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Study PermitGuide to Canada

Can I have immigration intention in my application?

Learn the importance of a bona fide application for a successful Canadian study permit, focusing on individual assessment and dual intent.

Can I have immigration intention in my application?

As international students gear up to apply for study permits in Canada, a prevailing myth has been steering many in the wrong direction. Contrary to popular belief, the focus of your application should be more than just on your plan to return home but rather on ensuring your application is bona fide. Here's why.

Understanding Bona Fides in Study Permit Applications

The term 'Bona fides' is crucial in the context of study permits. It refers to the genuine intention behind your application. Canadian immigration authorities assess the bona fides of every foreign national applying for a study permit on an individual basis. This means that each application is scrutinized for its authenticity and validity, independent of cultural or historical contexts.

If there are doubts about an applicant's bona fides, they must be informed and given a chance to address these concerns. This individualized approach ensures fairness and transparency in the process, highlighting the importance of presenting a truthful and genuine application.

The Concept of Dual Intent

Foreign nationals can simultaneously intend to become permanent residents while applying for temporary residence.

(Government of Canada)

This dual intent is not only acknowledged but also seen as legitimate. Canada offers various facilitative pathways, such as the Agri-Food Pilot (AFP), Caregiver Pilot, and Canadian Experience Class, that transition temporary residents into permanent ones. These pathways are integral to Canada's economic growth and are actively promoted to foreign nationals.

Proving Your Intentions

While having dual intents is acceptable, how do you prove that you will leave the country by the end of your authorized stay?

The key is to be upfront about your future plans. If your goal is to transition from a temporary resident to a permanent one, state this clearly in your application.

Also, provide a commitment to leave Canada if you're unable to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) or other valid statuses.

Other factors that an officer may consider:

(Government of Canada)

Temporary to Permanent Resident Programs

IRCC, along with provincial and territorial governments, has developed various pathways for temporary residents to transition to permanent residency. These programs are designed for those with Canadian work or study experience, recognizing that such experience is a strong indicator of successful settlement in Canada, such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and Quebec Experience Class (PEQ).

For study permit applicants, it's essential to understand that the Canadian government actively promotes these study-work-permanent residence pathways. Applicants, especially Francophones, are encouraged to express their desire to immigrate to Canada permanently. This is not a detriment to their application; in fact, it's in line with the Government of Canada's messaging and advertising.

Final Thoughts

The takeaway for international students is clear: focus on filing a bona fide application and be transparent about your dual intents. This approach aligns with the Canadian government's policies and increases your chances of a successful application. Remember, it's not just about your plan to return home; it's about the authenticity and clarity of your intentions as a future student in Canada.

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