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Legal Information: Federal


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January 29, 2019

Will I get an interpreter if I don’t speak English?

If you are applying for asylum without being in removal proceedings (under the affirmative asylum process), you will have to bring your own interpreter to the asylum interview. The government will not provide one for you. The interpreter cannot be your lawyer or representative, or a witness who will be testifying on your behalf. The interpreter must be fluent in your language and in English, and must be at least 18 years old. If you have a lawyer or advocate helping you apply, this is something s/he can hopefully help to arrange.

If you are requesting asylum as a defense to removal proceedings (under the defensive asylum process), the government will provide an interpreter for you at the asylum hearing and in all court proceedings.1

1 See USCIS website