Working with Your Interpreter

You may work with a number of different interpreters (if you require one) during the refugee claim process, at:

  • Interviews with IRCC or CBSA
  • Your IRB-RPD hearing 
  • Your legal representative’s office.

You will be provided a professional interpreter in your language of choice at your eligibility interview with IRCC or CBSA and at your refugee hearing at the IRB-RPD. You may not select the interpreter. There will be no cost to you for this interpreter. 

If you were assigned a legal aid lawyer, the cost of some interpretation may be provided by legal aid. When you hire a legal representative you will likely need to pay for interpretation services. In other situations, such as in free legal clinics, you may be assisted with interpretation by a friend, volunteer or staff member of the law office or clinic.

What your interpreter should and should not do

The interpreter plays a vital role by providing clear communication between you, your lawyer and the other participants in your eligibility interview or refugee hearing.

Your interpreter should fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Accuracy: The interpreter is meant to translate word-for-word, or to communicate your words as closely as possible. They should not add anything more or leave anything out 
  • Impartiality: The interpreter should remain objective and impartial. This means the interpreter should not be involved in your case or indicate if they agree or disagree with what is being said
  • Confidentiality: The interpreter should never discuss anything that was communicated outside of your interview or hearing.

Your Interpreter should not: 

  • Give you legal advice or provide any explanations to the legal proceedings or implications related to your case
  • Add their own interpretation to your words or summarize, paraphrase, condense or exaggerate what you say.

If you think the interpreter made a mistake or you do not understand something that has been said at your hearing or interview, tell your legal representative, the Member or the Officer.