Understanding Dual Intent

It is not uncommon for us to meet with clients who when applying for temporary residency are scared to admit anything that could convey a future desire to immigrate to Canada.  However, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC“) recognizes that having two intents (one temporary and one permanent) is legitimate.  Its policy on this is commonly known as “dual intent.”

Section 22(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “IRPA“) states that:

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.

Because of IRPA s. 22, CIC will only refuse a temporary residence applicantion if it determines that the applicant is unlikely to leave Canada by the end of their authorized stay and comply with the requirements of temporary entry.

Because an intention by a prospective temporary resident to also apply for permanent residency cannot prima facie be grounds for refusals, CIC instead assesses numerous factors, including:

  • the length of time that the applicant will be spending in Canada;
  • the applicant’s means of support;
  • the applicant’s obligations and ties in the home country; and
  • whether the applicant is likely to comply with Canadian immigration legislation.

As the CIC Temporary Resident Guidelines state:

Refusals do not stem from having two intents. They stem from having a single bona fide intent (i.e., to become a permanent resident) and misrepresenting the second intent (i.e., to become a temporary resident) in order to achieve the first intent.

IRPA s. 22 also applies to Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA“) decisions at the port of entry.  On September 3, 2015, our firm won a judicial review of a CBSA officer’s decision to issue an Exclusion Order.  In the decision, Justice O’Reilly noted that the CBSA officer failed to determine whether the foreign national had a legitimate dual intent purpose in entering Canada, and quashed the removal order.  The decision is below.

 

 


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