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

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Do IRCC and the IRB have special rules for women in situations of violence?

Yes. But these are just guidelines and each case is decided on its own.

IRCC guidelines say that immigration officers must be sensitive to situations of family violence when they decide H&C applications.

IRB guidelines say that board members must consider the following when deciding refugee claims by women who fear gender-related persecution:

  • the risk of domestic abuse in a country where a woman will not be able to get the protection that she needs
  • the risk of harm if a woman does not follow religious laws or cultural customs in her country

The IRB also has guidelines that are meant to help vulnerable people present their cases and to reduce the risk that they will be traumatized by the process.

Women who have suffered gender-related persecution may be vulnerable persons. A vulnerable person can ask the IRB for "procedural accommodations". This means doing things differently because it might help a vulnerable person. For example, a woman might ask that a support person be allowed to attend a hearing with her.