You are currently viewing From 13 September 2023, Affirmative Asylum Seekers Must Provide Interpreters

As of Wednesday, September 13, 2023, affirmative asylum seekers must bring an interpreter to their asylum interview. This will be in case they do not master English or if they wish to proceed with said interview in another language other than English.

Contrary to what most immigrants believe, this requirement is not new. In fact, before the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS already required asylum seekers in the United States to bring their own interpreters if they did not speak English. 

Likewise, asylum application processes are never easy and it is not recommended to do them on your own. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact our immigration lawyers in New Jersey in advance. We will help you.

What Is The Reason For This Decision?

As we previously mentioned, the requirement to bring an interpreter to the affirmative asylum interview is not new. This requirement was already established before the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

The reason for not doing it during a pandemic was to limit the number of individuals who arrived at the USCIS rooms and thus minimize the probability of contagion. 

However, now with the end of the Public Health Emergency declaration, USCIS is slowly reestablishing its service system.

asylum based on domestic violence

We invite you to learn more about asylum in our posts on asylum based on domestic violence and the asylum clock.

What Is Affirmative Asylum?

Affirmative asylum is a type of protection that can only be requested for immigrants who are not facing any type of deportation proceedings from the US.

Therefore, if the immigrants have been in the United States for one year or less, they can apply for affirmative asylum at one of the USCIS offices. Notably: 

  • If USCIS does not accept the asylum application, applicants will enter removal proceedings. Therefore, they must carry out this process through defensive asylum, which is appearing before an immigration judge.
  • Those interested can obtain all the information about affirmative and defensive asylum in our article on the asylum process in the USA.
  • Foreigners in the US with any type of American nonimmigrant visa may apply for affirmative asylum during their first year of stay in the country.

If you need legal assistance with the asylum process, do not hesitate to call us. Our lawyers will fight for your rights throughout the process, thus increasing the chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.

What Happens If Immigrants Do Not Provide Their Own Interpreters At Asylum Interviews?

USCIS stated that immigrants who are not fluent in English and do not bring an interpreter, or the interpreter is not fluent in English, will be considered a failure to appear for the interview. This means that the asylum application will be:

  1. Dismissed, or
  2. Sent to an immigration judge.

However, all of this will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, the interpreter must be fluent in both English and the immigrant’s language and be at least 18 years of age. 

It should be noted that the interpreter cannot be:

  • The lawyer or legal representative,
  • An individual who has a pending asylum application and has not yet been interviewed,
  • A witness who testifies on behalf of the applicant, and
  • A representative or employee of the government of the asylum seeker’s country. 

How Can The Curbelo Law Law Firm Help You With Asylum Applications?

Asylum requests can be challenging for aliens, especially those who are completely unfamiliar with US laws. Therefore, it is crucial to have an expert lawyer by your side in these matters.

At Curbelo Law, our professionals will be able to advise, assist and legally represent all those interested in these procedures. Our firm is led by attorney Carolina T. Curbelo and also has attorney Sharon Lieberman . Both have successfully represented hundreds of immigrants in their legalization processes in the US. 

With more than 10 years of experience, Curbelo Law will be with immigrants throughout the asylum process. Call us today, email us, or schedule an appointment with the office located in Ridgewood, New Jersey.