Canadian immigration is a complicated process that can take many years. Unfortunately, some people who want to immigrate to Canada are unable to meet the eligibility criteria for any of the most common immigration options, such as Express Entry or the Provincial Nominee Program. That doesn’t mean you can’t immigrate to Canada at all; it just means you need to take a different route. In this blog, we will discuss what humanitarian and compassionate grounds are and how they might apply in your case.
If you are not eligible for a visa because of inadmissibility or are expected to be deported, humanitarian and compassionate grounds are an alternative means to allow you into Canada. Section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides the following:
Humanitarian and compassionate considerations — request of foreign national
25 (1) Subject to subsection (1.2), the Minister must, on request of a foreign national in Canada who applies for permanent resident status and who is inadmissible — other than under section 34, 35 or 37 — or who does not meet the requirements of this Act, and may, on request of a foreign national outside Canada — other than a foreign national who is inadmissible under section 34, 35 or 37 — who applies for a permanent resident visa, examine the circumstances concerning the foreign national and may grant the foreign national permanent resident status or an exemption from any applicable criteria or obligations of this Act if the Minister is of the opinion that it is justified by humanitarian and compassionate considerations relating to the foreign national, taking into account the best interests of a child directly affected.
This option is available to individuals in exceptional cases. Applications are assessed according to some of the following factors:
Humanitarian and compassionate grounds are not available for those applying for temporary residence applications. They are also not available for those with an active and pending refugee claim, or for those who have received a negative decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board within the last year. Applicants can only submit one application. While the consequences of denial are considered, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada does not consider risk factors like cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, persecution or other risks to life.
If you are ineligible from applying for humanitarian and compassionate grounds based on a need for protection against persecution or cruel and unusual punishment, you will likely be denied. This is not the program for you. Instead, you will want to consider applying for the in-Canada refugee process.
Please note that the Safe Third Country Agreement is still in effect! If you are an individual entering Canada through a land-based port of entry, you will be returned to the United States unless you meet an exception. The exceptions are as follows:
If the reason for your application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds is that you are subject to a removal order, the application will not delay your deportation. However, your application will continue to be processed after removal. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will notify you of the final determination of your application in writing.
If you are applying for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, there are several things to keep in mind:
At Garson Immigration Law, we are exclusively dedicated to the practice of immigration law. We understand that waiting for your immigration application to be processed can be stressful. Our immigration lawyers can help successfully guide you through the immigration process and find solutions for your individual immigration needs.
We work to find effective solutions for our clients in all kinds of immigration matters, including permanent residence, inadmissibility, and US immigration. If you have any questions about an immigration application, do not hesitate to reach out to us online or by calling us at 416-321-2860.
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