I have been offered an opportunity to interview for a job that requires relocation to another country. The company is a big US based international company and the position is in Canada.

Before the interview I've been sent an "intake questionnaire" asking questions regarding the relocation, including things like current residence and citizenship, and time that would be needed to relocate. One of the questions is (paraphrasing):

Do you now or will you in the future need immigration support by ###### to work in “country/countries of relocation”? If yes, what is your current status and how long have you held this status?

When answering this question, should I add details about my family and marital status (spouse and two small kids under the age of 3)?

  • On the one hand this is vital information, in the case that I'm offered the position, I would need not just work visa for me, but also proper visas for my spouse and the kids. In case that the company doesn't sponsor visas for the family, and there is no other way to get them, then I will not be able to relocate and the process is irrelevant*.

  • On the other hand, to the best of my knowledge, questions about marital and family status are not allowed in the U.S as well as in my current place of residence (the interview takes place in the company's local branch, but, from what I gather, the recruiter is located in the US). So I don't want to put myself in a position where I'm disclosing this information and somehow cause the company to break the law which will harm the application process.

  • I don't have a problem with disclosing the information to the company, I just want to make sure that I'm allowed to do so.
  • The question is asking if you should add details?
    – Chris E
    Mar 1, 2017 at 16:47
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    Yea, I'm confused. What's the exact wording on the form? Because what you posted in that quotation box seems off.
    – AndreiROM
    Mar 1, 2017 at 16:50
  • I'm curious about this question. it is illegal to ask marital and family status in job interviews in the US. You're correct on that. But they're screening for visa eligibility as part of the interview. Additionally, while the interview takes place in the US, the job does not. Definitely an interesting circumstance.
    – Chris E
    Mar 1, 2017 at 16:56
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    Why do you think that family information is relevant to the question? If I was relocating to a new country, I would expect the company to support my immigration needs, but not that of my family since they wouldn't be employees. I would expect to do that on my own or through their prospective jobs in the new place. Mar 1, 2017 at 16:58
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    I am not familiar with the US law, but I am pretty sure that if you voluntarily reveal your family details, the company would not break the law. If that were not the case, all insurance companies would be illegal.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 2, 2017 at 1:09

3 Answers 3


I think the best thing you can do is consult an immigration lawyer and, instead of being offended by some implication to ask about your family, you should take the opportunity to disclose it. It seems to me that the company is framing this question in a way to respect your privacy, but also give you the opportunity to disclose this information voluntarily so they can help you.

While I'm not a lawyer, as far as I know, in Canada if you're being sponsored to come here (I'm Canadian), you can't sponsor someone else yourself to come here for at least 5 years. So, it would appear to me that you're going to need this company's help to bring over your whole family, so you should cooperate and hope that they will.

  • If the OP gets the job and is given a Canadian work permit, their spouse and dependent children will be able to join them. Canadian immigration policy is very much to keep families together. The document you link is specifically relating to Permanent Residency, not a temporary work visa. I'm an immigrant to Canada myself, and have been through the process. Jan 16, 2019 at 17:57

They are not asking you for your marital status, so I do not understand the point you are making about it being "not allowed". You want to factor that in into deciding your answer, but they did not ask you to do that.

As to what you should do, that is a decision you have to make. Do you know if they would offer immigration assistance to your family if you are asked to relocate? If not, ask them and proceed from there.

  • +1, but I think this question (the quoted question by OP) is being framed in such as a way as to follow the rules, but leave the opportunity to disclose the need to family sponsorship. AFAIK, in Canada he can't start sponsoring his own family if he himself is being sponsored to come into the country for at least five years. immigration.ca/spousal-sponsorship-conditions
    – user60813
    Mar 1, 2017 at 17:27
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    @TechnikEmpire It sounds fair enough to me even if they did that intentionally. People can't expect to receive assistance for family members while at the same time demanding that asking about family members is "not allowed". The OP is free to say he needs immigration assistance making no mention of family members, if he is so "protective" of his family data. Naturally, he would have to figure out how to deal with the rest by himself.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 1, 2017 at 17:33
  • Agreed. He's going to need their help, so the last thing he should do is shut them out on the matter. Plus they kind of need to know. Maybe it's not in their budget to sponsor 4 people, maybe they do have the budget but they want to know the upfront cost themselves.
    – user60813
    Mar 1, 2017 at 17:35
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    It is also possible that they sponsor only the employee, and not the family members, as a matter of company policy, so naturally there was no point in asking about family members. It would be pretty bizarre, for example, to ask "do you need assistance to get local school admissions for your kids?" followed by, "Oh by the way, we don't offer that kind of assistance", leading to, "then why the F did you ask?" ;)
    – Masked Man
    Mar 1, 2017 at 17:44
  • lol, yeah that's a good point. "Do you need any help?", "Well yes, I do", "too bad, screw you."
    – user60813
    Mar 1, 2017 at 17:54

The company is asking about your status as to accommodate themselves in gaining you (and you alone) as an employee.

They might intercede with the immigration authorities as far as getting you working is concerned, but they are rightfully not concerned with your spouse and kids. The spouse and kids are your concern, not the company's.

This would be different if your spouse applied for and was accepted for a position with the same company -- then it'd be in the company's interest to aid in securing a work visa for your spouse.

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