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Questions & Answers: Asylum Interviews
Q: What Should I Bring with Me to the Asylum Interview?
Q: Should I Bring an Interpreter to My Asylum Interview?
The following persons cannot serve as your interpreter:
The regulation relating to interpreters can be found at: 8 CFR 208.9(g).
* If you are hearing impaired and need assistance in obtaining an appropriate interpreter, contact the asylum office with jurisdiction over your case in advance of your scheduled asylum interview.
Although we do not provide interpreters for the interview, we use contract interpreters to monitor affirmative asylum interviews at local asylum offices and other locations. In general, the role of the contract interpreter is limited to monitoring interpretation by an interpreter provided by the applicant. Contract interpreters may be expected to occasionally interject if the applicant’s interpreter fails to provide adequate, accurate, and neutral interpretation.
Q: What Will Happen at my Asylum Interview?
For more information on the bars to asylum, click on the “Asylum Bars” link to the right.
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 about your experiences so that the Asylum Officer can determine whether you qualify for a grant of asylum.
The information you share with the asylum officer is confidential (See 8 C.F.R. § 208.6). In general, information related to your asylum claim cannot be shared with third parties without your written consent or specific authorization by the Secretary of Homeland Security. There are certain exceptions to this rule, however, which can be found in the confidentiality regulation cited above. For more information on confidentiality and the asylum process, click on the “Fact Sheet on Asylum Confidentiality” link to the right.
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 on your case will not be made at the asylum interview. For the legal regulations governing asylum interviews, see 8 CFR 208.9.
Q: What If I Need to Reschedule the Interview?
Asylum offices will reschedule an interview if it is your first request for rescheduling and the request is received prior to the interview date. A request to reschedule an asylum interview must include the reason for the request and any relevant evidence.
Q: What if the Interview Date Has Already Passed or the Interview Has Already Been Rescheduled on One or More Occasions?
Q: How Is “Good Cause” Defined?
Q: What If I Fail to Appear for My Asylum Interview?
Failure to appear at the interview may affect your eligibility to apply for work authorization. You are generally eligible to apply for work authorization 150 days after you submit a complete application, if a decision has not been made on your asylum application. However, if you applied for asylum on or after January 4, 1995, you will be ineligible for employment authorization if you fail to appear for an interview, unless your failure to appear is excused.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/03/2009