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What are humanitarian and compassionate reasons?


An H&C applicant can give any reasons that they believe will support their application.

Anything that makes others feel compassion and want to help can be the basis for a successful H&C application. For example, the hardship an applicant will face if they have to return to their home country is often a reason that is used.

And if there is a child who would be directly affected if the applicant had to return to their home country, this is an important factor. IRCC must consider what is in the child's best interests.

Some of the things that an applicant might give as reasons include:

  • how established or settled they are in Canada

  • their ties to Canada, including family ties

  • what would happen if family members were separated

  • their physical health or mental health concerns

  • the impact on their lives of family violence they have experienced or will experience if they have to return to their home country

  • hardship or difficulties they might face if they were sent back to their own country

The decision on an H&C application is "discretionary". This means that immigration officers have a lot of freedom in deciding these applications. But they must base their decisions on the evidence and they must consider all of the evidence as a whole when deciding whether the application is strong enough.

Because there is usually no interview, it is important to:

  • send the best possible evidence to support the application, and

  • explain all of the reasons to stay in Canada.


If there are mistakes in the application form or the supporting evidence is not strong, the application for humanitarian and compassionate grounds may be denied.

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