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Humanitarian and compassionate reasons

An H&C applicant can give any reasons that they believe will support their application.

Almost anything that makes others feel compassion and want to help can be the basis for a successful H&C application. For example, the hardship an applicant will face if they have to return to their home country is often a reason that is used.

And if there is a child who would be directly affected if the applicant had to return to their home country, this is an important factor. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC) must consider what is in the child's best interests.

Some of the things that an applicant might give as reasons include:

  • how established or settled they are in Canada
  • their ties to Canada, including family ties
  • what would happen if family members were separated
  • their physical health or mental health concerns
  • the impact on their lives of family violence they have experienced or will experience if they have to return to their home country
  • hardship or difficulties they might face if they were sent back to their own country

Examples of hardship or difficulties that an applicant might face in their own country could include:

  • a lack of adequate health care
  • poverty
  • discrimination based on religion, gender, or something else
  • the laws, practices or customs in their country that might put them at risk — for example, a risk of abuse

IRCC is not allowed to consider the risks that are considered by the Immigration and Refugee Board when it decides a refugee claim.

But a situation that puts someone at risk may also be a reason for a successful H&C application. For example, a woman who is at risk because of an abusive spouse in her home country may also be able to show H&C reasons she should not be forced to return to that country.

An immigration lawyer may be able to present her case in a way that shows H&C reasons rather than risk.

Last updated: Jan 18, 2019


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