3. Learn why the best interests of a child are important

If a child would be directly affected if you were forced to leave Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) must consider what’s in the child’s best interests.

What “directly affected” means

A child who could be directly affected includes:

  • your child, no matter where they were born and where they live, for example, if they live in Canada or somewhere else
  • a child living in Canada who’s not your child, but who you have a close relationship with

In some situations, this could include a child who’s 18 or older. For example, this might be an adult child who cannot live independently because of their disability.

Factors that affect a child’s best interests

Things that could affect a child’s best interests include the relationship between you and the child and the relationship between the child and others in Canada. Other factors include:

  • the child’s age
  • how long the child has been in Canada
  • the child’s ties to the country that you’d be removed to
  • any health problems the child has, or any needs related to a disability
  • the impact on the child’s education

Factors may also include issues relating to a child’s gender, for example, customs that girls and women have to follow in your country.

IRCC must look carefully at a child’s interests when deciding whether the reasons to accept an H&C application are strong enough. Some things may have a much greater impact on a child than on an adult because they may affect how a child will develop and options they may have in the future. So the same facts might make an H&C application stronger if a child would be affected.

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