Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated its guidelines for dual intent, making it clearer to potential applicants for immigration to Canada and IRCC staff alike when, and why, an individual may benefit from dual intent.
Dual intent is present when a foreign national who has applied or may apply for permanent residence in Canada also applies to enter Canada for a temporary period as a visitor, student, or temporary worker.
Clearer guidelines will likely aid many existing and potential visitors, students, and temporary workers who aim to make Canada their permanent home, particularly given the fact that many economic Canadian immigration programs (i.e. programs to become a permanent resident) reward individuals who have study or work experience in Canada.
Having two intents — one for temporary residence and one for permanent residence — is legitimate. Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) states: “An intention by a foreign national to become a permanent resident does not preclude them from becoming a temporary resident if the officer is satisfied that they will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for their stay”.
As such, having dual intent on the part of the applicant is therefore not prima facie grounds for refusal of temporary resident status as a visitor, student, or worker.
However, there are a few important things that applicants for permanent residence should know about dual intent, especially if they first intend to come to Canada as a visitor, student, or worker.
The existence of two different intents is not, in itself, reason to refuse a temporary residence application (i.e. an application to visit Canada, or study or work in Canada temporarily). If the IRCC officer is satisfied that the applicant would leave Canada after their authorized stay, regardless of the outcome of any future potential permanent residence application, the temporary residence application may be approved.