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Permanent Residence

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Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

A humanitarian and compassionate application is a discretionary type of application for permanent residence in Canada. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, individuals who are inadmissible or do not meet the requirements of the Act may apply for permanent residence from within Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

The Minister or his delegates may grant the foreign national permanent resident status if the applicant is able to establish that his or her removal from Canada would cause them unusual, undeserved, or disproportionate hardship. Factors that are considered in assessing this type of application vary but can include the degree of the applicant’s establishment in Canada, the existence of close family members who are themselves Canadian permanent residents or Canadian citizens, the best interests of any child that will be directly affected, and other public policy considerations. Processing times for such applications can be lengthy and usually take between 1.5-2.5 years to finalize. A pending humanitarian and compassionate application for permanent residence does not prevent the applicant’s removal from Canada. 

For information about family sponsorships for permanent residence, please see "Family Sponsorship."