Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications

Any person can apply to stay in Canada on humanitarian or compassionate grounds. This includes refugee protection claimants whose claims are not approved by the Immigration and Refugee Board. Applications to become a permanent resident on humanitarian and compassionate grounds are approved only in exceptional circumstances. It can take many years to process an application.

If you have received an order to leave Canada (this is called a removal order), you can still apply to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Your application will not prevent or delay your removal from Canada – you must leave on or before the date stated on your removal order. Your application will still be processed even if you have to leave Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will notify you in writing about the decision on your case.

There is no guarantee that your application will be approved. There is no right to appeal a refused application for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. In some cases, however, you can ask the Federal Court of Canada to review the decision.

The claimant must face a substantial danger of torture, a risk to their life or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, not faced by everyone in their country, and not part of lawful sanctions or inadequate health / medical care. They must be unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country, and are fearful of returning to their own country. They must not be safe in any part of their country.

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Humanitarian and Compassionate applications are unique, in that they have the ability to cover special circumstances where the applicant is often in Canada already, and would face undue hardship if required to apply for Immigration in their home country. Often they are unable to leave Canada for reasons beyond their control. Their stories and circumstances are as unique as the individuals themselves, and each one needs to be handled with care. We start with lots of listening, and invite you to tell us your story.

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