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Translator for Citizenship Interview 

ginger1108
ginger1108
Posts: 2


Posted On: 5/13/2014
ginger1108
ginger1108
Posts: 2
My grandparents just received notice to attend an interview with a citizenship officer to verify their identity and original documents. They are over the age of 54 and hence do not need to take the citizenship test. Their grasp of the English language is close to nil. Would the interviewer allow me to accompany my grandparents to act as their translator during the interview?

Thanks in advance,

Ginger
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Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2953


Posted On: 5/15/2014
Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2953
Hello Ginger,

Thank you for sharing your grandparents' situation with us. It is great that you are looking into this type of information on their behalf.

You can find some information on this topic in the CIC CP 13 – Administration Operations Manual.

According to the CIC CP 13 – Administration Operations Manual,


CP 13 – Administration

3. Using interpreters

3.1. This section is about

This section explains when interpreters are to be used during the citizenship application process.

It covers:
- language interpreters
- sign-language interpreters

3.2. Program objectives

The use of an interpreter is a right enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and in the Bill of Rights.

The assistance of an interpreter is to ensure language barriers do not impede applications. The assistance of an interpreter during a citizenship interview or hearing is subject to the decision-maker’s determination that:

- the request is being made in good faith;
- the interpreter is competent to provide the required assistance.

When an interpreter should be used

An interpreter should be used when applicants have had language requirements waived or when they are not clearly able to understand, read or speak one of Canada's official language during the citizenship process. For example, an interpreter may be used during a hearing with a citizenship judge, during an interview with a citizenship officer, during a citizenship ceremony, during the signature of the oath of citizenship, etc.

Exception to language interpreters at a hearing with a citizenship judge

Language interpreters may not be used during the assessment of a client’s ability to speak one of the official languages. An interpreter may be used during a hearing when assessing their knowledge of Canada. While it is possible for applicants to have sufficient knowledge of English or French to meet the language requirement, they may have difficulty either understanding or expressing themselves in response to questions concerning knowledge of Canada and of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship. For this reason, applicants are permitted to rely on the assistance of an interpreter in order to demonstrate that they satisfy the Citizenship Act’s knowledge of Canada requirement.


and

3.5. Policy

Language interpreter

To uphold a person’s right to be heard, a language interpreter may be used to assist an applicant for citizenship during any required interview or hearing. A language interpreter will be allowed to assist applicants to demonstrate at a hearing with a citizenship judge that they meet the requirements of the Citizenship Act, except for the requirement of knowledge of one of the official languages of Canada.


We suggest that you may also want to contact the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Call Centre directly for some information specific to these type of circumstances. If you want to find out information specific to your grandparents' file, notice or interview with the citizenship officer, you will likely have to do this with your grandparents present. The Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Call Centre agent will likely ask you if they are there with you and have given you permission to ask information about their file.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions and if there is any follow up to your question/situation.

=====
Anna
Settlement.Org Content and Information/Referral Specialist, CIRS
Settlement.Org
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PMM
PMM
Posts: 538


Posted On: 5/18/2014
PMM
PMM
Posts: 538
Hi

1. There is a good chance that the Grandparents will be refused for lack of English/French. From www,cic.gc.ca

"In order to become a Canadian citizen, you must have an adequate knowledge of English or French, Canada’s two official languages. Adequate knowledge of English or French means the ability to speak one of Canada’s official languages well enough to communicate with people. Citizenship applicants must attain Canadian Language Benchmark/Niveau de compétence linguistique canadien 4 to demonstrate adequate knowledge of English or French."

If it is for their language ability, here is what CIC says in CP 13

Exception to language interpreters at a hearing with a citizenship judge
Language interpreters may not be used during the assessment of a client’s ability to speak one of
the official languages. An interpreter may be used during a hearing when assessing their
knowledge of Canada. While it is possible for applicants to have sufficient knowledge of English
or French to meet the language requirement, they may have difficulty either understanding or
expressing themselves in response to questions concerning knowledge of Canada and of the
responsibilities and privileges of citizenship. For this reason, applicants are permitted to rely on
the assistance of an interpreter in order to demonstrate that they satisfy the Citizenship Act’s
knowledge of Canada requirement."



PMM
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Klaus
Klaus
Posts: 75


Posted On: 5/18/2014
Klaus
Klaus
Posts: 75
Are you sure, PMM? http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/information/applications/guides/CIT0002ETOC.asp says:
[h4]What are the other requirements for citizenship?[/h4]
You must:
•have adequate knowledge of one of the official languages of Canada
•be able to understand and speak basic English or French

Note: You will need to submit language proof with your application.

•have adequate knowledge of:
-Canada’s history,
-geography,
-government, and
-the rights and responsibilities of citizenship


Note: You will need to pass a written and/or oral knowledge test

Note:
Persons 55 years of age and over are exempted from having to meet the language and knowledge requirements.


The OP said that her grandparents are over the age of 54.
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PMM
PMM
Posts: 538


Posted On: 5/19/2014
PMM
PMM
Posts: 538
Hi



Are you sure, PMM? http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/information/applications/guides/CIT0002ETOC.asp says:
[h4]What are the other requirements for citizenship?[/h4]
You must:
•have adequate knowledge of one of the official languages of Canada
•be able to understand and speak basic English or French

Note: You will need to submit language proof with your application.

•have adequate knowledge of:
-Canada’s history,
-geography,
-government, and
-the rights and responsibilities of citizenship


Note: You will need to pass a written and/or oral knowledge test

Note:
Persons 55 years of age and over are exempted from having to meet the language and knowledge requirements.


The OP said that her grandparents are over the age of 54.


If they said over 55 then the language wouldn't apply, I assume that they are 54. But if they are over 55 the only other reason is that they don't have sufficient days of residency.

PMM
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ginger1108
ginger1108
Posts: 2


Posted On: 5/30/2014
ginger1108
ginger1108
Posts: 2
Hi All,

Thanks for your replies. I just went with them to the interview today. They didn't even ask for an ID from me. They had a room full of people that were of the age 55 and above and a lot of them were accompanied by a family member that acted as a translator. Very easy questions, very quick (~5 minute) interview (more like a friendly chat). The guy said they should receive a letter for them to take the oath within 2-3 months.

Thanks again for your help!

Ginger
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