Immigration Legislation has a provision to protect individuals for Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds. This is a very important provision in the Act. This allows individuals to apply for Permanent Residence who otherwise may not be eligible.
Foreign nationals who are in Canada and would face some special hardship if they had to return to their home country can apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds. This is a kind of in-Canada application where the immigration authorities can grant permanent residence if they consider there to be compelling reasons as to why the applicant should be allowed to remain in Canada.
Making an application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds allows an applicant to request the immigration authorities to waive the usual requirement to apply for permanent residence through one of the standard immigration categories.
An application on humanitarian grounds can be made by persons who are in Canada illegally and who are inadmissible to Canada for various reasons. This allows for persons who are long-term illegals in the country to step forward and ask to be granted permanent residence on humanitarian grounds. Failed refugees may also make a humanitarian application if more than a year has passed since their case was decided, or the best interests of a child are involved.
People who would normally qualify for permanent residence but are inadmissible for minor criminality or by reason of some other legal barrier can also apply for residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds if the circumstances are warranted. This includes undeclared family members who would not normally qualify for family sponsorship: they too can apply for residence on H&C grounds.
In considering whether to grant an application on humanitarian grounds, the immigration authorities will typically consider the following factors: