Everything you need to know about asylum interviews: Six tips and tricks!

If you’re an asylum seeker, the period prior to asylum interview is one of the most important periods of your life. This short conversation can have such a big impact on your life going forward and the last thing you need is to mess things up.

However, due to its specific nature, there are lots of things to keep in mind during the asylum interview. If you want to increase your chances of getting the documents, you have to prepare as best as possible. 
For this article, we invited Ruby Powers – an immigration attorney in Houston, to share some of the best methods that will help you do just that. Read on!

  1. Make sure to fill everything
While this may look pretty obvious, there are people who don’t fill their application. They might leave a lot of blank spots which can cause issues later on. Having all in one place is very important for the interview itself. Asylum officer will go through this information trying to corroborate your story. If there are any issues or inconsistences, that in itself is a good reason for declining your request. If you cannot provide all the information, at least make sure to explain it in advance as to why you left it like that. Otherwise, it might seem as if you’re omitting information.
  1. Get documents that will prove your story
It is not enough to simply fill a form; you will also need official governmental documents that will be able to corroborate all of this. While it is normal for an asylum seeker to have issues getting some of the documents, it works in your favor if you’re able to gather as much as paper trail as possible. At the same time make sure not to go overboard. Any documents or information that don’t work in your favor or are excessive should be avoided. They would only distract the officers while serving no purpose. Always remember that you can use almost anything in your favor: old photos, reports, social media statuses, etc.
  1. Documents have to be certified
This is more of a technical issue but one that shouldn’t be skipped. Given that majority of asylum seekers are from a non-English speaking country, it is only to be expected that the documents will be in their mother tongue. You have to translate them and certify them before giving them to the official agency.
  1. Handling new documentation
Oftentimes, there will be new documents or discoveries during the process. When you get your hands on one of these items, it is very important to follow all the steps that you previously made with other documents. Also, you will have to give asylum officers a heads up. You will also have to give them enough time to go through all these items. 
  1. Don’t lie
The last thing you want to do is lie to an officer. Even if you’re uncertain about something, it is much better to state it beforehand than to try and wiggle around it. You don’t want to take any unnecessary risks as it is relatively easy for asylum officers to corroborate all this data.
  1. Ask for a translator
If English is not your mother tongue or if you have trouble understanding certain concepts, it is much better to ask for a translator. Government is obliged to provide one for free so this is something you need to take advantage off. Keep in mind that if you don’t understand something and you give a bad answer, this will affect your application no matter what. It is your responsibility to answer correctly to all the questions being asked!

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