What is a H&C Application?

Frequently Asked Questions

More formerly known as an Application for Permanent Residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Considerations, a H&C application is an application for permanent residence being made from inside Canada based solely on H&C grounds.

H&C grounds or considerations provide the flexibility to grant permanent residence status or a permanent resident visa to a foreign national who would not normally be eligible to apply to become a permanent resident. Essentially, the H&C application asks Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to allow you to apply for permanent residence in Canada for humanitarian and compassionate reasons.

Applications to become a permanent resident based on H&C grounds are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Applicants may make submissions on any facts affecting their personal circumstances that they believe are relevant to their request for H&C consideration. Factors that are looked 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 applicant if the request is not granted.

Not everyone is eligible to have H&C considerations heard in their application for permanent residence. An individual may be excluded for a variety reasons including human rights violations, reasons of security and organized criminality.

H&C considerations may be requested in applications from within Canada or from outside the country. Those individuals applying to remain in Canada as a permanent residence on H&C grounds are provided a detailed application kit with specific application forms, document checklists and instructions. In these cases, a request for H&C considerations must accompany an application for permanent residence in Canada. If you are applying from outside of Canada, you must use the application forms for one of the three immigration classes (family, economic or refugee) and provide additional written information in support of your request for H&C consideration.

Refugee Claimants

There are specific restrictions on when an individual claiming refugee protection in Canada may have access to H&C considerations. A refugee claimant is not able to rely on H&C considerations while their refugee claim is still being processed.

If you have received a negative decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), or your claim has been withdrawn or abandoned, you are barred from requesting H&C considerations until 12 months have passed. However, there are exceptions to this rule when your removal from Canada would either

  • Result in a risk to life caused by the inability of their home country to provide adequate health or medical care, or
  • Have an adverse effect on the best interest of a child directly affected by the removal. The child must be under 18 years of age

The 12-month bar takes effect on the day the negative decision is made by the IRB and is in effect until the one year anniversary of the decision. The same calculation of time is used for withdrawals and abandoned claims.

We can help you determine when best to submit an H&C application. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact us for a consultation by emailing us at [email protected] or by calling 416-847-3347.