Arlington Asylum Interviews

Arlington asylum interviews are typically held at the local asylum office to determine if an individual is eligible for asylum. An interview can last a few hours depending on the complexity of the asylum claim. The asylum officer will first ask questions identifying the applicant and then will ask questions regarding why the applicant fears returning to the individual’s country of origin to determine asylum eligibility. Interviews usually occur within one day, but sometimes a second interview may be scheduled if there are lingering questions about eligibility. It could be beneficial to consult with an accomplished asylum lawyer prior to your interview.

What is the Asylum Interview Process Like?

An asylum applicant will first submit Form I-589 to a USCIS Service Center. USCIS will then forward the application to the local asylum office for Arlington asylum interviews. As of January 29, 2018, the interview will be heard within a month or two. The applicant attends the interview, with an interpreter and an attorney if they so wish, and they are asked questions by an asylum officer. The officer asks biographic questions as well as questions regarding the asylum claim.


Likelihood of Language Barriers

Asylum applicants are permitted to bring an interpreter to assist with responding to the asylum officer’s questions. Interpreters are not provided by the asylum office, so the applicant should anticipate with plenty of time whether they will need an interpreter.

There is no inherent prejudice when asylum applicants belong to certain groups, but admittedly certain groups are selected for more thorough background checks. Asylum applicants from certain countries may be negatively affected by hailing from certain countries due to more extensive background checks, which can delay the adjudication of the application.

What Must Someone Demonstrate in their Asylum Application?

Demonstrating a future threat of torture is a requirement for demonstrating eligibility for protection under the Convention Against Torture. Asylum requires demonstrating past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of a protected ground (i.e. race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group).

Torture is an act that causes severe pain or suffering either physical or mental. For protection under the Convention Against Torture, the applicant needs to establish that it is more likely than not that he or she will be tortured in the future for any reason not based on a protected ground.

An applicant for protection under the Convention Against Torture will be questioned as to why they will be tortured in the future. This belief that he or she will be tortured must be based on objective evidence. Protection under the Convention Against Torture will only be granted by an immigration judge, which means that the applicant will be in removal proceedings.

Ways to Prepare for an Asylum Interview

To prepare for Arlington asylum interviews, applicants should first review the application as submitted and ensure that all the information was completed accurately and note what information needs to be updated (i.e. new address, birth of children, etc.). The applicant should also review the evidence submitted corroborating the claim and add any evidence that was unavailable at the time of submission.

An applicant for protection under the Convention Against Torture should hire an experienced attorney because the legal standard is complex, and an attorney will be able to acquire the necessary evidence and formulate the arguments necessary for the applicant to prevail. The applicant will need to provide extensive evidence that it is more likely than not that the applicant will be tortured.

Proving a threat of torture requires providing very detailed information about why the applicant knows that it is more likely than not that he or she will be tortured, this means that the applicant will have to be provide secondary evidence to corroborate the claim: country reports, police reports, medical records, etc.

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