Changes to Credible and Reasonable Fear Criteria for Asylum Cases
Asylum Division of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (U.S.C.I.S.) on June 11 issued a memorandum (indexed HQRAIO 120/16) regarding changes to requirement of quality assurance interview for credible fear and reasonable fear cases. Now, some cases may be randomly selected for quality assurance review. Before a response from Asylum Division is issued, no decision may be granted.
Historically, Headquarters’ Asylum Division historically review both positive and negative determinations issued from field offices. Recently, the Asylum Division has undertaken evaluation of review process for many categories of asylum cases.
The Asylum Division has decided to implement a recommendation by U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in 2005. The Commission recommends subjecting both grants and rejections of asylum status in credible fear category to similar quality review process. U.S.C.I.S. thus has been revising Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear categories to provide a uniformed review process for both positive and negative determinations before the offices may grant decisions for the submitted or selected cases. Quality Assurance branch of the Asylum division is, consequentially, charged with developing broad guidance for training and interview purposes.
Implementation of aforementioned changes has started. Asylum Division has established a statistically valid sample size for random selection for pre-decisional quality assurance reviews. In addition, Asylum Division would review cases involving high profile claims and cases submitted by officers for review. Effectiveness of additional pre-decisional quality assurance review remains to be tested.