Program-specific procedures for using interpreters

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

When and how an interpreter is used can differ, depending on the type of application.

Permanent residence applications made in Canada

When to use an accredited interpreter

The use of accredited interpreters is limited to interviews that could have a significant impact on the client, such as (this list is not exhaustive)

  • interviews with individuals likely to be subject to a removal from Canada;
  • pre-removal risk assessment hearings;
  • interviews with victims of abuse;
  • sponsorship interviews (e.g., marriages of convenience).

It is necessary to ensure that accredited interpreters are made available to applicants when required in the circumstances above. When a client is scheduled for an interview and requests an interpreter, the officer in charge of the file will determine whether an accredited interpreter is necessary. If the officer determines that the outcome of the interview will not have a significant impact, the client will be informed within a reasonable time period that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will not provide an interpreter. If the client still wants an interpreter, they are responsible for finding one.

IRCC must use interpreters accredited by the Immigration and Refugee Board. Local offices pay the costs.

For more information about this, refer to Using the services of an accredited interpreter.

When to use a non-accredited interpreter

Any situation that is not described above or that does not expose the client to the same degree of impact in terms of the decision does not require the presence of an accredited interpreter.

If an individual wants to use an interpreter, they must find one themselves and pay the associated costs.

The interviewing officer must assess the quality of the communication between the client and their interpreter and validate the interpreter’s impartiality with respect to the client’s statements.

Refugee status applications

Citizenship applications

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