Humanitarian And Compassionate Grounds

Canada grants permanent residence in exceptional cases to individuals who meet certain criteria that fall under “humanitarian and compassionate” category. When you apply for permanent residence under Humanitarian And Compassionate category (H&C), you are telling the Canadian government that you or your family members are in a situation of danger or hardship, which are insurmountable and are associated with extreme emotional distress and often losses, if you stay or return to your home country.

When deciding on a Humanitarian And Compassionate Grounds case, the officer not only determined if you meet the eligibility criteria for the program. In fact, the officer considers your case to understand whether your circumstances are outstanding and extraordinary enough to make an exemption from standard procedure.

Who may use this application?

You may use this application to apply for permanent residence from within Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (H&C) if you:

  • are a foreign national currently living in Canada;
  • need an exemption from one or more requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or Regulations in order to apply for permanent residence within Canada;
  • believe humanitarian and compassionate considerations justify granting the exemption(s) you need; and
  • are not eligible to apply for permanent residence from within Canada in any of these classes:
  • Spouse or Common-Law Partner;
  • Live-in Caregiver;
  • Caregivers: caring for children or people with high medical needs;
  • Protected Person and Convention Refugees; and
  • Temporary Resident Permit Holder.

Humanitarian And Compassionate Grounds Letter

It means that you have to provide substantial and clear proof of your circumstances. These include letters, photographs, official documents medical examinations etc. In judging this proof, the officer must determine what is more possible – that you are telling the truth or that you are embellishing the true nature of things.

If you are in Canada already, the officer also determines how well established you are in Canada and how your removal to your home country might cause you undue hardship. Also the officer needs to decide if you will be a burden to the Canadian society or if you can support yourself and contribute to your local communities and Canada in general. The officers will also take into consideration the best interests of a child if you have any.

There are also some interesting features to consider. You may not have more than one H&C application at a time. If you have a pending refugee claim, you can’t apply for permanent residence on Humanitarian And Compassionate grounds.


At ICGCI, we may help you with advice and filing of an H&C-based application for permanent residence. Call us at +1 (604) 719-8200, or email us at to learn how we can help in your specific case!

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    Immigration Consultants Group Canada Incorporation (ICGCI) is a trusted Canadian immigration consultancy firm located in Vancouver, BC.

    Vancouver Office

    1861 Welch St, North Vancouver, BC V7P 1B7


    +1 (604) 719-8200