Preparing for an Interview at the LA Asylum Office
The following information is provided as general information. Yekrangi & Associates is an immigration law firm and is not affiliated with the Los Angeles Asylum Office. Our firm is located five minutes from the Los Angeles Asylum Office and our firm handles many types of complex asylum cases.
Los Angeles Asylum Office Location:
14101 Myford Rd
Tustin, CA 92780
- When do I arrive to my immigration interview?
- What is security like once I arrive there?
- What is the check in process like?
- Do I need an interpreter?
- What is the wait time like?
- What does the immigration interview consist of?
- What does the asylum officer look for when reviewing my application?
- What is the role of my attorney during my immigration interview?
- What questions are asked in the asylum interview?
When to Arrive at the InterviewGenerally, you should arrive 30 minutes prior to your interview, but your attorney will give you specific instructions. Parking is free and there are generally no parking issues. If you have an interpreter, they should also arrive at the same time as you and your attorney.
What is Security Like When I Arrive?When first entering the building, you must pass through security where your items will be x-rayed and you will pass through a metal detector. Obviously, you must not bring any dangerous items. With exception to water, no food or other liquids are allowed.
Check-in ProcessOnce you, the interpreter, your attorney and any members of your family who are included on your asylum application pass through security, you are required to check-in. The check in process will require that you, your interpreter and your attorney fill out a form. Next, you will conduct biometrics where your fingerprint and photo will be taken.
Do I Need an Interpreter?An interpreter plays a crucial role in your asylum process. Their job is to accurately interpret your words. They must interpret word for word and cannot summarize or change your statements. The Los Angeles Asylum Office will have an interpreter on the phone monitoring your interpreter to ensure the translations are accurate. Although you do not need a certified interpreter, make sure the person you choose has interpreted before and is familiar with the rules of interpretation and, further, that they can competently speak your native language and English fluently. It is generally not recommended to have a family member translate. Yekrangi & Associates always encourages clients to hire a professional interpreter unless the client is fluent in English. There are also some benefits to having an interpreter: If you understand some English, the interpretation will allow you additional time to offer a thoughtful answer to the officer's questions.
WaitingOnce you check in to the Los Angeles Asylum Office, you will be asked to wait. It generally takes about one to two hours for your case to be called. In some situations, your case may be rescheduled due to lack of officers. You will be asked to use the elevators and go to the second floor, where there is a small waiting room. Shortly after, your asylum officer should come out to greet you and take you back to their office where the asylum interview will be conducted.
The Asylum InterviewThe most important part of your asylum application is your interview. Remember, the interview is non-adversarial. This means the interview should not feel like an interrogation. It is the asylum officer's job to evaluate your evidence and statements. They are evaluating your credibility and consistency, including your body language. Everything you say during the interview is typed by the officer.
Review of Application (I-589)The asylum officer will place you under oath and explain the basic ground rules of the interview. The asylum officer will also explain the role of your attorney and what he or she expects of you during the interview. The asylum officer will then go through your I-589, Application for Asylum. You must be familiar with all the contents of your I-589, including dates and addresses in the form. It is very common for there to be changes or amendments to the application. The officer will go through each question to ensure accuracy and make any necessary corrections.
Role of the AttorneyGenerally, the attorney is not expected to interrupt the interview. However, at the end of the interview, your attorney will be able to ask follow-up questions to clarify certain issues and offer a closing statement.
Asylum Interview QuestionsThe types of questions depend on the asylum officer and the type of case you have. Some officers ask broad questions, while others ask specific questions. It is important to answer the question being asked. Do not speak too much or discuss issues that the officer is not inquiring about. Trust that the asylum officer is familiar with your asylum application and will get through all the details. If a question can be answered with a yes or a no, simply state the answer without providing unnecessary details that slow the interview and may frustrate the asylum officer. The officer will ask about past harm you suffered in your country of origin. Details matter. If you do not know the answer to the question or cannot remember, state so. Do not tell the officer what you think they want to hear. The officer will also ask about what fear you have about returning to your country of origin, such as who will harm you and why you will be harmed. Most of the questions asked will be based on your declaration. You must review your declaration before the interview and be fully familiar with the contents of your application, including any supporting evidence that was filed.
Conclusion of InterviewAt the end of the interview the asylum officer will go through a list of national security-related questions to ensure you are not a danger to the United States. Then, the officer will tell you if you will be picking up your decision in two weeks or receiving it by mail. Mailed decisions generally take longer to receive.
DecisionThe decision will either approve your asylum case and you will become an asylee immediately. Alternatively, the officer may refer your case to the immigration court, where you will need to present your case again to an immigration judge. If this happens, you will need a skilled immigration court attorney. This is often called " removal defense."
Need an Orange County Asylum Lawyer? Reach Out Today.
Yekrangi & Associates is an immigration law firm serving the Los Angeles Asylum Office. Our skilled asylum attorneys will fully prepare you for your interview. We will also aggressively and skillfully litigate your case if it is referred to immigration court.