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Humanitarian & Compassionate


Non-economic class – Humanitarian & Compassionate

People who would not normally be eligible to become permanent residents of Canada may be able to apply on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

1. About the application:
Humanitarian and compassionate grounds apply to people with exceptional cases. IRCC assesses these applications on a case-by-case basis. Factors that IRCC looks at include:
• how settled the person is in Canada
• general family ties to Canada
• the best interests of any children involved, and
• what could happen to the person if IRCC does not grant the request.

This application can be used if you are in Canada and would suffer excessive hardship if you had to return to your home country to apply for your permanent residence.

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. IRCC will not look at H&C requests from temporary resident applicants.
• You cannot have more than one humanitarian and compassionate grounds application at the same time.
• IRCC will not assess risk factors such as persecution, risk to life, cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
• 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 (If the IRB decides your refugee claim is abandoned or withdrawn, that counts as a negative decision.)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 dependants suffers from a life threatening medical condition that cannot be treated in your home country.

2. Processing time:
Processing time for the application under humanitarian and compassionate consideration is around 22 to 36 months. It will vary based on:
• if the application is complete
• how quickly IRCC expect to process applications received
• how easily IRCC can verify your information
• how long you take to respond to any requests or concerns
• other factors

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