Asylum Lesson Plans

As part of asylum officers’ training, USCIS provides lesson plans containing guidance on matters of law and policy as well as on interviews and adjudications. Many of these lesson plans are linked to in the below table.

Name Topic Date Notes
Core Values and Guiding Principles for RAIO Employees This module provides an overview of the RAIO Directorate, its structure, mission, core values, and guiding principles. October 21, 2019 RAIO
Firm Resettlement This module provides an overview of the firm resettlement bars for asylum and refugee resettlement. January 17, 2019 RAIO
International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) and Religious Persecution USCIS provided its RAIO Combined Training Course on the International Religious Freedom Act and the responsibilities that the Act creates for adjudicating protection claims. January 17, 2019 RAIO
Refugee Definition USCIS provided its RAIO Combined Training Course on refugee definition. This module discusses the definition of a refugee as codifed in the INA and its interpretation in administrative and judicial case law. January 17, 2019 RAIO
Well-Founded Fear This module provides guidance on how to determine whether an applicant has established a reasonable possibility of suffering future harm in the country of nationality or last habitual residence. January 17, 2019 RAIO
Nexus and the Protected Grounds Course on the five protected grounds for refugees and their interpretation in administrative and judicial case law and how to determine whether an applicant has established harm on account of one of the five protected grounds. June 13, 2018 RAIO
Sources of Authority This module describes the legal sources that provide officers in the RAIO Directorate with the authority to make case decisions and determinations. June 13, 2018 RAIO
Decision Writing Part I: Overview and Components This lesson introduces asylum officers to the standard format for written asylum decisions. December 14, 2017 ADOTC
Children’s Claims This course instructs asylum officers on how to adjudicate children’s claims, including guidelines for child-sensitive interview techniques and considerations for the legal analysis of claims involving child applicants. May 11, 2017 RAIO
UACs and Asylum Review TVPRA jurisdiction; UAC determination; child interviewing skills April 20, 2017 Interal powerpoint
Interviewing - Introduction to the Non-Adversarial Interview This module describes the main components of an interview for all RAIO adjudications. March 24, 2017 RAIO
Children’s Claims Internal RAIO powerpoint on assessing children's claims. Topics include international guidance, cultural and developmental factors, interview considerations, and legal analysis. February 24, 2017 RAIO
Gender-Related Claims Internal training Powerpoint on gender-related asylum claims, including types of gender-based harm, factors related to gender that must be considered, factors that may inhibit an applicant's ability to present a gender-related claim, and effective interviewing techniques. February 22, 2017 Internal Powerpoint
Credible Fear of Persecution and Torture Determinations Revised CFI training February 13, 2017 ADOTC
Reasonable Fear of Persecution and Torture Determinations This lesson explains when reasonable fear screenings are conducted and how to determine whether an individual has a reasonable fear of persecution or torture using the appropriate standard. February 13, 2017 ADOTC
Credibility Officer learns to assess credibility and articulate reasons for decision June 20, 2016 RAIO
Detecting Possible Victims of Trafficking Issues addressed include indicators that may demonstrate an individual is a victim, specific assistance and benefits available to victims, as well as guidelines for sensitive interview techniques. November 27, 2015 RAIO
Affirmative Asylum Procedures Manual USCIS Affirmative Asylum Procedures Manual (AAPM) from the Asylum Division, updated and revised as of May 2016, provides instruction for asylum office personnel on how to process affirmative asylum applications. May 2016 RAIO
Note-Taking This module outlines the importance of taking clear and comprehensive notes during the interview, the characteristics of proper notes, and procedures for proper note-taking. November 25, 2015 RAIO
Interviewing - Eliciting Testimony This training module instructs students on how to elicit information from an interviewee in a non-adversarial manner. November 25, 2015 RAIO
Interviewing - Working with an Interpreter The module describes the role and responsibilities of an interpreter, and how officers can communicate effectively through an interpreter. November 25, 2015 RAIO
Interviewing Survivors of Torture and Other Severe Trauma This lesson focuses primarily on the effects of torture and severe trauma and how these effects can affect the interview process. November 25, 2015 RAIO
Cross-Cultural Communication and Other Factors That May Impede Communication at an Interview This module describes how cultural differences may create barriers to effective communication and provides techniques for recognizing and overcoming those barriers. November 23, 2015 RAIO combined course
Researching and Using Country of Origin Information in RAIO Adjudications This module provides guidelines on the use of Country of Origin Information in adjudicating immigration benefits, petitions, protection determinations, and other immigration-related requests. November 23, 2015 RAIO combined course
Decision Making This module describes the general factual, legal and analytical considerations involved in constructing legally sufficient decisions. November 23, 2015 RAIO
Discretion This module provides guidelines for adjudicating immigration benefits or requests that are subject to DHS's discretion. The module addresses the basis for determining when discretion is warranted and for performing legal analysis. November 23, 2015 RAIO
Guidance for Adjudication Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex LGBTI Claims Very helpful OYFD exception examples November 6, 2015 RAIO
Nexus - Particular Social Group This module discusses membership in a particular social group and examines its interpretation in administrative and judicial case law. July 27, 2015 RAIO
Definition of Persecution and Eligibility Based on Past Persecution This module discusses the definition of persecution and the determination as to whether an act constitutes persecution. June 12, 2015 RAIO
Reading and Using Case Law This module provides basic information on how to read cases from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the Attorney General (AG), and the U.S. federal courts. It includes guidance on how to identify the relevant components of a case, how to read and understand a case, and how to analyze and apply case law to make a decision or determination. January 20, 2015 RAIO combined course
Refugee Definition and Persecution Internal training Powerpoint on legal definitions of refugee and persecution. 2015 RAIO internal Powerpoint; undated
Credible Fear February 28, 2014 ADOTC
Affirmative Asylum Procedure Manual USCIS Affirmative Asylum Procedures Manual from the Asylum Division, updated and revised as of November 2013, provides instruction for asylum office personnel on how to process affirmative asylum applications. November 2013 Not a lesson plan; procedural manual
Updated Procedures for Determination of Initial Jurisdiction over Asylum Applications Filed by Unaccompanied Children Memo from Ted Kim May 28, 2013 FOIA Response
Gender-Related Claims This module instructs asylum officers on gender-related factors to be considered when interviewing and adjudicating claims related to gender, including claims based on violations of societal norms associated with gender. May 16, 2013 RAIO
Corps Values and Goals This lesson describes the values that guide the USCIS Asylum Program. May 9, 2013 RAIO/ADOTC
Suspension of Deportation and Special Rule Cancellation of Removal under NACARA This lesson instructs officers on how to apply appropriate law to determine whether an applicant is eligible for suspension of deportation or special rule cancellation of removal under NACARA. May 9, 2013 ADOTC
One-Year Filing Deadline This lesson describes the statutory bar to applying for asylum more than one year after an alien’s date of last arrival. May 6, 2013 ADOTC/AOBTC
International Human Rights Law Introduction to fundamentals of international human rights law September 12, 2012 RAIO
USCIS Basic Training - Terrorist-related Inadmissibility Grounds This course reviews the grounds under INA §212(a)(3)(B)(i), the applications to which such grounds apply, and the currently available exemptions to the inadmissibility grounds. June 2012 AOBTC
Adjudicating Children’s Asylum Claims: Particular Social Groups Internal USCIS Power Point January 24, 2011 Not sure of source; date comes from file name
Guidelines for Children’s Asylum Claims This lesson addresses interviewing and procedural considerations when working with child asylum applicants, as well as considerations for the legal analysis of their claims. September 1, 2009 AOBTC
Interviewing Part II: Note-Taking This lesson informs asylum officers of the importance of taking clearly written and comprehensive notes during the interview and the characteristics of proper notes and proper note-taking. August 10, 2009 AOBTC
Mandatory Bars to Asylum and Discretion This lesson describes prohibitions on applying for asylum, exceptions to those prohibitions, and the circumstances that require denial or referral of an asylum application, even when an applicant establishes that he or she is a refugee. This lesson also describes the circumstances under which it is appropriate to use discretion to refer or deny a request for asylum. March 25, 2009 AOBTC
Asylum Eligibility Part II: Well-Founded Fear The primary focus of this lesson is the determination as to whether an applicant has established a reasonable possibility of suffering future harm in the country of nationality. March 13, 2009 AOBTC
Asylum Eligibility Part III: Nexus and the Five Protected Characteristics The primary focus of this lesson is the determination as to whether an applicant has established that past harm suffered or future harm feared is on account of one of the five protected characteristics. March 12, 2009 AOBTC
Female Asylum Applicants and Gender-Related Claims This lesson provides guidance on special factors asylum officers must consider in interviewing women and evaluating their asylum claims related to gender. March 12, 2009 AOBTC
The International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) and Religious Persecution Claims This lesson introduces asylum officers to the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) and the particular responsibilities the Act creates with regard to the adjudication of asylum claims. March 12, 2009 AOBTC
Asylum Eligibility Part I: Definition of Refugee; Definition of Persecution; Eligibility Based on Past Persecution This lesson plan discusses the definition of a refugee as codified in the INA and its interpretation in administrative and judicial caselaw. The primary focus of this lesson is the determination as to whether an act constitutes past persecution. March 6, 2009 AOBTC
Material Support Bars Internal memo on material support to terrorist organizations bars May 24, 2007 Interoffice Memo
Asylum Eligibility Part IV: Burden of Proof, Standards of Proof and Evidence This lesson describes the various standards of proof that are required in adjudicating affirmative asylum and credible fear cases. The lesson also explains the operation of the burden of proof in the affirmative asylum process. September 14, 2006 AOBTC
Interviewing Part I: Overview of Nonadversarial Asylum Interview This lesson provides basic information on the nature of the affirmative asylum interview. September 14, 2006 AOBTC
Interviewing Part VI: Working with an Interpreter This lesson explains who can serve as an interpreter, the role and responsibilities of an interpreter, factors that affect accuracy of interpretation, and how to facilitate communication through an interpreter. September 14, 2006 AOBTC
Corps Values and Goals Explains asylum corps values to new officers September 13, 2006 AOBTC
Decision Writing Part 2: Legal Analysis This lesson explains the legal analysis component of an assessment or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), the components of the analysis itself, and how to correctly write a legal analysis. January 9, 2006 AOBTC
Interviewing Part III: Eliciting Testimony This lesson provides instruction on how to elicit information from an asylum applicant in a nonadversarial manner. March 3, 2005 AOBTC
Introduction to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Concepts of International Protection This lesson describes the development of international protection of refugees, explains the role of the UNHCR and other international actors, and other elements of international protection. March 1, 2005 AOBTC
Decision Writing Part I: Overview and Components, Focusing on 1st Three Components This lesson introduces standard format for written decisions. June 21, 2004 AOBTC
Interviewing Part V: Interviewing Survivors This lesson provides instruction to asylum officers on effective interviewing techniques and the effects of secondary trauma. June 21, 2004 AOBTC
Interviewing Part IV: Inter-Cultural Communication and Other Factors That May Impede Communication at an Asylum Interview This lesson describes how cultural differences may create barriers to effective communication and provides techniques for recognizing and overcoming those barriers. December 5, 2002 AOBTC
Making an Asylum Decision This lesson addresses general considerations involved in decision-making in the asylum context, legal issues to consider, and how to apply the law to the facts in order to decide whether to grant, deny, or refer a request for asylum. December 5, 2002 AOBTC

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 19091604.