Notice – Update—Additional time given to people from Haiti and Zimbabwe affected by the lifting of the temporary suspension of removals to apply for permanent residence in Canada

Update (May 21, 2016): People from Haiti or Zimbabwe who want to apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds without risk of being removed from Canada must do so before the six-month time period ends on August 4, 2016.

An additional six months have been granted for eligible nationals of Haiti and Zimbabwe to apply for permanent residence in Canada on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds without risk of removal. Applications must be submitted by August 4, 2016.

Ottawa, February, 5, 2016 – The Government of Canada has provided an additional six months for some nationals from Haiti or Zimbabwe to apply for permanent residence (PR) on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds without the risk of removal while their application is reviewed.

In acknowledgment of improved conditions in Haiti and Zimbabwe, the Government of Canada lifted the temporary suspension of removals (TSR) to these two countries on December 1, 2014. Eligible individuals were given a six-month window to apply for PR on H&C grounds while benefitting from a deferral of removal. This measure ended on June 1, 2015. The Government of Canada is now giving individuals who are still in Canada and who did not apply for PR another chance to do so.

Effective February 4, 2016, the Government of Canada will accept applications from eligible nationals of Haiti or Zimbabwe submitted on or before August 4, 2016.

If you meet the criteria and you apply for PR on H&C grounds by August 4, 2016, you will not be removed from Canada while your H&C application is being processed. If you apply after August 4, 2016, you will be at risk of removal from Canada.

The envelope containing your application for PR on H&C grounds should be clearly labelled with the words: “Haiti – TSR” or “Zimbabwe – TSR”. The completed application form and supporting documents, including fee receipts, should be mailed to:

Backlog Reduction Office—Vancouver
#600–605 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC  V6B 5J3

For residents of Quebec, an additional form must be completed (available in French only) (PDF, 926 KB).

For more information, see the questions and answers below.

Questions

What is a temporary suspension of removals (TSR)?

When a suspension of removals is in place, people who would normally be removed from Canada are allowed to stay until the suspension of removals is lifted.

People who are inadmissible for reasons of criminality or serious criminality, security, violating human or international rights, or organized crime, or excluded under the Refugee Convention do not benefit from a TSR.

However, if a person has an unsuccessful refugee claim or is inadmissible to Canada (for reasons other than security, human or international rights violations, serious criminality, criminality or organized criminality), they are allowed to stay in Canada while the TSR is in place. Once the TSR is lifted, the person could be removed from Canada.

What is an administrative deferral of removal (ADR)?

An ADR is used when immediate action is needed to temporarily delay removal in a situation of humanitarian crisis.

Similar to the temporary suspension of removals (TSR), an ADR is not meant to address persistent and systemic human rights problems. In these cases, individuals have access to full and fair refugee application processes, as well as other avenues of recourse, including applying for judicial review at the Federal Court of Canada.

Individuals found inadmissible on grounds of criminality, national security, war crimes, crimes against humanity or organized criminality, will continue to be removed despite the ADR. In addition, a person may choose to return to their country voluntarily even if an ADR has been issued.

How do I apply for permanent residence (PR) on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds?

If you meet the criteria, you can apply for PR on H&C grounds. You must complete the application forms and pay the fees.

The completed application form and supporting documents, including fee receipts, must be mailed to:

Backlog Reduction Office—Vancouver
#600–605 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC  V6B 5J3

The envelope should be clearly labelled with the words “Haiti – TSR” or “Zimbabwe – TSR” when you mail your application.

How do I apply for permanent residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds if I live in Quebec?

If you are a Haitian or Zimbabwean national affected by the lifting of the temporary suspension of removals (TSR) living in the province of Quebec, you must complete an additional form Demande d’examen du parcours d’intégration au Québec en vue de l’obtention du certificat de sélection (available in French only) (PDF, 926 KB).

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’inclusion (MIDI) have set up joint procedures to assess these applications.

Applicants must submit their IRCC application forms along with the MIDI form (available in French only) (PDF, 926 KB) at the same time. They should be mailed together to:

Backlog Reduction Office—Vancouver
#600–605 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC  V6B 5J3

The envelope should be clearly labelled with the words “Haiti – TSR” or “Zimbabwe – TSR” when you mail your application.

Who is eligible to apply for permanent residence (PR) on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds and stay in Canada while their application is processed?

To be eligible to apply for PR on H&C grounds under the reinstated special measures, you must meet these criteria:

  • You must be a national of Haiti or Zimbabwe;
  • You must have been residing in Canada on the day the temporary suspension of removals (TSR) was lifted (December 1, 2014) and currently be living in Canada;
  • You must be the subject of a removal order (including conditional removal orders) or out of status;
  • You must never have been found ineligible to have a refugee claim referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB);
  • You must not be inadmissible on grounds of security, human or international rights violations, serious criminality, criminality or organized criminality;
  • You must not have been excluded by the IRB from refugee protection under the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees;
  • You must not have had criminal charges dropped by the Crown to effect a removal order; and
  • You must not have an outstanding criminal warrant.

To remain in Canada while your application is being processed, you must have a pending application for PR on H&C grounds; or have applied for PR on H&C grounds in Canada no later than six months from the date authorizing the special measures, or, if you have applied for refugee protection and have a pending claim, no more than six months should have passed since receiving a negative decision by the IRB.

  • In this context, “negative decision” refers to the IRB’s first negative decision and does not include any avenues of recourse, including judicial review before the Federal Court.

If I have already applied for permanent residence (PR) on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds and was refused, can I apply again?

Yes. If you meet the criteria, you can re-apply for PR on H&C grounds. You must complete the application forms and pay the fees.

Can I apply for Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) consideration if I received a negative decision on my refugee claim with the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB)?

Yes. If you meet the criteria, you can apply for permanent residence on H&C grounds under the special measure.

Normally individuals who have received a negative determination at the IRB within the past 12 months are barred from applying for H&C consideration. However, the extended special measures include an exemption to this 12-month bar for Haitian and Zimbabwean refugee claimants if they file an H&C application within the additional six months.

Can I work or study while my application for permanent residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds is in process? Am I eligible for health coverage?

If you are under a removal order and have received a negative decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board, you are eligible to apply for a work or study permit, and have access to health care coverage while awaiting a final decision on your H&C application.

If I am affected by the lifting of the temporary suspension of removals and I do not apply for Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) consideration before the deadline, will I be removed?

If the six-month period passes and you have not applied for permanent residence on H&C grounds, you are at risk of being removed from Canada. This is why it is very important that your H&C application is received by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on or before August 4, 2016.

What if I have already applied for Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) consideration or for permanent residence (PR) through other programs of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada?

If you have already submitted a PR application under H&C grounds and a decision is pending, you may want to update your file and provide new submissions by sending them to the Backlog Reduction Office―Vancouver.

If you have already submitted an application for PR in Canada under another category and the decision is pending, that application will continue to be processed, but you will not benefit from a stay of removal under these measures. However, if you meet the eligibility criteria, you may qualify for a deferral of removal if you request H&C consideration for PR on or before August 4, 2016. An H&C request may be appended to an existing pending application for PR.

Date Modified: