In 2020, the acceptance rate for Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) applications dropped to 37% from 65% in 2019 (according to the Migrant Rights Network). Since the decision-making process for H&C applications is an arbitrary one, this mass reduction in acceptances reflects Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s current exclusion of undocumented folx. This means that our friends, family members, neighbours, classmates, and coworkers are losing their chance to regularize their status since this application is the main way undocumented folx can apply for permanent residency. The only option that remains is to undertake the expensive judicial review process or face imminent deportation.


One of our members, C, has recently had their permanent residency application denied on the twisted grounds of meeting one of the primary requirements for immigration, establishment in Canada. This is their story: “I first arrived in Canada more than 10 years ago. Because my partner at the time had employment, I was granted a temporary open work permit. However, the relationship didn’t last, and when they dropped me from our joint PR application, I found myself without status for the first time. My life spiraled out of control and I was on the verge of homelessness for years, but eventually I was able to enroll in university, get a student visa, and find a part-time job.

After graduating, I only had a short time to find a qualifying full-time job to apply for PR, but was unable to do so, and after my student visa lapsed, I found myself again living in Canada without status. Unable to work in traditional employment due to lack of a work permit and again facing homelessness, I started a small business with my Canadian partner. The immigration officer who processed my application found that I was established in Canada, but instead of accepting me under these grounds, they denied my application. 

I’ve found a lawyer who agreed to take on my case and file for a judicial review, who called it perverse and unjust that the officer would use one of the primary criteria for granting permanent residency – establishment – as a reason to deny my application. Judicial reviews must be filed within 15 DAYS of receiving the results. How many undocumented people can raise $5,000-$10,000 in a short time? In the meantime, we must contend with the threat of removal/deportation and continue to face a lack of access to traditional employment and other resources available to most with status, such as health care.”


As you’ve heard from C’s story, our so-called “welcoming” government is deliberately putting the people we care about at risk, even though they are clearly contributing to our society and are needed to keep our country going. The money contributed to this fundraiser will first support C, our colleague and friend, in their appeal of this decision. Any amount collected above what is needed for C’s legal fees will be shared with others in our community facing the same situation. 


Give generously and help us spread the word by sharing this campaign far and wide! The more reach we get – the more we can raise. The more we raise – the more people we can help through vulnerable situations. We appreciate your support, visit our fundraising campaign here!