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

What is Dual Intent

What is Dual Intent

Dual Intent of Permanent Residency and Temporary Stay in Canada

There are many different circumstances that can lead to permanent residency in Canada. However, the process of obtaining permanent residency in Canada can be a timely process and often applicants would like to either stay in Canada or visit Canada prior to officially obtaining their permanent residency. In these cases, these individuals would essentially have dual intent – when they are currently in the process of obtaining permanent residency but would also like to apply for temporary stay in Canada to visit, study or work. In order to better understand these circumstances, in this article I will address what dual intent entails, how dual intent is assessed by Canadian Immigration, how refusals of dual intent work, and much more.

What is Dual Intent

In most cases, dual intent is often thought to be contradictory. However, there is a reason for dual intent. Dual intent is defined as having a permanent residency application in process but also applying for temporary status. Essentially, the applicant would then indicate an intention to reside in Canada permanently but also temporarily, both at the same time.

An example of dual intent is when an applicant is waiting for the results of their permanent residency application and they would like to visit Canada for a short period. Therefore, they then apply for a Temporary Resident Visa or apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization, if they are from a visa-exempt country. This intention is actually acceptable so long as the applicant intends on leaving Canada at the end of their authorized period of stay. Keep in mind, the same circumstance applies for applicants who would like to work or study in Canada while they await the decision of their permanent residency application.

How Dual Intent is Assessed

First and foremost, the most important aspect of assessing dual intent is to ensure that the applicant who is applying for temporary residence in Canada will in fact leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay, even if the permanent residency application is refused. This can be a very difficult decision to make by an Immigration officer; however, they will ultimately assess a multitude of factors in order to determine whether the applicant’s intentions are bona fide or not. It is important to note that refusals of non-bona fide applicants can only withstand legal challenge when the refusal is determined based on the information and documentation submitted for a specific application and assessed by an Immigration officer.

In assessing dual intent, an Immigration officer will assess factors such as the following:

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

If, by any chance, the Immigration officer has any concerns with regards to the information or documentation that is submitted for a Temporary Resident visa, they have to advise the applicant of these concerns and allow for them to respond accordingly. Subsequently, if an application for a Temporary Resident Visa is refused, then the Immigration officer will provide the applicant with the reasons for refusal. Please note, if you receive a refusal for a Temporary Resident Visa, this will not affect the decision of your permanent residency application.

Reasons for Refusal

Refusals for dual intent only come from one single bona fide intent, for instance to become a permanent resident of Canada, and then misrepresenting the second intent, for instance to become a temporary resident of Canada, in order to achieve the former intent. When an Immigration officer assesses a Temporary Resident Visa with dual intent purposes, it is no different than assessing any other Temporary Resident Visa. Similarly, when applying for a Temporary Resident Visa as an applicant who is awaiting the results of their permanent residency application in Canada, they must also abide by all of the eligibility requirements and conditions of a Temporary Resident Visa. When the Immigration officer is assessing the eligibility requirements of a Temporary Resident Visa, they may refuse the application for any of the following reasons:

  • 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, financial and/or criminal inadmissibility
  • Not satisfying the Immigration officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized period of stay

Of course, please recognize that Immigration officers will use their discretion and evaluate all factors when assessing any Immigration application. They are instructed to use their own judgment and flexibility when determining decisions for dual intent. Because there is dual intent, the Immigration officer must determine their intent and whether they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized period of stay, especially when considering their specific circumstances.

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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