USCIS Extends Asylum Interpreter Temporary Final Rule

USCIS announced on Wednesday, March 15, a fourth extension to a temporary final rule (TFR) requiring the use of a USCIS interpreter at certain affirmative asylum interviews. This TFR extends the requirement through September 12, 2023. After that date, affirmative asylum applicants who cannot proceed with the interview in English must provide their own interpreters.

  • Under the TFR, certain asylum applicants must use USCIS’s contract telephonic interpreters instead of bringing their own interpreter to their affirmative asylum interview.
  • USCIS contract interpreters are available in 47 languages, listed on the TFR webpage.
  • There is no fee to use a government-provided interpreter.
  • If an applicant does not speak English or any of the 47 languages listed, they must bring their own interpreter to the affirmative asylum interview.

This extension also retains a previous modification, providing that in limited circumstances, if a USCIS interpreter is unavailable, USCIS will either reschedule the affirmative asylum interview or, at its discretion, allow the applicant to provide an interpreter.

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