The Interview Process For Citizenship Applicants

A judge always has to review the application and sign off on it, but that does not mean there is always an interview or hearing in front of a judge.

For instance, you may have very straight-forward, easy to assess case. You may have been in Canada without a break for the last three years. You may have a 9-5 job in Canada. Your family lives in Canada, you file taxes here, and it’s absolutely clear from your application that you have been here every day for the last three years. In this type of scenario, a judge could sign off on your application without requiring you to attend a hearing. Still, even in this straight-forward case, if you are between the ages of 18 and 54, you will be required to write the citizenship test to establish your knowledge of Canada.

When you get called in, you will have a short interview with an immigration officer just to review the file and to give the officer a sense of your language ability. If it’s very straightforward, the officer will recommend that you qualify for citizenship without needing to go to a hearing before a citizenship judge. If an officer sees something in the application that raises questions, if the person does not have the days required or if there is some issues such as contradictory evidence in the application or missing evidence, then it more likely the immigration officer will suggest that a hearing before a judge is required.

The citizenship judge may just sign off on the file, and then you will be notified to come for a citizenship ceremony where you would take the citizenship oath. Citizenship ceremonies are generally conducted in groups of people all being sworn in as citizens on the same day.

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This article is taken from a March 18, 2008 interview with Joshua B. Sohn B.A., LL.B. an immigration lawyer with Embarkation Law Group, Vancouver immigration Lawyers. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.