What Are Humanitarian Compassionate Applications?

Although, it is generally frowned upon to reside in Canada without proper immigration documents or status, tt is still possible to gain permanent residence if you can prove  yourself as a contributing member of society and show establishment in the country. One of the biggest challenges for this method, known as the Humanitarian and Compassionate Application, is producing the proper documentation.

 Niren and Associates has over 15 years experience assisting people to become Canadian permanent residents, including those who are already living in Canada without legal status. Our skilled BC immigration team may be able to assess your case and present a favorable approach.

What You Should Know About the Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications

Humanitarian and Compassionate (H and C) Applications are usually for people living in Canada without legal status.  Generally, these people have established themselves by one or more of the following criteria (not all factors will be applicable in all cases):

  • Family ties to Canada through relatives who are Canadian Permanent Residents or Canadian Citizens
  • Employment in Canada (albeit often without a valid Canadian work permit)
  • Education in Canada (albeit often without a valid Study Permit in Canada)
  • Volunteer work in Canada
  • Upgrade of English skills • Savings and property in Canada
  • Social ties to Canada in their communities

The general profile of a good candidate would be someone who has resided in Canada for a number of years, who has some of the previously listed. Often such applicants do not qualify for other Canadian permanent residence categories.

If you feel that you may meet the criteria of any of the aforementioned circumstances, you may benefit from one of  Niren and Associates’ no obligation assessment, to determine your next step.

Contact our Vancouver, BC immigration lawyers for a professional assessment.

Suffering Hardship From Your Country of Origin

If you were likely to endure hardship by returning to your home country, the H and C application may be your answer for staying in Canada.  It is important to explore an applicant’s background in terms of the social, economic or personal hardship they or their family would be subject to in their home country.

Note:  The applicant for Humanitarian and Compassionate cases do not have to be subject to persecution. H and C cases are not Refugee cases. However, without showing hardship, it may be difficult to succeed in your application for Canadian Permanent Residence under the Humanitarian and Compassionate Category.

How Humanitarian Immigration Cases Unfold

The completion of application forms, along with supporting documentation showing the factors above, are necessary for a good H and C application. Once the application package is complete and the government processing fee of $550.00CAD is collected, the application can be submitted from within Canada to the Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Vegreville, Alberta for processing. The application package should have a very detailed submission letter outlining all the H and C factors of the applicant and explain why the immigration officer assessing the case should approve the application.

Note: H and C cases are discretionary, that is, the immigration officer assessing the case has the discretion to refuse or approve the case based on their own assessment of the merits of the case. Therefore it is extremely important to prepare a very strong submission letter and collect persuasive supporting documentation in support of the Humanitarian and Compassionate Application.

Application Process Timeline

Depending on the case, applications can take around 18-24 months to process but sometimes longer.

Waiting for an Application to be Processed

During the H and C application process, the applicant remains in Canada to await a decision. It is not recommended that the applicant travel outside of Canada. Their file will be transferred from CPC Vegreville* to their local CIC office for further processing. An interview may be required as well as a request for additional documentation. Interviews will be conducted at their local CIC office.


If the Humanitarian and Compassionate Application is approved, the applicant will be asked to undergo Immigration medical exams and obtain police clearances. Once the medicals and police clearances are passed, the applicant will be called in to pick up their Canadian Permanent Residence Card (PR Card).

Refusal of Humanitarian Cases 

If the H and C application is refused, then the applicant can appeal the negative decision by Canada Immigration to the Federal Court of Canada within 15 days of the refusal.

Contacting an Immigration Professional

Not possessing legal immigration status does not suggest that your intention in the country is not admirable. The efforts that you have made to make something of yourself in this country should certainly no be wasted nor over-looked. Examining your eligibility may very well be a solution for gaining permanent residence status. Niren & Associates knows how important it is to remain rooted in your community, and we may be able to help.

I’m pleased to let you know that I got my H and C application approved. The interview was very fast and easy, and everything went well thanks to your preparation. I cannot believe the professionalism and kind service you guys have provided. – Praz R.

Contact our Immigration Lawyers in Vancouver, BC for help with your unique case.