds

People who would normally be ineligible to become Canadian permanent residents may be able to apply on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Humanitarian and compassionate grounds apply to people with exceptional cases. These applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Factors that are taken into consideration include:

  • how settled the person is in Canada
  • general family ties to Canada
  • the best interests of any children involved
  • what could happen to you if immigration Canada does not grant you the request.

Other rules that apply to humanitarian and compassionate grounds:

  • You may only ask for humanitarian and compassionate grounds if you are applying for permanent resident status in Canada, or for a permanent resident visa abroad. H&C requests from temporary resident applicants will not be considered.
  • You cannot have more than one humanitarian and compassionate grounds application at the same time.
  • Risk factors such as persecution, risk to life, cruel and unusual treatment or punishment will not be assessed.
  • You cannot apply for humanitarian and compassionate grounds if you have a pending refugee claim. If you want to apply, you must withdraw your refugee claim before your Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) hearing.
  • You cannot apply for humanitarian and compassionate grounds if you had a negative decision from the IRB within the last 12 months. This is called the “one year bar.” (If the IRB decides your refugee claim is abandoned or withdrawn, that counts as a negative decision.) The bar does not apply if:
    • you have children under 18 who would be adversely affected if you were removed from Canada, or
    • you have proof that you or one of your dependents suffers from a life-threatening medical condition that cannot be treated in your home country.


  • Hearings before the Immigration Division of the IRB
  • Applications for Permanent ResidenceSponsorship of Family Class Members
  • In-Land applications for certain Family Class and Humanitarian & Compassionate cases
  • Appeals before the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (“IRB”)


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For more information about humanitarian and compassionate grounds or to prepare an application, contact us today!

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