Foreign nationals may be inadmissible to Canada for various reasons even if they hold a visa or have obtained permanent residence. The most common ground for inadmissibility is on Criminality grounds, where the foreign national has been convicted of a crime either inside or outside of Canada.

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A further recourse for those who are inadmissible or otherwise do not qualify for a visa under the regular immigration categories, is to apply for an exemption to the criteria of the immigration laws on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds. The immigration authorities have the discretion to waive just about any criteria of the immigration laws if they believe there are sufficiently strong H&C grounds to justify it. H&C applications are usually made by people in Canada who have lost their status or are for some reason inadmissible. Examples are long-term illegals who came to Canada as visitors then never left, or failed refugee claimants who remained in Canada after their case was refused. These people and others like them can apply to regularize their status in Canada by applying for permanent residence on H&C grounds. This is a type of paper application to the immigration authorities that will be considered by an immigration officer. Factors that an officer will consider is whether there are compelling circumstances beyond the applicant’s control that led to the breach of the immigration laws or inadmissibility, and whether it would cause unusual, undeserved, and disproportionate hardship to the applicant if the application were denied. If the reviewing officer approves the H&C application, they can waive most kinds of inadmissibility and grant status to the applicant, including permanent resident status.

If you are interested in making an application on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds, please contact us for further information.

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