Temporary residents: Dual intent applicants

Temporary residents: Dual intent applicants


This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Having two intents – one for temporary residence and one for permanent residence – is legitimate. This section addresses how to apply subsection A22(2) of the IRPA to the decision-making process, and to clarify that the issue of dual intent affects all categories of immigration applications.

A22(2) states “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.” Dual intent is present when a foreign national who has applied for permanent residence in Canada also applies to enter Canada for a temporary period as a visitor, worker or student. Dual intent on the part of the applicant is therefore not prima facie grounds for refusal of temporary resident status.

Assessing dual intent

A person’s desire to apply for permanent resident status in Canada may be legitimate. An officer should distinguish between an applicant whose intentions are bona fide and an applicant who has no intention of leaving Canada at the end of their authorized stay if the application for permanent residence is refused.
In assessing bona fide, the individual circumstances of the temporary resident applicant must be examined; refusals of non-bona fide temporary residents may only withstand legal challenge when the refusal is based on the information related to the specific case before an officer.

In assessing an application for temporary residence an officer may also consider factors such as:

  • the length of time that the client will be spending in Canada;
  • the means of support;
  • obligations and ties in the home country; and
  • compliance with requirements of the IRPA and Regulations applicable to temporary residents (visitors, students and workers).

If an officer has concerns/doubts about the applicant’s bona fide, the applicant must be made aware of these concerns and given an opportunity to respond to them. If an application for temporary residence is not approved, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada visa officer will provide the client with a letter explaining why an application has been refused.

Temporary residence status might be refused for several reasons, including:

  • history of having contravened the conditions of admission on a previous stay in Canada;
  • lack of or insufficient proof of adequate funds to support oneself while in Canada, and to affect one’s departure from Canada;
  • medical inadmissibility;
  • not satisfying the visa officer that the individual will leave Canada at the end of their period of authorized stay.


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.

For example: an applicant for a work or study permit who indicates that they have no intention of leaving Canada has demonstrated only a single intent – permanent residence. This application would be refused, even if the applicant might qualify for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). This is because the applicant has shown that they do not respect the terms and conditions of temporary residence, should they not qualify for a Permanent Resident stream.

Assessing an application where there are dual intent implications is no different from assessing any other temporary resident application. Each applicant receives the benefit of a procedurally fair, individual assessment. The applicant must, in turn, satisfy the officer that they meet all the requirements of IRPA’s Regulations relating to temporary residence, before any visa is issued.

The existence of the CEC or the issuance of a Provincial Nominee Certificate does not change this. The possibility that an applicant for temporary residence may, at some point in the future, be approved under a Permanent Resident Program does not absolve the individual from meeting the requirements of a temporary resident, specifically, to leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for their stay, R179.

The inherent rigidity of R179 is balanced by the flexibility of A22(2), which allows the visa officer to consider an applicant’s intent in relation to the particular circumstances of the case. For example: an applicant for a study permit who may qualify for the CEC in three years has a different set of circumstances from that of a PN whose application is near completion and who applies for a work permit, with the support of the province, due to an urgent need for his or her services.

Officers are reminded to use their own judgment and the flexibility afforded to them by A22(2) when making decisions in cases with a dual intent aspect. CAIPS/FOSS/GCMS notes should clearly demonstrate the officer’s reasoning when assessing a case.

Parents and grandparents

Visa officers are encouraged to be more flexible in issuing TRVs, including multiple-entry visas, to parents and grandparents:

  • who have applications for permanent residence in process; and
  • who wish to visit but do not intend to immigrate to Canada.

As set out in A22(2), the intent to become a permanent resident does not preclude a person from becoming a temporary resident. If a parent or grandparent intends to become a permanent resident eventually and can satisfy an officer on a balance of probabilities that they will leave Canada at the end of the authorized period of stay, in accordance with R179, officers will normally issue a TRV (a single-or multiple-entry visa). Longer validity visas should also be considered (Refer to Procedure: Long-term temporary residents).

Issuing a temporary resident permit (TRP) would only be warranted if the parent or grandparent is inadmissible to Canada or fails to meet the requirements applicable to visitors, and if there is a compelling humanitarian or compassionate reason to facilitate their entry into Canada. In all cases, the health and security of Canada must be protected.

Where possible, officers should advise applicants that it is important to maintain their temporary resident status while in Canada and that there is no in-Canada immigration class for parents and grandparents. A note that this counselling has been provided should be included in CAIPS/GCMS.

See also: In-Canada applications for permanent residence in progress.