You are currently viewing “Passing” or “failing” a reasonable fear interview

“Passing” or “failing” a reasonable fear interview

We say that someone has “passed” her reasonable fear interview when she has convinced an asylum officer, usually by sharing a detailed and consistent narrative of what happened to her in her home country and why she is afraid to go back, that there is a “reasonable possibility” that she will be persecuted (on the basis of her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion) or tortured (by government officials or with the acquiescence of government officials) in her home country.

This standard for “passing” a reasonable fear interview is higher than the standard for “passing” a credible fear interview. it is more difficult to convince the asylum officer that you should be allowed to go before an Immigration Judge if you are in reinstatement of removal.

There is a tendency for asylum officers (and immigration judges) to doubt the person who is returning to the U.S. after having been deported or removed before. They may come across as less empathetic and less patient. They may interrogate the person about her reasons for leaving her home country, and coming to the U.S., the first time.

Keep in mind that the woman may have not known what to do the first time she came and was placed in Expedited Removal Proceedings. She may well have been very afraid, but not known to tell anyone why she was afraid to go back. She may distrust people in uniform and assume that they are in league with criminals and persecutors. The fact that she came to the U.S. before and was deported before means that she needs your help more than ever. Don’t give up on her as others may do.

Back to Credible & reasonable fear interview table of contents


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.