The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a fourth extension to the Temporary Final Rule (TFR) that requires certain affirmative asylum applicants to use USCIS-provided interpreters during their interviews. This extension is valid through September 12, 2023, and aims to ensure an orderly return to prior practices after the anticipated expiration of the federal public health emergency declaration for COVID-19 in May 2023.
The TFR mandates the use of USCIS contract telephonic interpreters, available in 47 languages, for specified asylum applicants. This service is provided free of charge, and a list of supported languages can be found on the TFR webpage. Applicants who do not speak English or any of the listed languages must provide their own interpreters.
The extension retains a previous modification that, under limited circumstances, allows rescheduling of interviews or the provision of an interpreter by the applicant if a USCIS interpreter is unavailable.
USCIS link: https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-extends-rule-providing-interpreters-at-affirmative-asylum-interviews