If you are an Indian citizen interested in immigrating to Canada, you may be wondering if you are eligible for a humanitarian visa.
In this article, we will outline the eligibility requirements and application process for a humanitarian visa for Canada from India. By the end of this post, you will know everything you need to apply for this life-changing opportunity.
So let’s get started!
What is a Humanitarian Visa?
A humanitarian visa is a type of Canadian permanent residence status that is granted to individuals who face persecution in their home country. This persecuted group must be in need of protection and must not have any other viable options for relocation.
Applicants who have no legal status in their home country, have been the victims of torture or violence, or are at risk of death due to their race, religion, or politics may be eligible for a humanitarian visa.
Humanitarian visas are different from refugee status in that they are not granted based on fear of persecution. Rather, they are granted based on actual or impending persecution.
Am I eligible to apply?
The eligibility requirements for a humanitarian visa are as follows:
- You must be a foreign national who is currently living in Canada.
- You must be persecuted in your home country on the basis of race, religion, politics, nationality, or membership in a particular social group.
- You are not eligible for any other Canadian PR classes such as Live-in Caregiver, Temporary Resident Permit Holder, and Spouse or Common-Law Partner.
However, according to the Government of Canada website, applications are accessed based on the following factors:
How settled the applicant is in Canada
The less settled the person is in Canada, the more likely it is that their application will not be accepted. This is because it is easier for someone who is not well-established in Canada to start a new life elsewhere than it is for someone who has put down roots and built a life in Canada.
The degree to which the person would face hardship if they were removed from Canada
If the person would face extreme hardship (e.g., they are sick and would not be able to get the necessary medical care in their home country), their application is more likely to be accepted.
The degree to which the person’s removal from Canada would affect the lives of others in Canada
If the person has close family members in Canada who would be adversely affected by their removal (e.g., their spouse or children), their application is more likely to be accepted.
The source of the person’s persecution
If the person is persecuted by their government or by a group that their government is unable or unwilling to control, their application is more likely to be accepted.
Also, if the person is unable to get help from their government or if their government is unable or unwilling to protect them, their application is more likely to be accepted.
These are just some of the factors that will be considered when assessing your application. It is important to remember that each application is unique and will be assessed on its own merits.
Eligibility requirements for Designated foreign nationals
In addition to the general eligibility requirements, there is a special category of applicant known as a “designated foreign national”. A designated foreign national is someone who is inadmissible to Canada on security grounds, because they have been involved in terrorism, or because they are a member of an organized crime group.
If you are a designated foreign national, you may still be eligible for a humanitarian visa if you can demonstrate that there are compelling reasons why you should be allowed to stay in Canada.
These reasons could include the fact that you have family members in Canada, or that you would face extreme hardship if you were removed from Canada.
However, you can only apply after five years have passed since the day you became a designated foreign national.
Eligibility requirements for Removal Order holders
If you have received a removal order, you may still be eligible to apply for a humanitarian visa. A removal order is an order from the Canadian government that says you must leave Canada because you have violated one or more of the country’s immigration laws.
Your application will be accepted if you can demonstrate that there are compelling reasons why you should be allowed to stay in Canada.
However, this will not delay or prevent your removal from Canada. If your application is accepted, you will be issued a temporary resident permit that will allow you to stay in Canada for a specific period.
After that, you will need to apply for a new permit if you want to stay in Canada longer.
How do I apply for a humanitarian visa?
If you want to apply for a humanitarian visa, there are a few steps you need to take.
Step 1: Gather the required documents
The first step is to gather all the documents you need. This includes things like your passport, travel documents, birth certificate, medical reports, police certificates, and any other relevant documentation.
Furthermore, make sure to share all circumstances and factors about the hardships you and/or your family have faced in your home country. Whether you ever sought assistance from the government and if so, what was the response? Also, be as detailed as possible in your application to increase the chances of it being accepted.
If you are subject to a one-year bar from applying for a visa due to previously providing false information on a previous application, you can’t apply for this visa.
However, if you prove that you or one of your dependents suffers from a life-threatening disease that is not curable in your home country, you are eligible to apply.
Make sure your documents are up-to-date and valid – expired documents will not be accepted.
Step 2: Fill out the application form
The next step is to fill out the application form. Remember to answer all the questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge. False information on your application could result in a refused application or, worse, charges of fraud.
There are multiple forms available on the official website that are required to complete and submit for all types of humanitarian visa applications.
Step 3: Pay the application fee
Once you have submitted your application, you will need to pay the application fee. The current fee is $ 570 CAD, which must be paid in Canadian Dollars. Applications with the right of permanent residence have an additional fee of $515 CAD for the principal applicant and $515 CAD for each family member who is 18 years of age or older.
Step 4: Mail in your application
After you have collected all the required documents and completed the application form, the next step is to mail in your application. Applications should be sent directly to the Humanitarian Migration Office in Vancouver.
The mailing address is:
IRCC – Humanitarian Migration Vancouver
#300 – 800 Burrard Street
Step 4: Await a decision on your application
Once your application has been received, it will be processed in order of the date received. The processing time will depend on the type of application you have submitted, as well as the current workload and backlog of applications.
You will be informed of the decision on your application by mail. If your application is successful, further instructions on how to proceed will be included in the letter.
If your application is unsuccessful, you will be given the reasons for the refusal and information on how to appeal the decision, if applicable.
Why would my application be rejected?
There are several reasons why your application might be rejected. The most common reasons are incomplete applications, incorrect fees, or missing documents.
Other reasons for rejection include:
- Criminal inadmissibility – if you have a criminal record or are considered to be a security risk, your application will likely be rejected. It is strongly suggested that you resolve any criminal issues before applying for a Permanent Resident visa.
For example, you can apply for rehabilitation or a record suspension (formerly a pardon) for certain types of offenses. However, if you are unable to resolve your criminal inadmissibility, you may request an exemption on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
- Medical inadmissibility – if you or a family member has a medical condition that could pose a risk to public health or safety, your application will likely be rejected.
Are there other routes for PR?
As discussed above, the humanitarian and compassionate PR route is only for exceptional cases and should not be used in place of other more viable routes for PR.
The following are some other common routes for PR.
Apply through sponsorship
If you have a family member or spouse who is a Canadian citizen or PR, they can sponsor you for PR. The sponsor must meet certain eligibility requirements and agree to support you financially.
Try Express Entry
Express Entry is an online system that is used to manage applications for certain economic immigration programs. If you are eligible for one of these programs, you will be entered into a pool of candidates.
From there, you will be given a score based on your age, education, work experience, and other factors. The highest-scoring candidates will then be invited to apply for PR.
There is no guarantee that you will be invited to apply, even if you are eligible for one of the programs.
Express Entry helps you find the right route to Canadian PR
If you are interested in moving to Canada from India for humanitarian reasons, there are a few options available to you. The best way to determine which option is right for you is to speak with an immigration specialist who can assess your individual case. . Visit our website today to learn more about how to get started on your application.