Where are you going to seek asylum?
the whole procedure, give a true, complete, detailed and consistent
picture of the reasons for your application, both in writing and
Even if the interrogating officer of the asylum country is only interested
in the way you took to get here, you should always insist on laying down
the reasons for your application. Credibility criteria vary slightly
from one asylum country to the other. But generally speaking, you better
prepare both a written and oral statement, which is
- True (lies are mostly revealed and hinder any form of protection),
- Complete (mentioning all elements of your personal history which
are relevant for your flight),
- Detailed (describing the concrete circumstances of all the elements,
even if they might seem shameful)
- Consistent (without contradictions to former statements or evident
Some recommendations for the asylum interview which takes place in most of
the European asylum countries:
- Whenever possible, prepare a written statement on the reasons for
your flight in advance. This takes time to be done well. Use
the questionnaire here to check whether you really mentioned all
relevant points. Keep a copy or two of your written presentation when
you hand it over to the authorities.
- It is better to present your asylum case both orally and in writing
in a chronological way, so one event after the other, in order to avoid
misunderstandings. But you should also refer back to facts you mentioned
earlier if there is a thematic link.
- Also in interviews, indicate precisely the time and the place when
and where something happened. Be aware of the fact that the asylum
officer does not know your story as you do.
- Insist on presenting all facts legitimating your asylum application
even if the officer asks you only about the way you took to get to
Europe. Asylum officers sometimes neglect their task to find out the
facts of your persecution.
- Indicate right from the beginning that you do not understand the
asylum officer or the translator/interpreter if this is the case.
- Ask for an asylum officer and translator/interpreter of your sex/gender
if you do not dare to mention delicate/intimate facts otherwise. Officers
are mostly trained to accept these requests.
- If you are still shocked by what happened to you, ask for psychological
assistance. Let the officer know that you cannot (yet) present all
delicate / intimate details of what happened to you or your loved ones.
- Do not sign interview minutes or other documents that you do not
fully understand or that are not complete, not absolutely correct or
that are not at least orally retranslated into a language you fully
understand. In lawful states nobody is obliged to sign documents. No
signature is a "must."
- Do not sign the withdrawal of your application unless you have thoroughly
reflected this step for several days at least, preferably after legal
advice by a lawyer or a refugee-assisting organisation. Do not believe
any arguments of urgency with respect to the withdrawal.