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Asylum Interview Tips

Upon submitting an application for asylum in the United States, you will be scheduled to an interview with an officer of the U.S. government in order to present your case. During this interview, the Asylum Officer will determine whether you merit a grant of asylum based on your credibility and your legal claim to asylum.

You must bring the following documents with you to the interview:

  • USCIS Notice to Appear, along with other notices or receipts you received from USCIS
  • A complete copy of your application for asylum, as well as any outlines or lists you wrote in preparation for the interview
  • Originals of all document copies you submitted in order to prove your identity
  • Originals of all document copies which were attached and submitted with your application for asylum
  • An interpreter if you are not able to continue with your interview in English
  • A certified translation of any document which is not in English
  • Your spouse and/or children under 21, if they were included as derivatives in your application for asylum when you filed it

The following are tips on preparing for an asylum interview:

  • Tell the truth. When it comes to dealing with U.S. government officials, it’s imperative to disclose the entire truth about why you’re seeking asylum. If you decide not to tell the truth, it will only have a negative impact in your case. Even omitting important facts is considered lying.
  • Formulate an outline. In order to tell your entire story to the Asylum Officer, we suggest you prepare an outline of your story in order for you to remember the important points, particularly names and dates. Not how small the instances of persecution may be, please highlight them. Have a firm understanding of the events which transpired.
  • Practice telling your story. Enlist the help of a trustworthy friend and tell them your story in order to prepare for the interview. Allow your friend to ask you questions in order to improve the quality of your story, including questions which address confusion or particular details about your story. If you are enlisting the services of an interpreter, have an interpreter present when you are practicing.
  • Be as articulate as possible and listen carefully. On some occasions, the Asylum Officer will record everything you say. So if you speak quickly, there is a chance he or she may not hear you, especially if you’re talking about something important. Make sure you speak slowly and answer any questions he or she asks as precisely as possible.
  • Be as detailed as possible. The Asylum Officer wants to hear details. The more you can provide, the more likely he or she will believe your claim.
  • Prepare to discuss your beliefs. While you do not need to be an expert, be knowledgeable enough for the Asylum Officer to believe you are a member of that political party or religion. If you are claiming political asylum, it’s imperative to explain your political beliefs and ideals. If you are claiming religious asylum, you should have full knowledge of your religious beliefs.
  • Seek legal assistance from a qualified immigration attorney. To make sure that your application and interview are a complete success, enlisting the services of an experienced and skillful lawyer who specializes in asylum law can help you fulfill your legal goals. An attorney is capable of preparing you for the interview. Additionally, he or she can be present in the interview with you, in order to guide you through the process.

If you need any legal assistance for asylum, contact Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A. today.

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