HUMANITARIAN & COMPASSIONATE
Canada has long been recognized as a compassionate country where those who need support can often find it, along with a new homeland if they wish to stay. You would be able to apply to stay in Canada through the Humanitarian and Compassionate program if you are already in the country and returning to your home country would cause excessive social, economic or personal hardship. Even if you would not be eligible under other programs, you can apply for humanitarian and compassionate reasons if you can prove hardship.
Also within this category are refugees, which means those who are not able to return to their home country because of fear of persecution. This allows you to apply using humanitarian and compassionate grounds for permanent residency under two categories: resettlement from outside of Canada and claiming refugee protection from inside of Canada.
Canada’s Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States notes that people who want to make a refugee claim must do so in the first safe country they arrive in. So, if you entered Canada from a land border with the United States, you must make your refugee claim in the United States unless other rules (like having family in Canada) apply.
Resettlement from outside of Canada
This program is managed through a referral by the United Nations Refugee Agency, a designated referral organization or a private sponsorship group. Those seeking resettlement must pass a medical exam as well as a security and criminal check. These organizations make the referral to the government of Canada and applicants may apply under one of these two categories:
- Convention Refugee Abroad Class – applies if you are outside your home country and cannot return due to a fear of persecution based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality or membership in a particular social group (gender, sexual orientation etc.). Convention refugees can be sponsored by the Government of Canada; a group of people or an organization or a mix of both. You can also be a Convention refugee if you have the funds needed to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada.
- Country of Asylum Class – applies if you are outside your home country, or a country in which you normally live, and have been seriously affected by civil war or armed conflict, or have been denied basic human rights on an ongoing basis. In this category, you can be privately sponsored or may be admissible if you have the funds needed need to support yourself and your family in Canada.
Claiming refugee protection from inside of Canada
This program is for those already in Canada who fear they will be in danger or persecuted (through risk to life, cruel and unjust treatment, etc.) if they return to their home country or the country in which they normally live. You can make a refugee claim to the Immigration Refugee Board of Canada as either a Convention Refugee or a Person in Need of Protection.
- You may be eligible as a Convention Refugee if you are unable to return to your home country or the country in which you normally live because of fears of persecution based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality or membership in a particular social group (gender, sexual orientation, etc.).
- You may be eligible as a Person in Need of Protection if you can’t safely return to your home country due to a danger of torture, risk to life, or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
If you feel that your situation falls under humanitarian or refugee standards, please contact us as soon as possible to see if we can help.