Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds Applications

Humanitarian and CompassionatePeople who would not normally be eligible to become permanent residents of Canada may be able to apply on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. The application will be assessed on the information the applicant provides and a decision will be made based on the applicant’s personal circumstances and whether these circumstances warrant Humanitarian and compassionate consideration.  Applications to become a permanent resident on Humanitarian and compassionate grounds are approved only in exceptional situations.


Humanitarian and compassionate grounds apply to people with exceptional cases. IRCC assesses these applications on a case-by-case basis. Factors we look 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 you if IRCC does not grant the request.

Other rules that apply to humanitarian and compassionate grounds:

  • IRCC will not assess risk factors such as persecution, threat on life, cruel and unusual treatment.
  • You may only ask for H&C grounds if you are applying for permanent resident status in Canada, or for a permanent resident visa abroad.
  • You cannot have more than one humanitarian and compassionate grounds application at the same time.

H&C applications in Canada are based on a significant degree on the economic and cultural establishment. Ultimately, the strongest factor is the “best interests of the child. However, there are other factors that can enhance the H&C case. The applicant has to show history of stable employment, integrate into the community through community organizations, do volunteer work.

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