- IRCC acknowledges that having temporary and permanent residency intentions is legitimate and complementary.
- The Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Programs, such as the Caregiver Pilot and Canadian Experience Class, are relied upon as routes to permanent residency.
- IRCC officers must assess each application on an individual basis and consider factors such as the length of stay, past compliance, and credibility of documents.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recently updated its program instructions for IRCC staff when dealing with cases of dual intent. Dual intent is the situation when a foreign national applies, or may apply, for permanent residence in Canada while also applying to enter Canada for a temporary period as a visitor, student, or worker. This article explores the changes made to the instructions and their implications for temporary residents who intend to apply for immigration.
Legitimacy of Dual Intent
The revision to dual intent instructions involves acknowledging that having two intentions, initially for temporary residence and eventually for permanent residence, is legitimate. This acknowledgment implies that having both intentions is complementary, not contradictory. The legitimacy of dual intent should be used when applying subsection 22(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) to the decision-making process. Subsection 22(2) states that a foreign national’s intention to become a permanent resident does not preclude them from becoming a temporary resident as long as the IRCC officer is satisfied that they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay.
Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Programs
The updated instructions include a section on Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Programs, reminding IRCC officers that Canada actively promotes these programs to foreign nationals. Canadian work experience is fundamental to a successful settlement. Facilitative pathways that depend on attracting temporary residents that have essential skills or experience, such as the Caregiver Pilot, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Agri-Food Pilot, have been relied upon as routes to permanent residence. Other programs give extra points to applicants whose work or study experience is in Canada.
Study Permit Applications
In the case of study permit applications, officers need to take into consideration that Canada actively promotes study-work permanent residence pathways to prospective students. These students are encouraged to indicate they wish to immigrate to Canada permanently.
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Assessing Dual Intent Applications
To approve a temporary resident application, the officer must be satisfied that the applicant has a genuine intention to leave Canada at the end of their period of authorized stay. In assessing this, the individual circumstances of the applicant must be examined. The officer may consider, among other factors:
- The length of time that the client will be spending in Canada
- The credibility of documents and information submitted
- Past compliance with requirements of the IRPA and the IRPR that apply to temporary residents (visitors, students, and workers), as well as information available in biographic and biometric information sharing
The instructions state that the assessment of an application where an applicant has dual intent should be the same as the assessment of any other temporary residence application. Each applicant should receive the benefit of a procedurally fair and individual assessment based on the entire context of the application. The applicant also has the right to a fair and impartial decision-maker. The courts have indicated that the officer must avoid the possibility or perception of bias. Examples of bias would include that an applicant with an open or prospective permanent residence application will automatically have a desire to stay in Canada beyond their authorized stay.
Implications of the Updated Instructions
The updated instructions provide temporary residents with more clarity about the legitimacy of dual intent and the assessment process. By acknowledging that having two intentions, initially for temporary residence and eventually for permanent residence, is legitimate, the IRCC is providing temporary residents with greater assurance that they can apply for immigration without jeopardizing their temporary resident status. Moreover, the instructions emphasize the importance of Canadian work experience in settling in Canada, which can encourage more temporary residents to seek permanent residence through the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Programs.
The instructions also provide IRCC officers with a clear framework for assessing applications where an applicant has dual intent. By assessing these applications in the same way as any other temporary residence application, the IRCC aims to ensure fairness and transparency in the immigration process. Furthermore, the updated instructions on dual intent demonstrate the Canadian government’s commitment to facilitating pathways for temporary residents to become permanent residents.
Benefits of dual intent
Acknowledging the legitimacy of dual intent offers a range of benefits to both temporary and permanent residents. For temporary residents, having dual intent provides them with the opportunity to establish themselves in Canada, gain Canadian work experience, and explore their options for permanent residency. On the other hand, permanent residency offers benefits such as access to public healthcare, social services, and the ability to work and study anywhere in Canada.
For Canada, dual intent helps to attract and retain individuals with valuable skills and experience that contribute to the Canadian economy and society. By offering temporary residents the opportunity to become permanent residents, Canada can retain individuals who have already established themselves in the country and are likely to make positive contributions to the country’s growth and development.
In conclusion, the recent update to IRCC’s program instructions on dual intent demonstrates Canada’s commitment to providing fair and transparent pathways to permanent residency for temporary residents. Acknowledging the legitimacy of dual intent offers a range of benefits to both temporary and permanent residents, and it helps to attract and retain individuals with valuable skills and experience. By continuing to facilitate pathways to permanent residency, Canada can continue to grow and develop its economy and society through the contributions of its diverse and talented population.