Asylum Credible Fear Interview

What is a USCIS Credible Fear Interview?

Asylum Officers conduct a credible fear interview when you are subject to expedited removal, (for example, if you are apprehended at the border) and you express an intention to apply for asylum or you express a fear of harm if you return home. If you are detained, you should be given at least 48 hours to prepare for the credible fear interview unless you waive or give up the right to the waiting period.  In most situations, you must wait days or even weeks in detention before the interview will take place.  It is important for you to to keep detailed notes about your background and history and make sure your information and dates are consistent throughout your testimony.  It is essential that your story remains consistent, and that you answer to fully communicate your situation and fears.   You will be given an opportunity to have a consultant or attorney as well as an interpreter during this interview.  It is always in your best interest to have qualified legal counsel throughout your immigration journey.  The credible fear interview is critical to your immigration path, and may make the difference between being granted asylum or being deported.  For assistance, call or email our experienced immigration attorneys at JCS Immigration and Visa.


What things does an immigration officer look for in a credible fear interview?

First you will be asked about your background information including your birth date, home country, and whether you have any family ties in the United States. The next set of questions concerns your fear of return to your country.  If you have fear of returning, you will be asked if you have been threatened or harmed due to race or ethnicity, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because you belongs to a specific social group. This is a very critical point in the interview, and if your fear is not based on persecution in these specific areas, you will likely fail the interview for credible fear and be subject to deportation.  The interviewer will also ask questions about whether you have faced torture by government officials.  The last questions will ask if there are any circumstances that bar you from asylum, such as past crimes, terrorist activities, or a violent history.  You will be given a brief summary to approve and also be asked if you want to add anything.


How does the credible fear interview affect my asylum application ?

In this interview, the Asylum Officer determines whether you are eligible for a full asylum hearing, or if you should be sent home. The "significant possibility" is determined by taking into account the credibility of the statements you make to support your claim of fear of persecution and/or torture, as well as other facts.  If it is determined that you have a significant and realistic possibility of succeeding in your application for asylum, you may be detained until your asylum hearing or possibly allowed to be free on bond until your asylum application is reviewed.  It is imperative that you make sure to present the facts of your situation and circumstances to fully illustrate your fears and the risks you face.  The immigration officers are building your case;  you want to make sure that you don’t forget any details or facts which would help you on your immigration journey.  If you need assistance, call or email  JCS Immigration and Visa Law Office to contact our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys.


How do I prepare for the credible fear interview with immigration officers?

Every asylum case is different and depends on the specific facts and circumstances that are unique to each case.  If you have a credible fear of persecution or torture, it is very important that you convey this correctly and carefully present your circumstance in its entirety so Asylum Officers and Immigration Judges have enough information to decide your case fairly.   Our dedication to immigration law allows us to acquire in-depth knowledge of the frequently changing laws and regulations under which foreign nationals may enter or immigrate to the United States.  If you need help with your credible fear interview, call or email for your free initial consultation!

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