I just finished completing and submitting several "H&C" applications. "H&C" apps are what are known as section 25 or Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications. They allow for an exemption of the requirements under IRPA.
In my practice, they are generally used for individuals without status in Canada. Most of the time this involves failed refugee claimants. Canada's immigration law requires that an individual must apply for immigration outside of Canada. An H&C allows for an exemption to that general rule, allowing the applicant to apply in-land.
H&C's used to be also used for individuals with/without status who used to marry a Canadian citizen/permanent resident in Canada and wanted their application processed in land. There's a new procedure for that (in-land spousal sponsorships) that should be used.
Anyway, the guide and forms can be found here. An immigration practitioner should also read the information contained in CIC's operations manual (referred to by H&C/immigration officers when reviewing their application). That can be found on the same site, here. The app has to be sent to CPC Vegreville (address on the checklist). Remember to follow the checklist, and include all necessary documents, including:
- Photographs (specific specifications)
- Criminal record/clearances (from every country the applicant has resided in for 6 months or more)
- Reference letters
- Psychological Assessment/School reports
- Fee receipt (can be paid online)
- Country condition information
- If applicable, PIF, IRB decision, Fed Crt Order etc.
- Claimant's referral sheet, work permit, other identification
Submissions by counsel as to the facts and applicable case law is important. Remember that you can keep providing additional information until a decision is made.
It's important to be alert to any circumstances of the applicant that can give rise to positive consideration. This will generally include a positive employment history, good civil record and community involvement/integration/establishment. "Best interests of a child affected by a decision" is also key. Research case law dealing with the Federal Court's views on 'best interests of a child' either at Quicklaw or the Federal Court site here. The seminal and most cited case in this area is Baker (SCC decision).
Discussions and personal experience indicates that the chances of a H&C application going positive is about 40%.