Humanitarian and compassionate assessment Establishment in Canada

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

Applies to

  • in Canada

Persons who apply for H&C in Canada may have spent an extended time in Canada and may claim to be well established. There is no hard and fast rule relating to the period of time in Canada but it is expected that a significant degree of establishment takes several years to achieve. Consider the following factors:

  • How long has the applicant been in Canada?
  • Were the circumstances that led the applicant to remain in Canada beyond their control?
  • Is, or was, the applicant the subject of a temporary suspension of removal (TSR)?
  • To what degree has the applicant co-operated with the Government of Canada, particularly with regard to travel documents? Did the applicant wilfully lose or destroy travel documents? You may contact CBSA removals unit for more information about why applicant does not have a travel document.
  • Does the applicant have a history of stable employment?
  • Is there a pattern of sound financial management?
  • Has the applicant remained in one community or moved around?
  • Has the applicant integrated into the community through involvement in community organizations, voluntary services or other activities?
  • Has the applicant undertaken any professional, linguistic or other studies that show integration into Canadian society?
  • Do the applicant and their family members have a good civil record in Canada? (e.g. no criminal charges or interventions by law enforcement officers or other authorities for domestic violence or child abuse).

The applicant’s establishment up to the time of the Stage 1 assessment may be considered. The fact that the applicant has some degree of establishment in Canada is not necessarily sufficient to justify granting relief on humanitarian and compassionate grounds: Lee v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship & Immigration), 2005 FC 413, 138 A.C.W.S. (3d) 350 (F.C.).

Positive H&C consideration may be warranted when the period of inability to leave Canada due to circumstances beyond the applicant’s control is of considerable duration and when there is evidence of a significant degree of establishment in Canada.

What is meant by circumstances beyond the applicant’s control

Circumstances beyond the applicant’s control

  • The applicant’s home country was subject to a temporary suspension of removals (TSR) (R230).
  • An applicant was awaiting a decision on an immigration application and spent several years in Canada with status (e.g. Live-in-caregiver program).
  • In such cases the inability to leave Canada can be considered to be due to circumstances beyond the applicant’s control.

Circumstances not beyond the applicant’s control

  • An applicant, in Canada for a number of years, is unwilling to sign or provide information for a passport application.
  • An applicant wilfully loses or destroys their travel document(s).
  • Applicant goes “underground” and remains in Canada illegally. 
  • In such cases, inability to leave Canada is not considered beyond the control of the applicant and could reasonably be viewed as a strong negative factor. See Legault decision.

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