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Some Asylum Applicants Must Provide Interpreters

Starting September 13, 2023, if you are applying for asylum and you do not speak English well, you must bring an interpreter to your interview. The interpreter must be fluent in both English and the language you speak. If you do not bring an interpreter, or if your interpreter is not fluent in both languages, your application may be dismissed or the asylum application referred to an immigration judge

The interpreter must be at least 18 years old and cannot be:

  • Your lawyer or representative
  • A witness testifying on your behalf
  • A government official from your home country
  • Someone who is also applying for asylum

In 202o during the COVID global pandemic, USCIS published a temporary final rule (TFR) that required affirmative asylum applicants who are not fluent in English to use USCIS-contracted telephonic interpreters for their asylum interviews, and NOT bring an interpreter to the interview.

Asylum is granted to foreign nationals who reside in the United States or are at the border and meet the international definition of a “refugee”. According to the United Nations 1951 Convention, a refugee is defined as an individual who is unable or unwilling to return to their home country due to previous persecution or fear of persecution in the future due to factors such as:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Political opinion

Asylum is an extremely complex and difficult process. Individuals are more likely to be granted this form of protection if they are represented by an experienced immigration attorney. To learn more about your rights and to discover how an Oak Brook asylum lawyer can help protect them, call Godoy Law Office at 630-345-4164. We can fight beside you to get the protection you need.

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