This type of application for permanent residence is an exceptional category, which was implemented in order to regularize the immigration status of certain vulnerable individuals in Canada who are out of status or who have no other available options to remain in Canada. Even some very compelling cases can be refused for this type of application as the ultimate decision rests on the officer and the decision maker who has a very high level of discretion. Because of this, if you believe that you or a family member or a friend could be eligible for this type of application, it will be important to ensure that the case is a deserving one but most importantly, it is crucial to understands the consequences of filing an H&C application.
What could make a strong case?
- You have been living in Canada for a long time;
- You are completely established in Canada;
- You have strong ties to Canada;
- You are financially stable in Canada;
- You are integrated into Canadian society;
- You consider Canada to be your only home;
- You have family members living in Canada;
- You have minor children who have been living in Canada for quite some time;
- You have a strong network of friends in Canada;
- You speak French and/or English;
- If you do not speak French or English, you are making efforts to do so;
- You are working in Canada;
- You are volunteering in Canada;
- You are furthering your educational or vocational skills in Canada;
- You are having a positive impact on Canadian society and Canadians;
- If you return to your home country, you would suffer hardship;
- The country conditions of your home country are adverse to your return;
- You have no way to reintegrate your home country should you return;
- Your inability to leave Canada has led to your establishment in Canada;
- You have very unique and exceptional circumstances for wanting to remain in Canada;
- You do not meet the requirements of any other immigration category.
What are the consequences?
- Once you file your application, you have to remain in Canada until a final decision is made;
- If you travel outside of Canada during the processing of your H&C application, your H&C application will be cancelled and refused;
- It can take 1-2 years for a final decision to be made;
- You will not automatically be eligible for a work permit or a study permit just because you have filed an H&C application;
- An H&C application does not give you a right to the Canadian health care system;
- An H&C application does not give you access to social services such as social assistance;
- At any stage of this process, you can be asked to leave Canada by CBSA;
- A pending H&C application can delay removal from Canada but this is not a guarantee, it will depend on the decision of the enforcement officer;
- If your H&C application is refused, you can chose to file another one;
- Depending on the reasons for refusal, you can chose to file a Judicial Review of the refusal at the Federal Court of Canada;
- If your H&C application is approved, and once the final stage of the requirements are met, you will become a permanent resident of Canada;
- The final stages of requirements include security background checks and a medical examination;
- In order to get “landed” as a permanent residence upon the approval of your H&C application, you will need to have a valid passport or travel document;
If you are thinking of filing an H&C application, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with our office and we will be able to determine the likelihood of success as our office has filed hundreds of these types of application. We will be able to determine if this is the best category for you or if there is another category that best fits your personal situation. We will also go through with you the consequences of filing such an application as its important to know from the onset what you are getting into as the processing times for an H&C application may, at times, be longer than expected.