Visiting Canada? What is Dual Intent?

Visiting Canada? What is Dual Intent?

Foreign national coming to Canada to visit, work or study on a temporary basis can be allowed entry to Canada even if they intend to eventually become Canadian permanent residents or citizens. Under the law, foreign nationals who satisfy immigration officers that they will leave Canada by the end of their authorized stay will be allowed into Canada temporarily even with the intent to become a permanent resident. This is known as “dual intent”.

While this is the rule, a recent case decided in June puts an interesting spin on dual intent.

In the case of Loveridge v. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Ms Loveridge, a U.K. citizen, applied to study in Canada. In her application, Ms Loveridge indicated that she wanted to start a “fresh” and “new” life in Canada for a number of reasons including the fact that there were more job opportunities in Canada. However, in that same application, she also indicated that she would be in a “stronger position to find employment upon my return to the UK.” Because of these two statements, Ms. Loveridge argued that she had dual intent.

The judge found that Ms. Loveridge had both “an intention to stay in Canada as well as an intention to leave Canada”. However, since dual intent requires an intention to remain permanently in Canada, coupled with an intention to leave Canada if required to do so, the judge round that Ms Loveridge’s intentions were contradictory, and not complementary. As a result, her statements were not found to support dual intent.

Another factor in the decision was that Ms Loveridge and her husband were unemployed in the U.K. and had no proof that they owned any property there. While she indicated that she had family and friends in the U.K., she did not provide any details of these individuals. The judge found that these factors were also weak points in her case.

When applying for any temporary status in Canada, it is important to clearly indicate the motivations for the visit and to provide evidence that would allow an Immigration Officer to make a correct decision. In Ms Loveridge’s case, the letter that she submitted with her application was confusing and was one reason that she lost her case. While a person can want to immigrate to Canada permanently even when applying for temporary entry, it is important that to back up this dual intent with evidence to show the ability and willingness to return to the home country.

This Article is prepared for general information purposes only and is intended to provide comments for readers and friends of the Filipino Journal. The contents should not be viewed as legal advice or opinion.

Reis is a lawyer with Aikins Law and practices in the areas of immigration law. His direct line is 957-4640. If you would like to know more about Reis or Aikins you can visit the firm’s web page at www.aikins.com, follow Reis on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/ImmigrationReis, or connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/reispagtakhan