The personal interview is an important aspect of certain applications for permanent resident status in Canada.

Applicants may be required to meet with an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Officer in order to discuss their qualifications for immigration to Canada.

Although interview waiving is becoming more common for Skilled Worker applicants, a personal interview is always a possibility. A personal interview does not necessarily mean that there is a problem with the application. It could simply mean that the Canadian Immigration Office is auditing its interview waiver procedures for the purposes of quality control.

The personal interview is designed with two purposes in mind:

  • To verify information presented in the application; and
  • To counsel applicants about establishing themselves in Canada.

Regarding the first point, the IRCC Officer must determine the accuracy of all facts presented in the application. During the interview, supporting documentation may be examined and the applicant may be asked to elaborate on information presented in the written application.

The Canadian Immigration Officer possesses wide discretionary authority. If, in his or her judgment, the applicant would likely succeed in Canada from an economic standpoint, the officer may use this authority to admit the applicant even if he or she lacks the points to qualify. Likewise, the officer may exercise negative discretion and refuse an applicant who scores enough points, if there are reasons that may prevent the applicant from becoming successfully established in Canada.

Once an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Officer has determined that an applicant is qualified for immigration to Canada, the personal interview becomes an opportunity for the officer to provide the applicant with information concerning his or her relocation. This may include information about living and/or working conditions in the area where the applicant intends to reside.

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