What Is a Merit Hearing?

A merit hearing is designated for applicants seeking asylum in the United States. During the merit hearing, an immigration judge evaluates the asylum application and determines if asylum should be granted to the applicant.

During a merits hearing, a trial attorney from the Department of Homeland Security tests the applicant's credibility and the credibility of witnesses on behalf of the applicant. The trial attorney's job is to argue that the applicant should be removed from the country.

Applicants provide testimony and required documents when seeking asylum through a merits hearing and must meet the previous and current orders of the immigration judge.