Humanitarian Grounds

Immigration based on Humanitarian
and Compassionate grounds

Immigration based on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds: The Humanitarian and Compassionate application is for those who are in Canada and would undergo excessive hardship if they were deported back to their home country in terms of social, economic or personal reasons. People who would not be normally eligible to attain permanent residency in Canada, they can apply on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Refugees are people who are forced to flee their home country because of a fear of persecution and are not able to return home. Canada’s refugee system, among other privileges, allows refugees to file for their permanent residency under humanitarian and compassionate grounds. These applications can be divided into two categories:

  • Resettlement from outside Canada and
  • Claiming refugee protection from inside Canada

Resettlement from outside Canada: You cannot apply directly to the government of Canada as a refugee; you must be referred by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), a designated referral organization, or a private sponsorship group. And to be referred, you must fall into one of these two refugee classes:

  • Convention Refugee Abroad Class: This class includes people who are outside their 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.). The 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: You may fall under this class if you are outside your home country, or the country where 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. Country of asylum class refugees can be privately sponsored. You can also be in this class if you have the funds you need to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada.

Once you are referred by the UNHCR, a referral organization, or a private sponsorship group; you will need to apply under one of the two categories. You will also need to pass the medical exam and the security and criminal check.

Claiming refugee protection from inside Canada: Canada offers refugee protection to some people who are already in Canada and fear persecution or be in danger if they go back to their home country. If you think that it could be risky for you to go back to your home country or the country where you normally live, then you may apply or seek for protection in Canada as a refugee. Some of the risks may include torture; risk to their life or cruel and unjust treatment.

All valid and eligible refugee claims are referred to the Immigration Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The IRB as an independent board makes all decisions on refugee and immigration matters. The refugees can be categorized as a Convention Refugee or a Person in need of Protection.

  • Convention Refugee: Convention refugees are outside their home country or the country they normally live in. They are not able to return because of a fear of persecution based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality or membership in a particular social group (gender, sexual orientation etc.)
  • A Person in Need of Protection: A person in need of protection is a person in Canada who cannot return to their home country safely. This is because if they return, they would be subject to a danger of torture; risk to their life, or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

Safe Third Country Agreement: Canada has an agreement with the United States where people who want to make a refugee claim must do so in the first safe country they arrive in.

This means that if you enter Canada at a land border from the United States, you cannot make a refugee claim in Canada. In some cases this rule does not apply (for example, if you have family in Canada).

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