During the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS has provided contract interpreters without charge to many asylum applicants. This was intended to reduce the number of people who needed to be physically present in asylum offices.
Additionally, many asylum interviews use contract interpreters only in a listening capacity to verify the interpretation quality of interpreters brought by applicants. This made it relatively simple for many interpreter monitors to switch to being full interpreters.
USCIS is now extending this rule. The notice states that this rule is extended from March 22, 2021 to September 20, 2021.