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Asylum - Frequently Asked Questions


Should I bring an interpreter to my Asylum interview?

Yes, you must bring an interpreter if you do not speak English fluently. The USCIS does not provide any interpreters during the Asylum interview. The interpreter must be fluent in English and a language you speak fluently and must be at least 18 years old. The following persons cannot serve as your interpreter:

  • Your attorney or representative of record
  • A witness testifying on your behalf at the interview
  • A representative or employee of your country

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What will happen at my Asylum interview?

  • The interview will generally last at least an hour, although the time may vary depending on the case
  • You will be asked to take an oath promising to tell the truth during the interview
  • The Asylum Officer will ask you about the reasons you are applying for Asylum. The Asylum Officer will know that it may be difficult for you to talk about traumatic and painful experiences that caused you to leave your country. However, it is very important that you tell the Asylum Officer your experiences so that the Asylum Officer can determine whether you qualify as a refugee
  • The Asylum Officer will also ask you questions to determine if any bars apply to being granted Asylum
  • Everything you say to the Asylum Officer will be confidential. You and your attorney or representative, if any, will have time at the end of the interview to make a statement or add any additional information
  • A decision will not be made at the Asylum interview
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