Permanent Residence through Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations

By James Metcalfe | February 19, 2011

by James Metcalfe – Pace Law Firm: This week, we had a happy ending to a family’s case that took over five years to resolve. The family had spent the last ten years living in limbo, with no immigration status. They came to see us almost six years ago, after their overseas application had been refused. Their only alternative to gain permanent residence in Canada was through a Humanitarian and Compassionate application filed in Canada.

In technical terms, this is an application for a waiver of the immigrant visa requirements. Persons who wish to become a Permanent Resident in Canada are required to obtain a visa before entering the country. Since visas are only issued by visa officers who are stationed outside Canada, a waiver of this requirement is mandatory for people already here, such as through a spousal application for refugees.

In this instance, we believed there was good merit to the case. The family had two Canadian-born children and a large extended family already in Canada. The family was well established from an economic and social viewpoint, and they were involved in their community.

Why did it take five years for this case to come to a successful conclusion? Perhaps there are too many people in Canada applying under the Spousal Refugee category. The exception has become the rule. Typically, failed refugee claimants who have spent considerable time in Canada apply on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds as a last resort. Many have little or no hope of success. Fortunately, this case ended with relief and smiles all around.

At Pace Law Firm, we provide candid advice while seeking the best course for our clients. If you need information on what you should do for your particular situation, give me call or leave a comment on the blog. I will reply promptly.