Sun | Dec 3, 2023

Immigration Corner | What is dual intent?

Published:Tuesday | October 1, 2019 | 12:20 AM
Deidre S. Powell
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Ms Powell,

I read your articles each week online in the Jamaican Gleaner and I must say that I am impressed with the way you help Jamaicans worldwide through your articles. I am married to a Jamaican and a Canadian citizen. We would like the children’s grandmother to visit us for the Christmas, but we are concerned that the visa will be rejected as we had applied for sponsorship for her. She does not intend to stay until the documents get formalised. Grandpa died this year and we are worried that they think she has stronger ties to Canada than Jamaica and will refuse the visa. Is there a way to reassure them that we do not intend to break the immigration rules and that we just want our Grandma to spend Christmas and even Valentine's Day with us? We do not want her to feel lonely and it’s too expensive for our family to go there for the Christmas. Please help us to figure out the best options for us. Thank you for your time.


Dear RT,

Your situation is one that many temporary visa applicants face. Many times, applicants or a close family member have an application for permanent residence in place with Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and they wish to visit, but do not intend to remain in Canada at that particular time and they worry that their application will be refused. You should not worry about this, as IRCC recognises that applicants may have a dual intent when applying to come to Canada and there are legal provisions and guidelines for these kinds of cases.

What is Dual Intent?

Dual intent is where there is evidence that a foreign national has applied or may apply for permanent residence status in Canada and the individual wishes to enter Canada for a temporary period as a visitor, student or worker.

Having two intents, that is, to visit for a short time and to become a permanent resident is perfectly legitimate. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act clearly states that '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 authorised for their stay'. This means that each application will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

In examining a case, the officer will look at factors such as the reason for the visit, the length of time the individuals intend to visit, the financial support, ties to home country and other factors such as whether or not the applicant or sponsor has complied with other regulations and laws.

Reasons for refusal

A dual intent on the part of the applicant is usually not the only grounds for refusal of temporary resident status. The immigration officer usually examines the supporting evidence and could refuse an application if there are concerns about your application, such as a history of disregarding other immigration laws, insufficient proof of financial support in Canada and when your grandmother returns to her home country, not satisfying the officer that she intends to return to her home country at the end of the time granted for the visit and inadmissibility concerns such as medical, financial or criminal factors.

You should be reassured that the immigration offers are usually more flexible in the issuing of temporary visitor’s visa to parent and grandparents, even if they have an application for permanent residence in place. The key is to satisfy the officer that your grandmother will leave Canada at the end of the period granted for the temporary visit.

If you have additional questions or concerns, I strongly recommend that you speak directly with an authorised immigration lawyer to provide more details on the documents to submit to strengthen your case.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, personal injury, family, commercial and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to Email: Subject line: Immigration Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tel:613.695.8777.