An asylum officer asks basic biographical questions about an applicant and inquires about the reasons a person is seeking asylum, explains U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Officers also ask questions designed to help them decide if there are any obstacles that might prevent the granting of asylum.
Asylum officers want to know about the experiences of a person applying for asylum, even though such experiences may be difficult to discuss, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The information shared with the officer is generally confidential, except for certain exceptions detailed on the USCIS website. An interview lasts approximately one hour and begins with an applicant taking an oath to tell the truth. If an interpreter or representative is involved, he or she also takes an oath to be truthful and accurate. Applicants are given an opportunity at the end of the interview to add any additional information or make any statements.
The first step in applying for asylum is filling out an affidavit that contains specific facts an applicant must be prepared to explain verbally, says Nolo. People applying for asylum sometimes do so because they have been tortured, persecuted or arrested. Present documents such as newspaper articles, medical records or reports from human rights organizations to substantiate these claims if possible.