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Asylum: Interviews

Question for Home Office

UIN HL9427, tabled on 11 July 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what safeguards they plan to put in place to ensure that any poor interpreting and poor interview practices do not adversely affect individual asylum claims.

Answered on

23 July 2018

All asylum interviews are carried out by an impartial interviewing officer.

All interpreters engaged by the Home Office must demonstrate they have the required skills and qualifications. They are also bound by a “Code of Conduct” to ensure minimum standards for interpreting and behaviour. Home Office policy and guidance ensures that in the event of interpreters or interviews falling short of those standards, it would not adversely affect an individual’s asylum claim.

Interviewing Officers are encouraged to provide feedback on the performance of interpreters, using specifically designed monitoring forms. Interviews may also be monitored for training and security purposes. Increased use of technologies, such as interviewing by video conferencing facilities, are being trialled to increase efficiency and transform the asylum process. Currently the majority of interviews are conducted face to face.

We have recently introduced digital interviewing capability across the asylum casework operational as part of the wider Home Office digital transformation programme, which aims for the department to become ‘digital by default’. We are aiming to digitally record all asylum interviews and provide claimants and their legal representative with a digital recording of their interview in addition to a written transcript. Claimants who do not want their interview to be audio recorded and provide reasonable explanation for this will be exempt from the recording requirement.

Answered by

Home Office