If Germany is responsible for the examination of the asylum procedure, the applicant for asylum is personally interviewed by an officer of the Federal Office – a decision maker – on his reasons for flight.
The interview is non-public. Involved are the applicant, his/her procedural representatives (lawyer, legal guardian) and the decision maker. A translator is also present. If the applicant for asylum desires, a representative of The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) can join the interview. Further persons may only participate, if the applicant for asylum and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees agree.
The interview represents the most important appointment for the applicant during the asylum procedure. The applicant personally has to explain his/her reasons for flight. He has to present all facts, which give reason to his/her fear for persecution or the danger of threatening serious damage to him (§ 25 AsylVfG). He also has to present all other facts and circumstances that contradict a return to his/her home country.
At the beginning of the interview the decision maker also questions the applicant on his/her personal living conditions.
The applicant for asylum is obligated to tell the truth and to provide evidence as far as possible. The duration of the interview depends on the individual persecution. The interview is recorded in writing, containing all essential statements by the applicant. The applicant receives a copy of the record.