Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications -in the Age of COVID-19

I predict that there will be an increase to the number of Humanitarian and Compassionate applications (for Permanent Residence) as a result of COVID-19. The pandemic is wreaking havoc with the plans made by many foreign nationals living in Canada hoping to make this country home. Many will lose their status and many will lose their (once viable) plans for Permanent Residence in Canada. One solution may be an application under s.25(1) -the Humanitarian and Compassionate or H&C application.

(What is a Humanitarian and Compassionate application?)

Here’s some more background on this type of application:


In my opinion, the “door” was already opening wider for the H&C -it’s powerful tool depending on the circumstances. For example, we used it extensively for clients affected by the Nepal earthquakes a few years ago.

The H&C of course is a discretionary tool -I’ve seen good applications fail and seemingly weak ones succeed. Each decision maker/officer brings his or her own value judgments to such applications.

However, such applications are considered case by case, and the outcome depends on the luck of the draw. One officer will find that these circumstances constitute hardship, and another may not.

I’m also sure the H&C will be touted as a miracle cure/fix-all by some unscrupulous advisers.

Our high success rate is partly attributable to the fact that we screen and put forward applications that we think are meritorious and could succeed.

I’ve also discussed the Humanitarian and Compassionate application on our firm blog, found here. If you have questions regarding this application and whether you can benefit from such an application, please do not hesitate to contact the office.