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17th April 2023BY Qasim Nihang

Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds: A Path to Family Reunification for Parents


Family reunification is a key objective of Canadian immigration policy, recognizing the importance of strong family ties in fostering integration and well-being for newcomers. While several programs exist to support family-based immigration, there are instances where parents or other family members may not meet the standard eligibility requirements. In these cases, applying for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds can provide a viable solution. This blog will explore the H&C option for parents’ immigration, its eligibility criteria, and the application process.

Understanding Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

H&C applications provide a discretionary pathway for individuals who would not otherwise qualify for permanent residence in Canada. These applications are assessed based on factors such as the applicant’s establishment in Canada, family ties, and potential hardship they may face if forced to leave the country. For parents seeking to join their children in Canada, demonstrating strong family connections and a genuine need for reunification can be key factors in a successful H&C application.

Eligibility Criteria

Parents seeking permanent residence on H&C grounds must demonstrate compelling reasons why their case warrants an exception to the standard immigration procedures. Some factors that may be considered in their application include:

  1. Close family ties in Canada, such as having children or grandchildren who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  2. The best interests of any children involved, including their education, safety, and overall well-being.
  3. The level of establishment in Canada, including work experience, community involvement, and social connections.
  4. The potential hardship the parent may face if required to leave Canada, such as the inability to access necessary medical care or separation from family members.

It is important to note that H&C applications are discretionary and not every applicant will be granted permanent residence. Each case is assessed individually, taking into account the specific circumstances and the evidence provided.

Key Considerations

While H&C applications can provide a pathway to family reunification, it is essential to keep the following considerations in mind:

  1. H&C applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and there is no guarantee of success. Applicants should be prepared for the possibility of refusal and have a backup plan in place.
  2. The process can be lengthy and requires patience and perseverance. It is crucial to submit a well-documented and comprehensive application to maximize the chances of success.
  3. Legal representation or consultation with an immigration expert can be helpful in preparing a strong H&C application, as they can provide guidance on the required evidence and the most persuasive arguments to present.

Humanitarian and compassionate grounds offer a valuable opportunity for parents to reunite with their children in Canada when other immigration options may be unavailable. By understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, and key considerations, families can take the necessary steps towards reuniting and building a new life together in Canada. With patience, perseverance, and a strong application, the H&C pathway can lead to a brighter future for families separated by borders.


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