April 10, 2023

IRCC Updates Instructions Regarding “Dual Intent”

Posted by Athena Portokalidis - Bellissimo Law Group PC

On 5 April 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provided a program delivery update specific to “dual intent” in the processing of temporary resident applications.[1] As indicated, the update aims to provide extensive revision of the instructions pertaining to “dual intent,” including expanding the “language around the spirit of the law, that the existence of two different intents is legitimate […] and should be viewed as complementary, not contradictory” and specific to Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Programs, a reminder to officers “that Canada actively promotes these programs to foreign nationals and that Canadian work experience is a strong indicator for successful settlement.”[2]

The new IRCC instructions, intended to be used by IRCC staff, now direct that having two “intents (initially for temporary residence and eventually for permanent residence) is legitimate.”[3] It is also recognized that pathways to permanent residence available for individuals who retain temporary residents with essential skills or experience “contribute to Canada’s economic growth.”[4] Inherent in the assessment of any temporary resident application (such as a temporary resident visa, study permit, or work permit) is proving to an officer that an applicant has a genuine intention to fulfill their obligations as a temporary resident – namely that they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay.[5] In making such assessments, officers are also directed to examine the individual circumstances of the applicant.[6]

On the other hand, the instructions also explain that many students may indicate their desire to remain in Canada permanently on their study permit applications, and officers should consider that study-work-permanent residence pathways are actively promoted by the Government.[7]

This is a significant development, though it will remain to be seen how this will impact decision-making on temporary applications moving forward. It is certainly positive that IRCC is urging officers to recognize the important contribution that temporary residents such as students and workers stand to make in Canada, and the importance of providing viable pathways to permanent residence to these individuals, especially considering their significant investment of time and money into developing skills and valuable experience in Canada.

This article is prepared for information only and is not intended to provide legal advice. Should you wish to discuss your eligibility or how the changes to the instructions concerning “dual intent” may apply to you, feel free to schedule a consultation with our office.