Canada clarifies “dual intent” application process for overseas spousal sponsorship applicants

Spouse Canada Spousal Sponsorship -sponsor your partner for immigration to Quebec

Through the dual intent application, spousal or common-law sponsorship applicants can apply for a temporary visa and permanent residence at the same time.

Few couples apply for a temporary resident visa (TRV) first and then come to Canada to apply for inland sponsorship. In such cases, the immigration officer will see that applicants for temporary visas will leave at the end of their authorized stay; it is fine to apply for permanent residence as a temporary resident. In other words, applying for temporary residence, of any kind, does not block you from also applying for permanent residence.

The actual definition of “dual intent” in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act goes like this:

“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.”

Some applications still get refused as the applicants fail to prove that they will leave Canada once their documents get expired.

On October 30, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the program delivery instructions for the officers to give clarity on how to review spousal sponsorship applications; in particular, those who have also applied for a TRV.

Immigration officers will consider the individual circumstances of international applicants who are sponsored for permanent residence as a spouse or common-law partner, the instructions say  and the considerable factors are,

  • whether the sponsorship application has been approved;
  • whether the application for permanent residence has received stage one approval;
  • to what extend the applicant has retained ties in their home country; and
  • If their application is refused, what is the applicant’s plan?

The purpose of the program is that applicants must satisfy the regulations & prove to the officer that they will only stay in Canada as long as they have legal status in Canada.


Assessment process followed by immigration officers of dual intent profiles

Immigration officers are trained to verify each application considering the circumstances of the temporary residence applications. Officers also consider the below mentioned assessment points for temporary residence.

  • the length of time the applicant will spend in Canada;
  • their means of support;
  • obligations and ties to the home country;
  • the purpose and the context of the stay;
  • the credibility of documents and information submitted; and
  • past compliance with Canadian immigration laws, and information available in biographic and biometric information sharing.

For officers, it is similar to other temporary residence applications & they do not assess in any different way. Each applicant is to receive a “procedurally fair, individual assessment.”

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