Can I obtain Canadian permanent resident status if I don’t qualify under any class?
A1: Yes, you may still be granted Canadian permanent resident status if you can demonstrate compelling humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds. These grounds are based on sections A25 and A25.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
Q2: How does H&C consideration work?
A2: H&C consideration allows individuals to present their personal circumstances, which they believe warrant permanent residency in Canada. This provision offers flexibility to address deserving cases that don’t fit existing immigration classes.
Q3: Can I apply for permanent resident status from outside Canada under H&C consideration?
A3: You can request H&C consideration even when applying for permanent residency from outside Canada, but you must have a connection with Canada.
Q4: What’s the main purpose of H&C consideration?
A4: The primary purpose of H&C consideration is to provide flexibility in immigration decisions, specifically for cases that are deserving but not covered by existing legislation. It’s designed to help those who’ve made Canada their home but can’t apply through regular programs.
Q5: What do I need to do to apply under H&C consideration?
A5: To apply under H&C consideration, you must demonstrate compelling reasons for staying in Canada. This can include factors like your establishment in Canada, family ties, the best interests of children, and hardship if you return to your home country.
Q6: How are H&C cases decided upon?
A6: Decisions in H&C cases are highly discretionary. They revolve around whether a special exemption from IRPA requirements should be granted. Decision-makers conduct a thorough assessment to consider all relevant factors and circumstances.
Q7: Who is eligible to apply under the H&C program?
A7: Eligible applicants for H&C consideration include foreign nationals residing in Canada who need exemptions from IRPA requirements and believe that humanitarian and compassionate circumstances justify these exemptions. However, certain categories, such as spouses, caregivers, protected persons, refugees, and temporary residents, are not eligible.
Q8: Who may not be eligible to apply under the H&C program?
A8: Ineligible applicants for H&C consideration include Canadian citizens, permanent residents, those with pending H&C applications, pending refugee claimants, and individuals who became designated foreign nationals within the last 5 years.
Q9: What are the responsibilities of H&C applicants?
A9: H&C applicants must outline all relevant factors they believe justify their application and explain why they should be granted permanent residency. They also need to show they won’t be a burden to Canadian society and present evidence of support from Canadian contacts.
Q10: What is the standard of proof required in H&C applications?
A10: H&C applications are assessed based on the “balance of probabilities” standard of proof, meaning that the information presented is more likely to be true than not.
Q11: Can personal, social, and employment connections in Canada affect my H&C application if I’m required to leave?
A11: The extent of hardship you would face upon leaving Canada, including the loss of personal, social, and employment connections, is considered in your H&C application. However, this circumstance alone may not warrant relief on H&C grounds.
Q12: Are refugee protection claims considered under H&C program?
A12: No, H&C decision-makers don’t assess the risk factors that are considered in refugee protection claims. However, these factors may be considered when determining whether an applicant would face hardship in their home country.
Q13: Can inadmissibilities be waived under H&C assessment?
A13: H&C considerations can lead to waivers of inadmissibilities, but it depends on whether sufficient H&C considerations exist to justify such exemptions. Specific inadmissibilities include criminal, medical, family-related, and financial.
Q14: What if an applicant doesn’t expressly request an H&C exemption?
A14: In cases where there’s no explicit request for an H&C exemption, decision-makers have the discretion to consider exemptions during the assessment. The applicant must be notified, and they can present their reasons for H&C consideration.
Q15: Are children affected by immigration decisions considered in H&C applications?
A15: Yes, the best interests of children directly affected by immigration decisions are considered in H&C applications. This includes Canadian or foreign-born children both inside and outside Canada.
Q16: Is the “best interest of children” principle limited to parent-child relationships?
A16: No, the “best interests of children” principle applies to various relationships affected by immigration decisions, not just parent-child relationships. It can include other caregiving relationships, such as grandparents caring for grandchildren.
Q17: Can individuals not categorized as immediate family still be considered for H&C considerations?
A17: Yes, individuals who do not fit traditional family class definitions, known as “de facto family members,” may be considered for H&C applications. This includes adult children, elderly relatives, unrelated individuals in dependent relationships, and others.
Q18: Can you apply under H&C consideration if eligible under Ministerial Instructions (MI) but held inadmissible?
A18: Yes, if you’re eligible under a Ministerial Instruction category but are inadmissible, you can still apply and request H&C consideration to overcome inadmissibility.
Q19: Can a previous unfavorable H&C decision be reconsidered?
A19: Yes, a previous H&C decision may be reconsidered if the applicant can provide new evidence or material changes in circumstances that warrant a reconsideration.
Q20: Can statelessness be invoked as a ground for H&C consideration, and what documentation is required?
A20: Yes, statelessness can be used as a ground for H&C consideration. Documentation demonstrating statelessness is required, such as certification documents, refusals by a state to confer nationality, or documentation from the Canada Border Services Agency.
Q21: Can I apply for temporary resident status under the H&C program?
A21: No, the H&C program is for permanent residency, not temporary resident status.
Q22: Can I file multiple H&C applications at the same time?
A22: No, filing multiple H&C applications simultaneously is not allowed.
Q23: Can I file an H&C application if I have a pending refugee claim?
A23: No, you must withdraw your refugee claim before filing an H&C application.
Q24: Can I apply for an H&C application if my refugee claim was rejected less than 1 year ago?
A24: Generally, if the IRB rejected your refugee claim within the last 12 months, you cannot apply for an H&C application. However, exceptions apply if you have children under 18 adversely affected or have a life-threatening medical condition that can’t be treated in your home country.
Q25: How do you apply for H&C consideration?
A25: To apply for H&C consideration, follow these steps:
Q26: Is biometric information required for H&C applications?
A26: Yes, biometric information is required for H&C applications. Applicants must personally appear to have their biometrics taken.
Q27: How can I check the status of my H&C application?
A27: If you’re in Canada or the United States, you can check your application status online. If you’re outside these areas, contact the relevant Canadian embassy, high commission, or consulate.
Q28: How can I withdraw my H&C application?
A28: To withdraw your H&C application, submit a written request including your client ID number, family name, and first name by fax, email, or mail.
Q29: What is the processing time for H&C applications?
A29: Under normal circumstances, processing time for H&C cases takes 22 to 36 months. Incomplete applications may result in delays or returns.
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