Humanitarian and Compassionate: Assessment of applicants’ submissions

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

To assess submissions you must determine:

  • which facts have been established on balance of probabilities and which statements are supported by the submissions
  • whether the facts establish that the applicant would face hardship if they were not granted the requested exemption.

Assessment of documentation

Factors that can be taken into consideration in an assessment of the weight to be given to documentary evidence include:

  • the date of the document
  • the reasons for which it was prepared
  • the relationship between the person who prepared the document and the applicant
  • whether the author has an interest in the outcome of the application
  • whether the document shows signs of bias
  • whether it appears to be contrived
  • whether its contents are consistent with other reliable information whether the author was a witness to the events described or whether it consists of hearsay (a legal term describing a class of evidence that is based on the reports of others rather than the personal knowledge of a witness [and that is generally not admissible as testimony).

Assessment of credibility

  • the weight given to any factor in a case is an objective determination of the decision-maker. The task is to weigh the facts in a fair and impartial manner, considering both positive and negative elements. H&C decision-makers must determine which facts are most important, which evidence is the most persuasive, which argument is the most compelling or convincing, and why.
  • if credibility is central to the decision, then interview the applicant.
  • explain in the H&C decision why one piece of evidence was preferred over another. It is not necessary to mention every piece of evidence supplied by the applicant. Focus on those that are directly applicable to the formation of the decisions or those that are particularly significant to support the decision.

The IRB has extensive documentation on how to weigh evidence.

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