Humanitarian and compassionate: Processing in-Canada applications

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Humanitarian and compassionate consideration stage 1 processing in Canada: all applicants

Assessment of exemption requests at Stage 1

When you are assessing an exemption request keep the following in mind:

  • The objectives of the Act.
  • Consider exempting any applicable criteria or obligation of the Act, including inadmissibilities (except A34, A35, A37 inadmissibilities if the application is received after June 19, 2013), when the foreign national has specifically requested an exemption or when it is clear from the material that the foreign national is seeking an exemption (see also Granting exemptions on one’s own initiative).
  • Assess the applicants’ submissions in light of all the available information, taking into consideration all known inadmissibilities.
  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment by weighing all the relevant factors in an application to determine whether H&C considerations justify the grant of the requested exemption.
  • The weight given to any factor in a case is an objective determination of the decision-maker. You must weigh the facts in a fair and impartial manner, considering both positive and negative elements. You must determine which facts are most important, which evidence is the most persuasive, which argument is the most compelling or convincing, and why.
  • Separate facts that favour a finding of hardship from those that do not.
  • Determine which facts have been established on balance of probabilities and which statements are supported by the submissions.
  • Determine whether the facts establish that the applicant would face hardship if they were not granted the requested exemption or permanent residence.
  • Explain in the H&C decision why one piece of evidence was preferred over another. Focus on the evidence that is directly applicable to making a decision or that is particularly significant to support the decision. It is not necessary to mention every piece of evidence supplied by the applicant.
  • If credibility is central to the decision, interview the applicant.
  • When extrinsic information is considered, inform the applicant and provide them with a chance to respond.
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