Humanitarian Immigration

The Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) act is an immigration channel made by the Canadian government to allow for the immigration of people who would not typically be eligible to become permanent residents of Canada. For social, economic or personal reasons, the H&C application is for people who are in Canada and have suffered excessive hardship in their home country. 

For those people who wish to stay in Canada, this immigration solution offers sanctuary. This being said this channel of immigration is not a standard immigration practice into Canada, and using this channel requires excessive documentation. 


Grounds for entering Canada under H&C regulations must submit evidence that proves their need for refuge in Canada. This evidence is often rare and exceptional. Each application for H&C immigration will be evaluated in a case-by-case basis by the Canadian Immigration system. 

There are several factors that Canadian Immigration Systems considered for Humanitarian Immigration entries: 

•    Plans for living in Canada
•    Family currently living in Canada
•    Children who may be entering into Canada for Humanitarian causes
•    Considerations for what occurs if the applicant is not granted asylum into Canada

Canadian Asylum seekers can petition for refuge from inside Canada or from outside of the country. If you are seeking immigration from outside of Canada you will need to contact the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) who will become your sponsor. There are several conditions that need to me met if you are seeking immigration into Canada on a humanitarian basis:

1.    Convention Refugee Abroad Class: This type of refugee class applies to individuals currently living outside of their home country, but fear returning due to fear and oppression. This fear or oppression can consist of real threats of abuse or violence based on sex, race, religion, or political ideologies. 

2.    Country of Asylum Class: You may fall under this class if you are living outside if your home country and have been severely affected by civil war or armed conflict. If you fall under this class of asylum seeker, you can be privately sponsored for immigration into Canada. You can seek immigration into Canada under this class through sponsorship by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), alternative referral organization or private sponsor. 

If you are sponsored for immigration under either of the two classes, you will need to complete an immigration application package. You may not be eligible for humanitarian immigration if you have an alternative reliable option for safe haven. Such examples of alternative options are settlement in another county, citizenship in another county, or if the fundamental reasons for your humanitarian immigration no longer exist such as the ending of ongoing armed conflict. 

Applying for Humanitarian Immigration Protections while inside Canada: 

You can apply for humanitarian immigration protections upon arrival into Canada via several ports of entry including airports, seaport or land borders. When first applying for entry, a Canadian Immigration official will listen to your refugee circumstances and decide if your application qualifies for referral to IRB. If your circumstances do qualify for referral, you will be given a date for an IRB hearing as well as 15 days to complete the required immigration paperwork.