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.
For example, you are a failed refugee claimant with no status but you have now been living in Canada for many years and Canada is your home. Or, you are an elderly person who is a widow and you have nobody back home to take care you – in Canada, you have your children and you now need their full support and you need to stay in Canada permanently.
In an H&C application, we have to demonstrate through documentation and information that the applicant is completely established in Canada and leaving Canada at this stage would cause hardship. At our office, we specialize in this type of application and we will assist you and guide you in preparing and submitting a complete application – documents will be very important as well as the legal submission letter that we will prepare (cover letter) which will outline your story in detail. If for some reason, you do not have many compelling documents, it will be important to file an update on your H&C every 6 months in order to demonstrate your progress, further establishment and integration into Canadian society.
If an H&C application is refused, we can re-file right away and/or file a Judicial Review at the Federal Court if the decision is unreasonable. If you are out of status, you meet the requirements for an H&C and you are planning on staying in Canada, we recommend that you file an H&C as this might allow you to remain in Canada if CBSA decides to start the enforcement process to remove you from Canada. At our office, we will always be honest with your chances of success as we know that we are not the decision maker – what we will do is provide you our recommendations based on the many other similar H&C applications we have filed.
Finally, it is also important to know your obligations and responsibilities once you do submit an H&C application is Canada – some of this information is outlined below and should we decide to represent you, we will also provide you with complete information on this.
What makes a strong case? You do not need to meet all of the below factors, if you have only a few of these factors, you may have a strong case for an H&C.
- You have been living in Canada for a few months or a few years, and you will soon fall out of status or you have been out of status;
- You are completely established in Canada;
- You have strong ties to Canada;
- You believe in Canada values and appreciated Canada life and culture;
- 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 are living in Canada;
- 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;
- You are supporting family members outside of Canada by sending them money;
- If you return to your home country, you would suffer hardship;
- You do not have any or many family members living in your home country;
- 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 are leading an organized and balance life in Canada;
- You do not meet the requirements of any other immigration category to grant you permanent residence;
- Any other personal and unique reasons for wanting to remain permanently in Canada.
What is the impact of filing an H&C application?
- 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 however this could be much shorter or longer depending on backlogs;
- You will not automatically be eligible for a work permit or a study permit just because you have filed an H&C application;
- If your application is approved 1st stage, you may be able to apply for an open work permit;
- 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 but you have the right to submit a request for deferral if you have compelling reasons to remain in Canada temporarily;
- A pending H&C application can delay removal from Canada if we can demonstrate that your application has been pending for some time;
- If your H&C application is refused, you can choose to file another one – there is no limit as your case becomes stronger and stronger as you spend more time in Canada;
- Depending on the reasons for refusal, you can also choose to file a Judicial Review of the refusal at the Federal Court of Canada if the decision is unreasonable with an error of law or of fact;
- If your H&C application is approved, and 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;
- Throughout the processing of your H&C application, if you change addresses, you need to update this with IRCC, if we are counsel on record, we will do this on your behalf. Not updating your address can have negative consequences with CBSA;
- If you already have a SIN number, you can file your taxes with a pending H&C application and we recommend that you do this;
- If you are out of status, you many still be able to open a bank account and get a driver’s license in Canada;
- 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;
Filing an H&C application is an important decision. At our office, we prepare very complete and strong application and for this, we request a lot of supporting documentation from our clients. We also ask you to complete a very detailed questionnaire in order to portray your story as best as possible in our legal submission letter (cover letter). The officer who will review your application will never meet you, and for this reason it’s important that the paper application be extremely complete so that the officer can get a real sense of your case, your life and the difficulties you would face if you are forced to leave Canada at this stage in your life. We demand a lot of our clients when preparing an H&C application because we have seen the difference that this makes in increasing approvals. We will work with you to prepare a great application, as we know the importance of this in securing and regularizing your status in Canada.