I escaped from Afghanistan after a warlord killed my husband and demanded that I marry him. I had my interview at the Asylum Office in October 2013. When I returned two weeks later to pick up my decision, I was told that no decision had been made. I just received a notice telling me to return to the Asylum Office for another interview in two weeks. What does this mean? Will I be removed to my country?
Asylum Officers are generally able to get enough information during a single interview to make a decision on each case. There are times, however, when a second asylum interview becomes necessary. This does not mean your case is being denied or that you are in any immediate danger or removal.
Circumstances when asylum applicants are asked to return to the office for a second interview include:
-- when an officer has left his/her job after the first interview but before making a decision on a case
-- when the first officer did not get enough facts during the first interview to make a decision
-- when the officer did not ask enough questions to resolve an important inconsistency in your case, and
-- when new evidence is found that needs to be explained, such as another immigration file that may be yours or important country conditions information that relates directly to your case.
Depending on why an asylum applicant was asked to return, the person may be reinterviewed either by the original officer or by a different officer.
It is quite likely that you will be asked to return at a later date to pick up your decision, but it is also possible that the officer will mail the decision to you. You should prepare for any additional interviews in the same way as you prepared for your first interview — review your copies of the I-589 application and other materials you submitted, and practice telling your story so that you are comfortable answering any of the officer’s questions.
If you do not speak English fluently, you must bring a translator to this second interview as well. Consider consulting with an immigration attorney to figure out whether there are any likely areas of confusion or parts of your story that you should focus on. You can bring an attorney or representative to this interview as well.