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How to Make a Humanitarian and Compassionate Application for Permanent Residency in Canada

In Canada, obtaining permanent residency (PR) typically involves navigating through the Express Entry System or the Provincial Nominee Program. However, there is an alternative route that is less known but available: the Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Application. This pathway can be complex and challenging to understand. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on what H&C is, the challenges involved, the consequences of rejection, examples of successful applications, and the eligibility of citizens from various countries.

Government Immigration Targets and Numbers

A crucial aspect of making a successful H&C application is understanding the government’s immigration targets and numbers. For instance, there is an anticipated drop in H&C applications from nearly 14,000 in 2024 to only 8,000 in 2025 and 2026. This decrease suggests that the process may become more competitive in the future.

What is H&C?

H&C stands for Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds. This type of application is designed for individuals who face significant hardship if they were to return to their home country and can only be applied for within Canada. It is particularly useful for those who do not qualify under the standard PR streams but cannot return home due to various compelling reasons.

Factors considered in an H&C application include:

1. Establishment in Canada: Length of stay and degree of integration.

2. Self-support: Ability to financially support oneself.

3. Presence of Children: Whether the applicant has children in Canada, their citizenship status, and their ages.

4. Medical Issues: Any health concerns affecting the applicant or their family.

5. Criminal Issues: Criminal record and its implications.

6. Hardship in the Home Country: Specific risks or hardships faced if forced to return.

7. Family Reunification: Need to stay in Canada to support family members.

Challenges with H&C Applications

H&C applications are unique and highly discretionary. Unlike other immigration pathways, there is no point system; each case is evaluated on its individual merits. This complexity necessitates a well-documented and compelling application. The decision is based solely on the submitted paperwork since interviews are no longer a standard part of the process.


If an H&C application is refused, it can be a significant setback. However, there are legal avenues to challenge such decisions, often involving the federal court. Applicants need to be prepared for the possibility of a refusal and plan their next steps accordingly.

Work Permits

Maintaining legal status while waiting for an H&C decision can be challenging. Applicants may need to apply for work permit extensions, which are not automatically granted and can complicate their situation.

Successful H&C Applications

Applications that succeed often involve individuals who have been in Canada for a substantial period (typically five years), are well-established, and have children. Other successful scenarios include:

Best Interest of the Child

Cases where it is demonstrably in the best interest of a child for the applicant to remain in Canada. This includes situations where the applicant provides critical care or support to a child, particularly if the child has special needs.

Family Reunification

Cases involving the reunification of families, such as caring for relatives with disabilities, are also strong candidates. For example, an applicant who is essential to the well-being of Canadian family members can make a compelling case.

Citizens of Various Countries

While the applicant’s country of origin does not guarantee success, certain situations can strengthen an application. These include:

1- LGBTQ+ Persecution: Individuals from countries where LGBTQ+ status is criminalized may have strong grounds if they face persecution.

2- War-Torn Regions: Applicants from areas experiencing conflict, such as Ukraine or Myanmar, can argue that returning would pose significant risks.

However, credibility and detailed evidence are crucial. General claims need to be supported by specific documentation and personal accounts.

For those considering an H&C application, it is essential to seek professional legal consultation to discuss their specific case. Starting with a strong application is critical, and investing in expert guidance can significantly enhance the chances of success. An experienced immigration law firm can provide the necessary support and advice throughout this complex process.

For more information or to book a consultation, consider reaching out to a reputable immigration law firm. Investing in professional guidance can be a decisive factor in achieving permanent residency in Canada through the H&C pathway.

Let Worldbridge Immigration Services be your guide to a successful future in Canada 

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Worldbridge Immigration Services

At Worldbridge Immigration Services, we help people navigate the Canadian Immigration process.


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