Humanitarian & Compassionate

IHumanitarian and Compassionate Visa Overview

Each year, millions of people are forced to flee their homelands to escape persecution, war or severe human rights abuses. Often these people can never return home. The Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program helps thousands of refugees every year. You or your group can sponsor refugees from abroad who qualify to come to Canada. As a sponsor, you provide financial and emotional support for the refugees for the duration of the sponsorship. This includes help for housing, clothing and food. Most sponsorships last for one year, but some refugees may be eligible for assistance from their sponsors for up to three years. Refugees must qualify for entry under Canada’s laws and must pass medical and security checks before they can come to Canada.

Who may apply?

You may apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds if you:

  • currently live in Canada and;
  • are not eligible to apply for permanent residence from within Canada in any of these classes:
    • Spouse or Common-Law Partner;
    • Live-in Caregiver;
    • Protected Person; or
    • Temporary Resident Permit Holder and;
  • believe you would experience unusual and undeserved or disproportionate hardship if you were required to leave Canada.

What are humanitarian and compassionate grounds?

You must clearly demonstrate that you would experience unusual and undeserved or disproportionate hardship if you were required to leave Canada. The cost and inconvenience of applying outside Canada is not considered a hardship.

Your application will be assessed on the information you provide and a decision will be made based on your personal circumstances and whether it merits humanitarian and compassionate considerations.

CIC may not ask you for any additional information on the humanitarian and compassionate grounds you would like us to assess. You must ensure that all circumstances you wish to have considered are identified and included in your application. You must also include any documents which you believe will support your statements. You are responsible for providing evidence in support of any statement you make on your application.

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