Personal interview (“second interview”)

If Germany is responsible for your asylum proceedings, the reasons for asylum and the circumstances of your flight will be examined in more detail. A personal interview (“second interview”) is held for this purpose.

In the personal interview the following questions are important:

  • What happened in your country of origin? What acts of persecution or threats induced you to flee from your country?
  • What are you afraid of in the event of your returning to your country of origin?

Very often the questions concerning the route of your flight take a long time because the authority wants to establish whether you would have already been safe in another country (further information The “Dublin Procedure”/Dublin Regulation).

Traumatised people, women who have experienced sexual violence and people who have been persecuted on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity have the right to be questioned by specially trained staff.

There is always an interpreter present during the personal interview. This person speaks German and your native language but is not a sworn court translator.

Sometimes there are problems with the interpreter: You may not be able to communicate with the person or the person may belong to a group that was involved in your persecution in your country of origin. You then have the right to demand another interpreter.

A record is made of the personal interview. This forms the basis for the decision on your asylum application and is consequently one of the most important documents for the asylum proceedings.

The record is translated at the end of the personal interview. You should insist on the translation. If you notice errors or misunderstandings, you should have them corrected.

Prepare carefully for the personal interview. It is difficult to submit information or have corrections made at a later date. As a rule, you will be given the written record of the personal interview later. Have it translated again by a person you trust. If something needs clarification, do so immediately.

During the questioning, a detailed depiction of the reasons for flight is required. Use the first person (“I” form) when you are describing dangers. It is advisable to relate everything to yourself: “I am in danger because this and this happened to me or because this and this could happen to me.”