Asylum – Potential Questions that Could Be Asked at an Asylum Interview or Trial

The following is a sample of some (but possibly not all) of the potential questions that may be asked during an asylum interview, or during a trial concerning asylum or withholding of removal. Some of these questions may not be asked due to relevancy as it relates to your particular matter. This list is not meant to act or serve as the substitute for the advice and legal representation of an experienced immigration lawyer that is familiar with the facts and circumstances regarding your case.  For outstanding asylum representation, hire Hilf & Hilf, PLC as your lawyer.

1.       Your complete name

a.       Your current address

b.      Your date of birth

c.       The current address of your spouse

d.      The city and country of your birth

e.      Your present citizenship

f.        The race, ethnic, or tribal group in which you are a member

i.      Your sexual orientation

ii.      You religion

iii.      Any health problems, genetic conditions, disabilities, or birth defects that are relevant to your application for asylum or removal of withholding

g.       Your level of education

i.      When and where did you attend school

h.      Your employment history for the past 5 years

i.        Name, city and country of birth, and current location of parents and siblings.

2.       Marital status

a.       Full name of your spouse

b.      Spouse’s date of birth

c.       Address of your spouse

d.      Date of marriage

e.      Place of marriage

f.        City and country of birth of your spouse

g.       Spouse’s present citizenship

h.      Is your spouse currently in the United States

i.        The race, ethnic, or tribal group in which your spouse is a member (if relevant)

i.      Your spouse’s sexual orientation (if relevant)

ii.      You spouse’s religion (if relevant)

iii.      Any health problems, genetic conditions, disabilities, or birth defects that are relevant to your application for asylum or removal of withholding concerning your spouse

3.       Number of child(ren) that you have

a.       Full Name(s)

b.      Date(s) of birth

c.       Current address(es)

i.      Where are your child(ren) now

d.      Name of their other parent

e.      Race, ethnic, or tribal group

f.        Child(ren)’s citizenship(s)

g.       Are your child(ren) in immigration court proceedings

h.      Current US immigration status of your children, if any

i.        Date of last entry into the United States

i.      Status when last admitted

ii.      Expiration date of child(ren)’s authorized stay, if any

j.        Are the child(ren) to be included in your application for asylum?

k.       The race, ethnic, or tribal group in which your child(ren) are members (if relevant)

i.      Your child(rens) sexual orientation (if relevant)

ii.      You child(rens) religion (if relevant)

iii.      Any health problems, genetic conditions, disabilities, or birth defects that are relevant to your application for asylum or removal of withholding concerning your child(ren) (if relevant)

4.       Do you understand the penalty for providing a false statement with respect to any material fact or for filing a frivolous application?

5.       Have you ever been in immigration court proceedings in the past?

a.       When

b.      Where

c.       Have you, your spouse, your children, your parents, or your siblings ever applied to the United States government for refugee status, asylum, or withholding of removal

i.      What happened

ii.      Is there a decision concerning that or those matters

iii.      Were you included on the application

iv.      If denied, have there been any changes in the conditions of your home country or your own personal circumstances since the date of the denial which may affect your eligibility for asylum? (explain in full detail)

6.       When did you last leave your home country

7.       List each entry into the United States beginning with your most recent entry?

a.       Date

b.      Place of Entry

c.       Status when you entered

d.      Date current status expires, if any

8.       What country issued your last passport or travel document?

a.       Passport number

b.      Passport expiration date

9.       What is your native language?

a.       Are you fluent in English?

b.      What other languages do you speak fluently?

10.   Are you seeking asylum or withholding of removal based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, membership in a particular social group and/or the Convention Against Torture

a.       Have you, your family, or close friends or colleagues ever experienced harm or mistreatment or threats in the past by anyone?

b.      What happened (be as graphic and detailed as possible)

c.       When did the harm or mistreatment or threats occur

d.      Who caused the harm or mistreatment or threats

e.      Why do you believe the harm or mistreatment or threats occurred

11.   Do you fear harm or mistreatment if you return to your home country

a.       What harm or mistreatment do you fear

b.      Who do you believe would harm or mistreat you

c.       Why do you believe you would or could be harmed or mistreated

12.   Have you or your family members ever been accused, charged, arrested, detained, interrogated, convicted, sentenced, or imprisoned in any country other than the United States

a.       What are the circumstances and reasons for what occurred (be as graphic and detailed as possible)

13.   Have you or your family members ever belonged to or been associated with any organizations or groups in your home country, such as, but not limited to, a political party, student group, labor union, religious organization, military or paramilitary group, civil patrol, guerrilla organization, ethnic group, human rights group, or the press or media?

a.       Describe for each person

i.      the level of participation,

ii.      any leadership or other positions held,

iii.      and the length of time you or your family members were involved in each organization or activity (be as detailed as possible)

b.      Do you or your family members continue to participate in any way in these organizations or groups?

14.   Are you afraid of being subject to torture in your home country to which you may be returned?

a.       Why are you afraid

b.      What is the torture you fear

c.       Who do you fear will commit the torture

d.      Why do you believe that the torture would be inflicted

e.      Have you received any sort of emotional or psychological harm as a result of your treatment in your home country?

i.      Have you sought professional treatment for a psychological condition such as post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, nightmares?

ii.      What is the name and address of the person treating your condition?

f.        Were you physically harmed in your home country in a manner related to your petition for asylum or withholding of removal?

i.      When

ii.      How were you physically harmed.

iii.      Any photographs, scars, injuries, or medical reports to substantiate the harm suffered

g.       Have you ever been forced to live in filth, isolation, or cramped conditions in a manner related to your petition for asylum or withholding of removal?

i.      Describe the conditions

ii.      Have you ever been deprived of basic necessities in a manner related to your petition for asylum or withholding of removal?

1.       Describe this in full detail

iii.       Have you ever been subjected to watch or hear other persons tortured in a manner related to your petition for asylum or withholding of removal? Describe this in full detail.

iv.      Have you been subject to constant surveillance in a manner related to your petition for asylum or withholding of removal? Describe this in full detail.

v.      Have you been forced to inform on other’s activities in a manner related to your petition for asylum or withholding of removal? Describe this in full detail.

vi.      Have you been prevented from socializing with others in a manner related to your petition for asylum or withholding of removal? Describe this in full detail.

h.      Have you ever been deprived of supporting yourself and/or your family because of not being allowed to work, being denied a license, receiving a substantial fine, or having property seized? Describe this in full detail.

i.        Could you have moved to another part of your home country in order to avoid the harm that you have or will suffer in your home country.

j.        Was the persecution that you experienced at the hands of the government of your home country, or a group within your home country that the government cannot or will not control.

i.      If the harm was caused by a group, was their activity or behavior reported to the police?

ii.      Did the police take any action to address the situation?

iii.      If you returned today, would you be protected based upon any recent or subsequent actions by the police, or any subsequent facts and circumstances.

15.   Are the conditions that lead you to leave your home country and file this application for asylum or withholding of removal still in existence today.

16.   After leaving the country from which you are claiming asylum, did you or your spouse or child(ren) who are now in the United States travel through or reside in any other country before entering the United States? Have you, your spouse, your children, or other family members such as your parents or siblings, ever applied for or received any lawful status in any country other than the one from which you are now claiming asylum?

a.       If so, provide the following information

i.      Name of each country

ii.      The length of stay

iii.      The status of each person while in that country

iv.      The reason for leaving that country

v.      Are you or anyone allowed to return to that country for lawful residence purposes

vi.      Whether or not you or anyone applied for refugee status or for asylum while there? Why or why not? What was the decision on any application for asylum or refugee status?

17.   Have you, your spouse, or your children even ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in causing harm or suffering to any person because of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or belief in a particular political opinion?

a.       Describe in detail any such involvement and your own, your spouse’s or you children’s involvement

18.   After you left the country where you were harmed or fear harm, did you return to that country?

a.       If so describe in detail the circumstances of you visit or visits

i.      Why did you go

ii.      Where did you go

iii.      How long did you stay

iv.      Did anything eventful happen during that trip

19.   Are you filing the application more than one year after your last arrival to the United States?

a.       Why didn’t you file within the first year after your arrival?

b.      Are there any extraordinary circumstances that prevented the application from being filed within 1 year

20.   Have you or any member of your family included in the application ever committed any crime and/or been arrested, charged, convicted, and/or sentenced for any crimes in the United States?

a.       What occurred?

b.      Date of the allegation?

c.       Were you or your family member imprisoned for that crime? Where and for how long?

d.      Were you or your family member convicted of any offense? What Offense?

21.   What documentation, if any do you have concerning your application for asylum or withholding or removal

a.       Do you have any affidavits, new articles, country reports, photographs, etc. to substantiate your claim

b.      Do you have any other witnesses to attest to the circumstances concerning your application for asylum or withholding of removal

Hiring the right Immigration lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you make for yourself and your family. There are many lawyers who claim to do more than what they are able – just as there are many surgeons in the world that are no better than butchers. Do not settle for a legal hack job. Practicing law is a skill that develops over time with experience, commitment, dedication, and God given talent. There are no amateur attorneys at Hilf & Hilf, PLC – only professionals that are guided by the humanity in the individuals we serve, and the drive not to settle for what is easy over what is right.