Clients who file inside Canada spousal applications will receive a letter from Immigration just prior to the foreign national spouse being granted permanent status. At this interview, the foreign national spouse is given the confirmation of permanent residence. Immigration asks the foreign national and the sponsoring spouse to come for a scheduled permanent residence interview at a specific date and time.

Specifically Immigration asks both to attend the interview, to bring government-issued ID documents, proof of pre-payment of the right of permanent residence fee of $490 and photos establishing their identity. It also asks for the valid passport, in which to record the permanent residence status, along with current and expired temporary resident documents issued by IRCC, including work permits, study permits or visitor records.

Clients are sometimes surprised or alarmed since they are expecting finalization, but the nature of the letter hints at a more extensive interview process which may involve in-depth questioning of their relationship or bona fides of their marriage or common law relationship.

If you have a genuine relationship, there is little to prepare for or worry about at such an interview. In virtually all cases, the interview is to simply ensure proof of identity of the foreign national spouse and to ensure that the individuals are still together and that there are no problems in the relationship.

Extensive questioning of the parties occurs when there is a suspicion that the relationship is not genuine and was entered into solely for immigration purposes. Such suspicions usually come to the attention of the Immigration department if there have been reports filed by disgruntled third parties against the individuals involved or if there has been inconsistent or contradictory information filed by the parties themselves or if the parties have known each other for a very short time before getting married. In that case, the interviews are conducted separately and for more details on the type of questions asked, see my previous blog called 122 Questions.