What’s the difference between a refugee claim and an H&C claim?

4. Learn more about differences between refugee claims and H&C claims

The chart below shows some of the differences in the rights you have if you make a refugee claim or if you make a .

Making an H&C application Making a refugee claim
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) usually decides based on your written application. You won’t likely get an interview. If your claim is eligible, you have the right to a hearing at the (IRB).
It helps to be well-established in Canada, with a work history and strong family relationships. Being established in Canada does not matter to the IRB.
Basis of your application Basis of your claim
Almost anything that makes others feel compassion and want to help can be the basis for a successful H&C application. The IRB decides your claim based only on whether you fit into the definition of or .
IRCC must consider the best interests of any child under the age of 18 who could be directly affected by their decision. The IRB decides your claim based only on whether you fit into the definition of Convention refugee or person in need of protection.
While you wait for a decision While you wait for a decision
Making an H&C application does not give you the right to stay in Canada while IRCC decides. You can stay in Canada until the IRB decides your claim.
Getting permanent resident status Getting status
To become a permanent resident, you need to show that you and your family members are not . For example, you need to meet health standards and show that you can support yourself financially. But IRCC can decide to make an exception. If your refugee claim is accepted, you can apply for permanent resident status. You and your family members don’t have to meet all of the usual requirements. For example, you don’t have to meet all the usual health standards or show that you can support yourself financially.
Losing your permanent resident status Losing your permanent resident status
If your H&C application is accepted and you become a permanent resident, you can lose that status and be forced to leave Canada for reasons given in the law. For example, this can happen if you’re convicted of a . If your refugee claim is accepted, you’re a . This usually means that you can become a permanent resident. If you lose your status as a permanent resident, you might not be forced to leave Canada. This is because usually a protected person cannot be sent back to a country where they would be at risk.
If you become a permanent resident, you won’t lose that status only because you travel to or get a passport from another country. If you’re a protected person and a permanent resident and you voluntarily do something that’s considered going back under the “protection of your country of nationality”, you can:
  • lose both types of status, and
  • be forced to leave Canada.

For example, this could happen if you travel to or get a passport from that country.

Fees Fees
The current fees to make an H&C application are $550 for each adult and $150 for each child under the age of 22 who’s included in the application.If you’re successful, you also have to pay the Right of Permanent Residence fee, which is currently $490 for each adult. You don’t have to pay a fee to make a refugee claim. But you have to pay fees if your claim is accepted and you apply for permanent residence. The current fees are $550 for each adult and $150 for each child under the age of 22 who’s included in the application.You don’t have to pay the Right of Permanent Residence fee.
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