The short answer is, yes, you can visit your partner while your permanent residence application is being processed.
This is because Canada recognizes “dual intent”. This means that it allows you to have two intentions, to stay in Canada temporarily, while also intending to immigrate in the future.
The main thing you need to show is that you will leave Canada after your period of authorized stay. This typically means showing ties to your home country and that you have a plan if your permanent residence application is refused.
Before you arrive to Canada
Some countries, like the United States, do not require any additional paperwork in advance to visit. The only thing that is needed is for the border officer to admit you into the country. For other countries, like Mexico, you need to apply for an electronic travel authorization in advance of your trip. Finally, for other countries, like the Dominican Republic, you need to apply for a temporary resident permit (visitor visa) in advance of travel. For spouses of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, the government has committed to trying to process temporary resident permit applications in 30 days, which in some cases, is much shorter than the average.
NEW Dual-Intent Border Guide
Since this is a common issue for spousal sponsorship applicants, we recently created a resource for people that want to visit Canada while their permanent residence application is ongoing (or before they consider applying). It is an in-depth Dual-Intent Border Guide that answers common questions and gives you lots of tips. It includes,
- 20 reasons for denials so you can avoid common mistakes.
- Border Package Checklist
- Travel Day - border-crossing tips
- Border Interview tips
- A chart with a list of factors assessed and tips for each factor to maximize your chances of success.
- In-depth guide of dual-intent and the standard you must meet to be admitted.
- A guide on what to do when things go wrong.
- A list of situations that require extra support.
To grab a copy of our NEW guide, click here.
Spousal Sponsorship to Canada Legal Services
For our spousal sponsorship clients, we help them prepare for border crossing and they get this guide included as part of our services. To learn more about our spousal sponsorship services (including pricing), see here.