In IRCC

In January of 2017, a Canadian Immigration Officer denied an application for permanent residence through a spousal sponsorship. The Officer doubted the validity of the marriage because the applicant and the sponsor did not speak the same language. The Officer did not provide notice of his concerns to the applicant and the applicant and sponsor were asked to return the next day with an interpreter. The applicant felt severely unprepared for the intrusive questions of this second interview, in which the applicant and sponsor were separated and questioned. Because the applicant was not advised of the purpose of this second interview, she expressly stated to the Officer her concerns that she was not being treated fairly. The Officer, after review of the application and the interviews, decided the sponsor and applicant were not cohabitating, and her application was denied.

The applicant appealed to the Federal Court, which reviewed the case on November 21st to determine if the applicant had received procedural fairness.

The immigration department argued that the inconsistencies in the answers provided by the applicant and her sponsor were “simple and routine questions”, and did not need advance notice. But, the Court disagreed. Some of the questions may have been simple and routine; however, because the genuineness of their marriage was under scrutiny during the interview, notice and reasonable opportunity for preparation was required. The applicant won and the case was returned to another office to be reassessed.

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