Tips for H&C applications (Part 2: Evidence)

The second part of this series on Humanitarian and Compassionate Application will discuss the types of evidence that should accompany your applications. It would be a tremendous mistake to send in the application with only the forms as the decision maker will have a full picture of your case. Without supporting documents, your application will live and fall on your credibility. In fact, the IMM 5283 form warns you: 

You are entirely responsible to provide ALL the evidence to support any statement you make on this form. You will NOT be solicited for additional information or documentation 

So in other words: the more documents you can put forward to support your case, the better. 

There are several types of documents that are usually attached with an H&C application.

1) Statutory Declaration / Affidavit

This is a sworn statement that sets out the basis of your claim. If you are doing the application on your own, there are many examples of statutory declarations/affidavit online, and you can easily find a template on how they should look. Generally they have  numbered paragraph that sets out a new point with each paragraph. 

You should start with your basic biographical information: name, age, nationality. You should then detail the circumstances of your arrival to Canada, your accomplishments in this country since, and what you are doing currently. 

If you are not comfortable with doing this document by yourself, you can get the help of an immigration lawyer or certified consultant to help you with this part of the application. 

2) Photos

These help not only to humanize the application, but it can show your attachment in Canada. Your photos with your friends, family, and participation in community events can show a great deal of establishment in Canada. They can also be used as proof of your friendships and/or familial ties in the country.

3) Letters of Support

Letters of support from friends and family (preferably those who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents). These letters should spell out to the relationship between you and the person who is writing and you, the effect that  you have had on the author, and the effect that your departure from Canada would have on them. Note that letters of support does not need to be limited to adults, children and teenagers should be encouraged to write letters as well to the best of their abilities. 

For particularly strong supporters, consider a separate statutory declaration/affidavit for them.

4) Financial Documents

Bank statements, car loans, deeds, pay stubs, T4s, tax returns:  these types of financial documentation are proof of your level of establishment in Canada. Again, include as much as you can in your application package. If there are originals you can't part with, you can have them certified as a true copy at any notary. 

5) Medical Documentation

If you are expecting, or have children in Canada it is very important to include these types of documents in Canada. Likewise, if you (or your children in Canada) has a medical condition of some kind that you are receiving treatment for, it is important to include such documentation in your application. Birth records or death certificates should also be included.

Again, certified true copies can be obtained where you do not want to part with your originals. 

This is not an exhaustive list of the types of documents that can be included in your application - if you have something else that doesn't fall under this list, include it anyway. 

In part 3, we will discuss in detail the law surrounding Humanitarian and Compassionate applications.