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. Your interpreter will also take an oath promising to interpret accurately and truthfully. The Asylum Officer will verify your identity and ask you basic biographical questions. The Asylum Officer will also 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 for a grant of asylum. The Asylum Officer will also ask you questions to determine if any bars will prevent you from applying for or being granted asylum. For more information on the bars to asylum, see the “Bars to Applying for and Receiving Asylum” info sheet in the links below.
The information you share with the Asylum Officer is protected by confidentiality provisions found in 8 CFR § 208.6. In general, information related to your asylum claim cannot not 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 regulations cited above. For more information on confidentiality and the asylum process, see the “Fact Sheet on Asylum Confidentiality” and "Is the Information I Provide on My Application Protected?" in the links below.
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.