Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds Applications

Section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) is Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Applications, a very important provision in the Act.  Who can apply under section 25 has changed dramatically in the past few years. The legal test sets out specifically that applicants must clearly demonstrate that they would experience unusual and undeserved or disproportionate hardship if they were required to leave Canada.

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 particular circumstances merit H&C consideration.  Applications to become a permanent resident on H&C grounds are approved only in exceptional circumstances. It can take many years to process an application.

There is no guarantee that your application will be approved. If refused, in certain cases asking the Federal Court of Canada to review the decision is advisable.  Many in-land H&C applications are based on a significant degree on economic and cultural establishment as set out in chapter IP 5:

Does the applicant have a history of stable employment? Is there a pattern of sound financial management? Has the applicant integrated into the community through community organizations, volunteer or other activities; What hardship would occur if the application for a visa exemption were refused – The level of interdependency; Support available in the home country; Whether the applicant is able to work; and Is there a significant degree of establishment?

The IRPA also cites a statutory obligation to take into consideration the best interests of the child when examining and deciding the circumstances of a foreign national making a request under section 25(1) of the IRPA. This is one of the strongest factors that can be argued under H&C applications. There is no question H&C applications can be one of the most challenging applications for a lawyer to prepare for a client but it can also be one of the most rewarding! For more information on H&C applications, contact us today!

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