Dual Intent Canada – Temporary Residents

Dual Intent Canada for Temporary Resident ApplicationsSimona is a citizen of the Central African Republic. She has submitted an immigration application to Canada as a skilled worker. Of course, she is currently waiting for a final decision on her application. However, Simona intends to enter Canada as a visitor to stay a couple of months with her sick aunt, who lives in Calgary. Consequently, Simona wonders if she could apply for a visit visa despite having an open immigration application. She has heard about the concept of dual intent but not quite sure what it is.

Canada accepts more than 300,000 immigrants every year. However, some of these immigrants may decide to enter Canada temporarily while the IRCC is reviewing their immigration application. We call this approach a dual-intent. Let’s explore this matter in detail.

What is a temporary resident application?

A temporary resident application could refer to an application for any of the following or similar reasons:

Simply put, a temporary resident is someone who intends to remain in Canada for a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months. However, this person will eventually leave Canada for their home country or another country. Nonetheless, you may read the following article for more information:

What is a permanent resident application?

A person may submit a permanent resident application under any of the following categories.

A permanent resident (PR) is someone who has permission to stay in Canada for as long as they want. Of course, maintaining Canadian PR is subject to specific requirements. Consequently, consider reading the following articles:

What is dual-intent?

Imagine you have initiated a permanent resident application. If your PR application is still open and you submit a temporary resident application, then you have dual-intent. For example, if your Canadian citizen daughter has sponsored you to Canada for PR status and you then apply for a visit visa, then you have dual-intent.

Is dual-intend unacceptable in Canada?

The simple answer to this question is “no.” However, you need to make sure there is no conflict between the two applications. Of course, the conflict could arise from several different reasons:

  • A contradiction between the forms you have filled out for the PR versus temporary resident applications!
  • The destination of the two applications (e.g. one of them is a PNP application for Saskatchewan, and the other is a study permit for Quebec)! Of course, if you could justify the difference in the destination, then the officers might accept the application.
  • The nature of applications (e.g. one of them says you are immigrating as a dentist and the other one says you are visiting Canada as a surveyor)!
  • Any other contradictory documents or information!

People could submit dual-intent applications that seem to be contradictory. If they do come up with a proper justification, then the officers could accept them. However, with a lack of convincing explanations and documents, they could face refusal or even misrepresentation. Consequently, you need to be extra careful when you have dual-intent.

Will officers refuse dual-intent applications?

Under subsection 22(2) of the IRPA, “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.” Of course, in simple English, this means the officer must review the temporary resident application independently. They will accept the temporary resident application if you convince them:

  1. You meet the requirements of the application;
  2. there is no intention to overstay in Canada;
  3. you are not going to breach the terms of your temporary stay in any shape and form;
  4. there are enough financial resources and arrangements for your stay in Canada; and
  5. you are not inadmissible to Canada.

What to do in case of a dual-intent?

If you have dual-intent or rather if you have already submitted a PR application and intend to initiate a temporary resident application, follow these principles:

  • Make sure there are no conflicts between the two applications.
  • Pay special attention and provide several documents that show you have sincere and severe emotional ties to your current country of residence.
  • Present several documents to verify your financial ties to your current country of residence.
  • Provide as many documents as you can to show you have no intention to breach the terms of your temporary stay in Canada.
  • Ensure to present documents that verify your good character and your adherence to the rule of law.
  • Present documents that show you will face no financial problems while you are staying in Canada

Of course, the devil is in the details. You may consult with a professional immigration practitioner for the specific documents you need to verify these points.

Dual-intent for parents and grandparents

Generally speaking, the officers are more flexible when it comes to parents and grandparents. Therefore, they issue Temporary Resident Visas (TRV) for them more often while they have open immigration applications. I have rarely seen cases where the immigration authorities refused a TRV application for this group. However, don’t ignore the possibility of refusals. I highly recommend considering all the issues I mentioned earlier for parental dual-intent applications.

Dual-intent at a port of entry

When you try to enter Canada with a dual-intent, a border services officer (BSO) considers the following:

  • “the length of time required to process the application for permanent resident status;
  • the means of support;
  • obligations and ties in the home country;
  • the likelihood of the applicant leaving Canada if the application is refused; and
  • compliance with the requirements of the Act and Regulations while in Canada”. (Source – ENF 4- v. 2019-08-15 – p. 84)

If you convince them you meet all the requirements, they will allow you to enter Canada. However, they may issue a Visitor Record that will limit your stay in Canada. Of course, the Visitor Record may also impose additional terms and conditions on your stay. Regardless, the BSO has the authority to allow or deny entry. In severe and exceptional cases, they may even detain you. Consequently, make sure to hold convincing documents with you while entering Canada.

Extending your stay with dual-intent

Sometimes you are already in Canada while having an open immigration application (e.g. a Canadian Experience Class application). If you intend to extend your stay (e.g. to continue working in Canada), then you need to consider all the issues I emphasized in this article. In other words, don’t take this lightly. Just because you are already in Canada does not guarantee the approval of your extension request. Of course, you may read the following article for your potential options:

Multiple immigration applications

IRCC does not consider submitting various immigration applications as dual-intent. There is nothing in the law that prevents you from submitting more than one immigration applications simultaneously. However, consider the following:

  • The applications should not contradict each other.
  • Sometimes IRCC may decide to close one of the applications to prevent extra strain on the immigration system.
  • They may send you letters to ask why you have opened multiple applications.
  • If they approve one of the applications, you need to withdraw the other ones.

If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review the form for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licenced practitioner.

Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada


This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice. Do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. We cannot be held responsible for the content of these articles. If you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.

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Al Parsai

This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.