IRCC released an update to one of it’s guidance manuals (aimed at visa officers) to remind them that the policy of Dual Intent is a legitimate policy that is designed to encourage both temporary residents and immigration applications to Canada. With a dire shortage in critical labour skills and an ageing population, Canada must work hard to attract skilled immigrants. The policy of Dual Intent (which has been the law of the land for many years) is a critical instrument that allows some individuals to enter Canada with a temporary intent while at the same time demonstrating an intent to become a permanent resident.

Officers are known to refuse applications when temporary residents demonstrate an immigrant intent, but such refusals are an error in law when the facts point to circumstances that meet the Dual Intent legal test.

The formal update reminds officers that both temporary and permanent intents should be viewed as complimentary, not contradictory.

Below is an AI generated summary (vetted for accuracy) of the updated policy guidance:

Dual intent is the concept where foreign nationals who have applied or may apply for permanent residence in Canada also apply to enter Canada for a temporary period as visitors, students or workers. This duality of intent is legitimate and has facilitated pathways such as Agri-Food Pilot, Caregiver pilot and Canadian Experience Class, that allow for the retention of temporary residents with essential skills or experience. This contributes to Canada’s economic growth.

Assessing dual intent starts with the officer examining whether the applicant has a genuine intention to fulfill their obligations as a temporary resident. The officer should take into account the length of stay, means of support, obligations and ties to the home country, the purpose and context of the stay, and the credibility of documents and information submitted. The applicant should also have a fair and impartial decision-maker. The officer should avoid any bias, including the belief that applicants with open, closed, or prospective permanent residence applications automatically have a desire to remain in Canada past the authorized period of stay.

Spouses and partners of foreign nationals who are seeking to join their spouses or common-law partners in Canada should have their individual circumstances considered. Officers should take into account whether a sponsorship application has been approved, whether an application for permanent residence is proceeding towards approval, the applicant’s ongoing ties in their home country, and the result of being without status in Canada.

For parents and grandparents, officers should consider the intent to become a permanent resident in the context of issuing Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs), including multiple-entry visas. The intent to become a permanent resident does not preclude a person from becoming a temporary resident. Officers will normally issue a TRV if a parent or grandparent intends to eventually become a permanent resident and can satisfy an officer on a balance of probabilities that they will leave Canada at the end of the authorized period of stay.

Canada actively promotes temporary resident to permanent resident programs for foreign nationals as Canadian work experience is a strong indicator of successful settlement. Officers should consider applicants’ work or study experience in Canada when assessing their applications.

Dual intent is an essential element of Canada’s immigration policy. Assessing dual intent requires officers to examine each case on its merit, without bias. Foreign nationals seeking to enter Canada for a temporary period should have their individual circumstances considered, including whether they have an intent to become permanent residents. Finally, officers should encourage foreign nationals with essential skills or experience to apply for temporary residency, as they can contribute to Canada’s economic growth and potentially become permanent residents.

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