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DRC Asylum
For asylum seekers

Good advice for the asylum process

As an asylum seeker in Denmark, you must know your rights and obligations so that you can participate in the Danish asylum procedure in the best possible way.

The asylum interview with the Danish Immigration Service

The asylum interview with the Danish Immigration Service

The asylum interviews are an important part of how the authorities assess your asylum case. They can be long and intense, because you must talk about difficult things and answer many questions. Remember that you can always ask for a break if you need one. 

You should prepare thoroughly before you go to an interview about your asylum case. It is good if you can remember the dates and the sequence of events that caused you to flee, and you can consider writing a timeline to help your memory. A timeline is just a note to yourself, listing the major events that caused you in the end to flee your country. 

You must talk about all the problems you have had in your home country and about all your reasons for applying for asylum in Denmark. 

As far as possible, tell the Danish Immigration Service about your problems in the order in which they occurred.  Your explanation of why you fled and need protection should be as detailed, truthful, and coherent as possible.  

Although it can be difficult to talk about the experiences you have been through and you might have little trust in authorities and police you met before coming to Denmark, it is important that you explain your whole story to the Danish Immigration Service. 

The case workers of the Danish Immigration Service will ask many questions about small details that will be written down in your case. It can be questions about what happened, who were there, where you were, when it took place, why something happened, and for how long. All the questions are important for the Danish Immigration Service to understand what you have been through and why you cannot return to your home country. 

You must answer the authorities' questions as well as you can. If you are unsure of some of the details, then be honest and answer that you are not sure. The same goes for dates and times. 

It can be difficult to talk about the reasons for fleeing – especially with someone you do not know. Even if it is difficult, and even though it may be about some very private things, it is important that you explain your story to the authorities in as much detail and as accurately as possible. 

The Danish authorities will treat your information with confidentiality, and they will not share your information with the authorities in the country from which you have fled or with other unauthorized persons. 

Conflicts in the family can also be relevant to an asylum case. Please remember to inform the Danish authorities about all the problems you have had, and all the reasons that you cannot return to your home country. 

You can inform the authorities about things that your family members do not know about or that you do not want them to know that you are talking to the Danish authorities about. You can ask the Danish Immigration Service to keep such things secret from your family. 

If you remember something important, after the interview, that you have forgotten to tell the authorities about, you must inform the authorities as soon as possible. You can do this, for example, by writing a letter to the Danish Immigration Service in your own language. 

It is important that the Danish Immigration Service have all relevant information, before they make the first decision. If you do not inform them about something important in your case until after you have received a first rejection from the Danish Immigration Service, you risk that the authorities do not believe the new information. 

At the end of the interview, the interpreter will translate the summary from the meeting that the caseworker from Danish Immigration Service has written during the interview. 

It is important that you listen carefully when the summary is translated to you, and that you make comments if you think something is wrong or missing from the summary. You can ask the interpreter to read the summary carefully to you and translate each sentence word for word. 

You must sign each page of the summary and thus confirm that the translation by the interpreter is a correct representation of your explanation during the interview. You are entitled to a copy of the summary, which are written in Danish. Unfortunately, it is not possible to have the summary translated into your own language by the authorities. 

The authorities will use the summary of the interview to decide your case, and it is therefore important that they are accurate.  

Interpretation for asylum seekers

An interpreter will be present during all interviews with the Danish authorities. As an asylum seeker, you have the right to an interpreter who you can understand – and who understands you. 

If you have difficulties understanding the interpreter or do not feel comfortable with the interpreter, always inform the authorities. You may not be able to get another interpreter until another day, but it is very important that you and the interpreter understand each other. 

The interpreter has a duty of confidentiality and is not allowed to tell anyone about you or your situation. The interpreter is not allowed to share his or her opinions or give you advice along the way. 

If you want an interpreter of a certain gender, say it in advance. You can ask the center staff for help contacting the Danish Immigration Service. 

The role of the Refugee Appeals Board

The role of the Refugee Appeals Board

If the Danish Immigration Service rejects your application for a residence permit as a refugee in the first instance, your case will automatically be appealed to the Refugee Appeals Board. 

You have the right to have a lawyer represent you when your case is heard by the Refugee Appeals Board. The lawyer is paid by the Danish state. 

You will receive a letter from the Refugee Appeals Board with a list of lawyers who are familiar with immigration law. You can either choose a lawyer yourself or let the Refugee Appeals Board choose one for you. 

You can see the list of lawyers on the Refugee Appeals Board's website

Obligation to provide information

As an asylum seeker, you are obliged to show up when the Danish authorities call you for an interview, and you must inform the authorities about everything relevant to your case. 

You also have an obligation to tell the truth. It can have serious consequences for your case if the authorities later find out that you have provided false information. This applies to your identity, in relation to name, age and nationality, or information about the reasons for your flight from your home country. 

Although it may be difficult to talk about the reasons for your flight from your home country, you have a duty to answer all the questions that the authorities ask you. If the authorities ask you to do so, you must also present your passport, travel document or other documents that you have brought with you. 

Read more about the Danish asylum system

This page is tagged Counselling Asylum