Shabnam Akrami Blogs

Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Understand Dual Intent

I Applied for Permanent Residency; Can I Still Visit Canada Temporarily?

There are a variety of ways individuals can achieve permanent residency (PR) in Canada. Though, most often this process takes a very long time. As a result of this, individuals often wish to be in Canada, before they receive status as a permanent resident. This is a very confusing situation to be in. Allow me to break it down. Essentially, if you’re not a permanent resident, and only have the authority to be in Canada as a visitor, it is crucial that you are clear with an immigration officer you have every intention of leaving Canada once the period of time which you are permitted to stay in Canada is over. If you do not convince an immigration officer that your intention to visit Canada is to visit temporarily, you will not be allowed to enter Canada. Though, if you have submitted an application for permanent residency, you have clearly demonstrated your intent to reside in Canada permanently. Therefore, you may be wondering how you could be allowed to visit the country, if you cannot prove intent to leave. Though this is a confusing situation, there is a way to declare your intent to remain in Canada permanently, and ask permission to visit temporarily, without automatically being denied the privilege of visiting. If this sounds like the circumstance you’re facing, continue reading this blog to learn more.

What is Dual Intent?

Dual intent is essentially how you explain to Canadian immigration officers that you would like to reside in Canada permanently someday, but before having status as a lawful permanent resident, you would like to stay in Canada either as a visitor, a student or a worker. To help this explanation, allow me to provide an example. Someone who has dual intent would have already submitted an application for permanent residency, and would then continue by applying for a temporary resident visa (if they are from a non-visa exempt country), or an electronic travel authorization (if they are from a visa-exempt country). When your application for a temporary resident permit is assessed by an immigration officer, they will still be looking for proof that you intend to leave at the end of your authorized temporary stay. It is important to understand, you can still demonstrate a willingness to leave the country if your status as a lawful visitor expires, even though you have expressed a wish to remain in the country forever through your application for PR. It is still a requirement of individuals who have declared dual intent, to prove to an immigration officer that you will comply with the conditions of your visitor visa, and will not stay longer than you are allowed.

How Dual Intent is assessed?

As mentioned, it must be abundantly clear to an immigration officer that despite your wish to live in Canada permanently one day, you will leave at the end of your authorized stay, even if the permanent residency application is refused. Dual intent does not directly affect the processing of either your permanent resident or temporary resident applications. Rather, your applications are assessed separately, but you cannot indicate your wish to remain in Canada permanently, on your application for temporary residence. You must genuinely indicate that you would be happy and willing to leave Canada as soon as your temporary resident status expires. Therefore, the fact that you have dual intent does not affect your ability to achieve temporary residence. Rather, it would be because you have indicated the intent to remain in Canada permanently on your application for temporary residence, that you got refused. Please notice, the factors an immigration officer takes into account, are no different than those they would consider if they were assessing an applicant without dual intent. While trying to determine whether or not you should be granted a temporary resident visa, the immigration officer will consider things such as:

  • The proposed length of visit to Canada
  • The applicants availability of financial support while in Canada
  • Ties to the applicants home country
  • Compliance with the eligibility requirements of the IRPA and Regulations applicable to temporary residents in Canada, such as visitors, students and workers

Please note, if the Immigration officer has questions or concerns about the information or documentation that is submitted for a Temporary Resident visa, they will advise the applicant of these concerns and allow for them to respond accordingly. Furthermore, if your application for a Temporary Resident Visa is refused, you will be notified of this and provided reason for the refusal. It is important to remember that a refused temporary resident visa will not affect the decision of your permanent residency application.

If Dual Intent is Allowed, What are the Reasons for Refusal

I want to be abundantly clear that if you are a dual intent applicant, you are essentially assessed the same as any other applicant applying for temporary status. The immigration officer will consider all the same factors as to whether or not you should be granted temporary status as they would with any other applicant. Therefore, if you receive a refused temporary resident visa, it will be accompanied with an explanation citing one or more of the following explanations:

  • A history of failing to meet the conditions of admission on any previous travels to Canada
  • A lack of or insufficient proof of means of financial support for themselves in Canada and to return back to their country of origin at the end of their authorized period of stay
  • Medical inadmissibility
  • Criminal inadmissibility
  • Not satisfying the Immigration officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized period of stay

The following is an example of an individual with dual intent, who has their application refused as the result of an inability to prove they would respect the conditions of their status as a temporary visitor to Canada, as is given on the Canadian Immigration Services (CIC) website.

“An applicant for a work/study permit/ visitor’s visa indicates that they have no intention of leaving Canada at the end of their authorized stay, has demonstrated only a single intent – permanent residence. This application would be refused. This is because the applicant has shown that they do not respect the terms and conditions of temporary residence, should they not qualify for a Permanent Resident stream.”

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration, if you are an individual who has dual intent in Canada. If you would like to apply for Permanent Residency in Canada but also visit temporarily, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult endeavors to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting your application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients gain entry into Canada either temporarily and/or permanently. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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