1. The truth shall set you free.
Credibility is the most important part of an asylum claim. For foreigners to be successful, the judge or asylum officer must believe them. As a result, everything submitted to Immigration must be completely truthful. Some questions may appear insignificant (such as the applicant’s address), but if foreigners misrepresent small issues, they certainly will not be believed on the bigger ones.
2. The devil’s in the details.
Asylum cases are won or lost based on the details. Nobody will know the harm suffered by the foreigner better than the foreigner. It is important that they recall all of the details of the incidents: How many attackers? What was said? What time of day? What were they wearing? Speak to family and friends who witnessed the harm to help fill in the memory gaps.
3. Repetition is the mother of perfection.
One way to convince Immigration of the truth of the foreigner’s claim is to have them hear the story three different ways. Providing documents is an excellent way to achieve this goal. For example, if trying to demonstrate physical harm, use hospital records, police reports, and an eyewitness statement. All of these should be provided.
4. Two heads are better than one.
Hire an experienced attorney. Period. An asylum case is very sensitive. There are a lot of legal matters and filing deadlines that must be met. For instance, although the application normally must be submitted within one year of the foreigner’s last entry into the United States, a lawyer can explain the exceptions to this rule and determine whether they apply.
5. Take it one step at a time.
Asylum is, by nature, a very emotional process. Foreigners are seeking refuge from a painful experience that they suffered in their home country. Usually, they are trying to forget everything that occurred and start over. However, reliving those memories over and over again – before a lawyer, before an officer, and then sometimes before an immigration judge — is unfortunately the way asylum cases are won.