Getting asylum in the US can be really tricky. In fact, it has been increasingly harder in the last couple of years. Even if you hire an asylum specialist, there is no guarantee that you will receive a free passage.
Over time, the process has become somewhat of a business. You have bulletins, lawyers and a whole structure that is created so that the government can properly judge whether or not a person is worthy of asylum. This complexity may be good for the US government and the country as a whole but it poses lots of issues for asylum seekers.
Luckily, as the process becomes more streamlined, it becomes easier to predict it. Nowadays, there aren’t many surprises when it comes to it. So, here are some of the main things you need to keep in mind when preparing for it.
Everything starts with the application. It is the focal document of your asylum process and it will be heavily studied during the interview.
There are lots of things to keep in mind when creating one. First and foremost, it is crucial, to be honest, to create a proper timeline of the events and provide any other information that will be important for your particular case. You also have to mention why you were persecuted by the government and how did they treat you and your family.
Above everything else, it is important to know your application by heart. After creating it and sending it, make sure to reread it several times over. If there are any mistakes made, you will have to notify asylum officers as soon as possible during the interview. Not doing so will be perceived as if you’re trying to withhold information and might affect your chances of getting asylum.
It is very important to place emphasis on dates. Most people get confused with them so make sure to learn everything in advance. They are crucial for establishing the timeline. Besides that, not knowing them may imply you’re hiding something.
Lastly, you will have to mention whether or not you were persecuted in your country for anything else. You should also state whether or not you were persecuted in the US. During the interview, asylum officers will ask you whether or not you have a family in the US. They will screen them so they have more information about you.
What do you need for the interview?
When you go to the asylum office for an interview, you will have to bring these documents:
- USCIS Notice to Appear as well as all the other documentation provided by the USCIS
- You will have to provide all the original documents proving your identity. This includes things such as passport, birth certificate, ID card, as well as other cards that might be important for this particular situation
- Bring with you all the original documents that you submitted together with the application. This might include things such as photos, witness statement as well as other records and certificates
- Lastly, bring a copy of your asylum application
Asylum seekers are allowed to get an interpreter if they have an issue with English. Unfortunately, everything that interpreter says is regarded as your own claim. In that regard, if an interpreter makes a mistake, it will come back to haunt you. Nevertheless, no one is trying to do so.
An asylum seeker is also allowed to show emotions and behave according to his or her character. The only thing that is not allowed is cheating, lying or misrepresenting information in any way.