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Humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) applications and refugee claims: how are they different?

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Can a refugee claimant who is not accepted make an H&C application?

An unsuccessful refugee claimant cannot make an H&C application until at least one year from the date their claim is finally:

  • refused, or
  • abandoned, or
  • withdrawn after evidence was presented at the hearing.

This is often called the "one-year bar". Many claimants will be forced to leave Canada within that one-year period.

If the claimant is a "designated foreign national", the waiting period is at least 5 years from the date of the designation.

A designated foreign national is someone who came to Canada in a group designated as an "irregular arrival". A group can be designated on or after arrival in Canada. A group may be designated because of suspected human smuggling or trafficking involving a criminal organization or terrorist group.