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Article

Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications: A Critical Look at Canadian Decision-Makers’ Assessment of Claims from “Vulnerable” Applicants

Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N6N5, Canada
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Patricia Easteal
Laws 2022, 11(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws11030040
Received: 17 February 2022 / Revised: 24 April 2022 / Accepted: 25 April 2022 / Published: 29 April 2022
For many people who have made Canada their home but have uncertain legal status and are ineligible to apply for permanent residence through other channels, the Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) application is the only available pathway to permanent residence and stability in Canada. Applications for permanent residence on H&C grounds have become a key component of Canada’s immigration system and yet this pathway remains under-researched. Drawing upon extensive desk research and the preliminary analysis of interview data, this article addresses this gap in the scholarship by offering a critical analysis of the H&C program. In it, we begin by discussing the specific challenges that this highly discretionary decision-making process poses for vulnerable applicants and suggest areas for improvement. We then focus on H&C applications and decisions that directly impact children and explain why a change in the Canadian application of the best interests of the child principle is required. Finally, we consider two recent trends in H&C cases: the sharp increase in the number of applications and the increasingly high rates of refusal. Throughout this analysis, we highlight the negative repercussions the current system has on the most vulnerable categories of migrants and the need to better understand these phenomena. View Full-Text
Keywords: humanitarian and compassionate considerations; vulnerability; discretion; decision making; permanent residence; best interests of the child; guidelines; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; COVID-19 humanitarian and compassionate considerations; vulnerability; discretion; decision making; permanent residence; best interests of the child; guidelines; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; COVID-19
MDPI and ACS Style

Delisle, A.; Nakache, D. Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications: A Critical Look at Canadian Decision-Makers’ Assessment of Claims from “Vulnerable” Applicants. Laws 2022, 11, 40. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws11030040

AMA Style

Delisle A, Nakache D. Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications: A Critical Look at Canadian Decision-Makers’ Assessment of Claims from “Vulnerable” Applicants. Laws. 2022; 11(3):40. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws11030040

Chicago/Turabian Style

Delisle, Anthony, and Delphine Nakache. 2022. "Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications: A Critical Look at Canadian Decision-Makers’ Assessment of Claims from “Vulnerable” Applicants" Laws 11, no. 3: 40. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws11030040

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