Update on the Asylum Backlog

by Jason Dzubow on May 13, 2015

If you’ve visited this website before, you know that I’ve written about the asylum backlog again and again… and again and again and again and again. And yet again. And once more. And probably a few other times in-between. USCIS recently released some new statistics on asylum, and so I thought I would share them here and discuss the current situation.

Measured in smoots, the backlog is 86.9 miles long + one ear.

Measured in smoots, the backlog is 86.9 miles long + one ear.

First off, despite the efforts of the Asylum Division, the backlog continues to grow. In January 2015, the total number of backlogged cases was 76,446. By the end of March 2015, there were 82,175 backlogged asylum cases nationwide. The numbers have only increased since then.

The main cause of the backlog has been large numbers of people–mostly young people–coming to the United States from Central America. These young people are detained at the border and receive a credible fear interview, which is an initial assessment of eligibility for asylum. If they pass the credible fear interview, their case is referred to an Immigration Court, which then fully reviews their asylum application. The credible fear interviews are conducted by Asylum Officers, and because they are detained at government expense, the young people are given priority over other (non-detained) asylum seekers. Because the Asylum Division must devote resources to these credible fear interviews, they have been unable to keep up with the more traditional asylum cases. Hence, the backlog.

I keep expecting the number of young people coming here to wane, but so far that has not been the case. Indeed, the number of people coming from Central America this year is nearly identical to the numbers we saw last year. And given that summer is traditionally a busier time for migration from Central America, we can expect more young people to arrive at our border in the next few months. Thus, it seems likely that the backlogged cases will keep piling up.

According to the latest statistics, the least backlogged offices are Houston (3,971 backlogged cases), Arlington (5,791), and Chicago (6,485). The most backlogged office is Los Angeles (17,042), followed by Newark (14,924), New York (13,568), Miami (11,366), and San Francisco (9,028). Wait times in these offices roughly correlate with the number of cases backlogged, so Houston is currently the fastest office and Los Angeles is the slowest.

Of course, obtaining a (relatively) quick interview date is of little value if the case is denied. In terms of grant rates, the fastest offices are not necessarily the most likely to grant asylum. Although the statistics on this vary, the offices in Chicago, Houston, Miami, Newark, and New York all grant asylum less than 33% of the time. Arlington and Los Angeles grant about 50% of their cases, and San Francisco grants over 60% of its cases.

So what is the Asylum Division doing to address the backlog?

For one thing, they have been hiring more Asylum Officers. Since the backlog began in 2013, the number of staff members has increased by 90% and they continue to hire and train more officers. It appears that the Asylum Division will continue to add new officers through 2016. So if–and it is a big if–we see a drop in credible fear interviews at the border, the asylum offices should be well positioned to make some progress on the backlog.

The Asylum Division is also making an effort to keep the public more informed about the backlog. For some months now, there has been discussion about providing more information about processing times at the different asylum offices (for example, the Arlington, Virginia office is currently interviewing cases from July 2013). Because workloads are unpredictable, the asylum offices do not know when they will interview an individual case, but they do know which cases they are processing now. By posting this information, at least asylum seekers will have some idea about where they stand in the queue (the Department of State has a similar system for family- and employment-based immigration visas).

The asylum offices have also created some very limited ways to expedite cases. I have discussed those here.

As an advocate for asylum seekers, of course I believe that more should be done. Most importantly, I would like to see the asylum offices give higher priority to people separated from their immediate relatives. I would also like to see more resources devoted to processing I-730 petitions, which allow approved asylum seekers to bring their spouses and children to the U.S. Also, given that asylum cases are moving slowly, I would like to see USCIS issue work permits (EADs) for two or more years, instead of just one year. Finally, I would like to see responsibility for credible fear interviews moved from the Asylum Division to a separate unit or–better yet–the elimination of credible fear interviews altogether (CFIs are basically rubber stamps and thus a waste of resources; it would be better if such cases were adjudicated in the first instance by an Immigration Judge).

The Asylum Division is faced with a very difficult–if not impossible–task: To continue adjudicating asylum cases while dealing with an unpredictable and overwhelming number of credible fear cases, all the while, with a hostile Congress looking for excuses to reduce asylum protections. For the sake of our asylum system and those who need protection, I hope they can navigate these treacherous waters.

{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

ABCD May 27, 2017 at 4:39 am

Hi Jason,
Thanks for your advises,
how should i be ready for asylum interview and what are the requirements that i have to take there?
yours

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Jason Dzubow May 28, 2017 at 6:37 am

I did a posting on September 8, 2016 about asylum interviews – maybe that would help. As for what to take, it depends on the case, and I do not know about your case. Generally, if you say something happened, you should provide evidence about that, so if you say you were arrested, get a police report, court paper, lawyer paper, medical report (if you were injured during the arrest), and/or letters from friends and family who know about the arrest. But again, each case is different. It is worth talking to a lawyer to evaluate your case and help with this. Take care, Jason

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ABCD June 5, 2017 at 4:33 pm

Dear Jason,
would you please help me by showing the instruction of how can i sue the LosAngeles asylum office?
I am waiting for being scheduled for the interview about almost 50 months and i am still pending.

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Jason Dzubow June 5, 2017 at 10:09 pm

You might do better to ask them to expedite. I wrote a blog post about that on March 30, 2017 – maybe that would help. Everyone is waiting for a long time in LA, and I doubt a lawsuit would help. If you do want to try, it is called a mandamus lawsuit. You can talk to a lawyer about it, or if you cannot afford a lawyer, you can learn about it on the internet. Take care, Jason

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ABCD June 5, 2017 at 11:22 pm

Dear Jason
I think i did a lot of mistakes,I asked a lot to expedite of my interview and i submit a lot of inquiries in asylum office(every week one time), i emailed them a lot and calling them at least 7-8 times in each month, i write the hardship letters by exactly the instruction of your previous posts,i put my name in the short list.i go for submitting my request in Ombudsman and i am waiting for their response ,but i receive no positive respond from the asylum office.still i am in pending for interview and i don’t have an attorney.i am waiting from June 2013 till today.i really need help and i am frustrated enough.don’t you think my case is going to be complicated?
may i talk with you ? do you have any advise to me?

Asel November 19, 2016 at 7:38 am

Hi Jason ,First of all thank you for providing with a very helpful information.
Please, give me some advise. I applied for an asylum in Chicago on August,2014 . According to the chart provided, my interview is going to be around August 2017. I wanna move and transfer my case to San Francisco. But for the cases filed in San Francisco on August 2014, they already had an interview this August.Now I don’t know if I transfer my case to there when is my interview is going to be? I’m so confused I really need your answer. Appreciated your help.

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Jason Dzubow November 20, 2016 at 11:26 am

If you move your case, you should keep your place in the queue. So if your filing date as already been interviewed in SF, you should get an interview relatively soon. It will take a few months to move the case, and you should follow up with the old and new asylum offices to make sure the case was transferred and that you are still properly in the queue. You can find contact info for the asylum offices if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Chokaw October 19, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Hi there
First and most thank you for your commitment to provide this platform
I have been continously referring to it for issues you’ve touched upon.
Been here as of April 2015 and applied for asylum sometimes on may 2015.
My wife is back home and my country is in turm oil even worse than when it had been while i was there
How do i request expedite abd any educated guess as to when you think i might be called based on the current trenda i know noone knows just an educated guess.
Thanjs

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Jason Dzubow October 20, 2016 at 9:58 pm

I have no guess – just check the Scheduling Bulletin. As for expediting, you can contact your asylum office and ask about that. In my office (Virginia), we can do it by email or in person. Contact info for the Asylum Office can be found if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. The most effective way to expedite is if you can show them that you or a close family member has a health problem, and that resolution of the asylum case will help with the health problem. For this, you should get a doctor’s note and/or other medical evidence. The next best reason is to show them that you have family members in danger overseas. You need evidence for that as well – affidavits, country condition information, etc. In our office, if they agree to expedite, they schedule an interview usually in 1 to 4 months, or so. But the clients often still have delays after the interview due to security background checks. Good luck, Jason

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Rawand khoshnaw August 17, 2016 at 6:14 pm

Hi Jason , I apply asylum in Los Angeles on may2015,I wanna move and transfer my case to San francisco. Can I keep my case in line or my case will be put to the back of the line every lawyer tell me different thing. I’m so confused I really need your answer. Highly appreciated your help

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Jason Dzubow August 17, 2016 at 11:02 pm

According to USCIS, you will keep you place in the queue. However, I think a move can cause delay. You need to contact your old asylum office and the new office in order to make sure your case is transferred and interviewed according to the original filing date. You can find contact info for the asylum offices if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Memo August 5, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Hello,
I did my asylum interview 10 months ago, and I renewed my EAD.
The new card shows that I am under A05 code which means that I granted asylum. I contac the Asylum office and they said nothing happened with your case. Still under review.
How can I accerlate the process, do I have to make an appointment with the senator of my state?
I need your advice please.

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Jason Dzubow August 5, 2016 at 4:45 pm

I wrote about this on October 21, 2014; maybe that post would be helpful to you. Take care, Jason

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Lina July 8, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Hello, please help me with my question.. My asylum interview was scheduled on May 4th, 2016 Chicago office , but day before i got into car accident and i was rushed to the hospital… I had to reschedule my interview and now i’m waiting for a new date. Its been little more than 2 month and still no letter. Di you know how long it might take to be rescheduled? Thank you!

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Jason Dzubow July 8, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Normally rescheduled cases are given priority. You should contact the office and ask. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Ali April 24, 2016 at 5:04 pm

Hello Jason,
I have my wife and old son in USA while me and other kids in Iraq, my kids are facing some pxychological problems to the extent that we are thinking of cancelling our case, my wife applied few months ago to asylum, or do you advice us a way to shoten the waiting time. I appreciate your support

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Jason Dzubow April 25, 2016 at 6:16 am

I wrote a blog post about that on February 26, 2015 with some ideas. Maybe that will help. Take care, Jason

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Kate April 18, 2016 at 2:03 am

Hi, Jason

I’ve applied for asylum at Chicago office in July 2014. l’ve completed my biometrics two week later. So, I’m waiting for 1st interview almost 2 years. Do you know which month/year they’re taking now and how long to wait?
Thank you so much for any information

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Jason Dzubow April 18, 2016 at 6:44 am

You can get an idea if you check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is at the right. Take care, Jason

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Lusine Gasparyan April 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Hello, thank you very much for updated information. I have a question. Do you know how the officers pick up case for interwiev? I heard different things: by chance, by filling date, by from newest to oldest? I have applied for asylum on March 23d of 2013, still waiting for 1st interwiev. Thank you.

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Lamin March 12, 2016 at 8:01 pm

Hi Jason,
My wife and I filed an asylum case back in May 2013 but we haven’t been schedule for an interview yet. We live in WA state and our case is sent to the asylum office in San Francisco. The table you provided showed that the office is processing cases filed in 2014. Do you think it’s a good idea to contact the office and know our stand Or should we just keep on waiting?

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Jason Dzubow March 14, 2016 at 6:23 am

I believe you will not be interviewed in San Francisco. Instead, you will be interviewed at a sub-office in Washington, and their schedule is different from San Fran (and not listed on the chart). That said, you can contact them and ask about the time frame for your sub office – you can find their email address if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Lamin March 15, 2016 at 2:08 am

Thanks a lot. You are truly great.

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Alan March 11, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Hi Jason, thanks for all your valuable comments and shares.
I filed my application in March 2014 in LOs Angeles and I’ve moved to Florida recently due to some personal reasons. My addresses in both places can be permanent . So my question is ,from your experiences , shall I transfer my case to Miami according to the less backlog there comparing to LA ? My concern is if I do so, it could take longer than waiting in LA . So I am bit confused now .
Appreciate for your time and feedback.

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Jason Dzubow March 11, 2016 at 5:28 pm

If you are living in FL, you are supposed to change your address to FL. However, if you are living in both places, I guess it is your choice. If you move the case to FL, supposedly you keep your case in the queue, so at least in theory, that should be faster. Whether it will work that way in reality, I am not 100% sure, but LA is currently interviewing cases from 2011, and so I would not expect an interview there anytime soon. Take care, Jason

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Alex February 22, 2016 at 12:00 am

Dear Jason,

I had my asylum interview 2 weeks ago and the officer gave me a letter to reach the USCIS office to get my interview result on Feb 23, (and she will inform me if any changes happened or if the result was not ready). the officer has also asked for some additional documents that I could send them to my attorny yesterday and i beleive that he did not gave them to the officer yet. First, should I still go on the same date to get my interview result since I did not recieve any call or mail on this regard? Second, Is there any chance that I be reinterviewed On the said date?

Many thanks and regards

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Jason Dzubow February 22, 2016 at 7:20 am

You should certainly go on the date you are supposed to return, unless you here something different from the asylum officer. Also, I suppose it is a bit late now, but the sooner you get the additional documents to the asylum officer, the better. Once in a rare while, when people go for the decision, the officer asks them more questions. It is basically unfair, since you probably will not have your lawyer with you, but if they have questions for you, you can always ask to reschedule so that your lawyer can be with you. This is pretty rare, though, I would not worry about it too much. Take care, Jason

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S Khan February 19, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Hello dear,
Give me some solution regarding my situation, I filed my case on Jun 28 2014 and i received Interview date on August 10, Everything was fine, and officer told me they will mail my decision with in 2-3 weeks by mail. Still i didn’t receive any decision of my case, In the beginning of 2015, THe officer who was taken my Interview, he called me and he ask for some Paper proof from my School, that time i was in F1, After that my I20 was expire and I never renewed. In beginning of December 2015 i applied for Renew my EAD and its processing right now. But no decision made in my case, could you tell me whats going on there, When I supposed to get my decision and what is gonna be if I field my case??

Thanks

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S Khan February 19, 2016 at 4:09 pm

This case headlining usicis office of New York.

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Jason Dzubow February 19, 2016 at 4:11 pm

I do not know why there is a delay, but many people face long delays after the interview. Often it is due to security background checks. You can inquire with the Asylum Office and maybe they will give you some idea about the delay. If you need their contact info, you can follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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S Khan February 19, 2016 at 4:17 pm

I did call so many time to the same Officer, he said to me the decision is pending, Don’t worry about it you are fine.

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Babi April 13, 2016 at 10:19 am

I thought the time one is invited for interviews, their is sufficient security background checks to help make a decision. Besides, these security checks are still on going even after you have been given asylum. This delay is unfair for people that have been waiting for too long. There needs to be more transparency. Also I have noticed there are no regular updates from USCIS on Asylum applications. I noticed some offices like Chicago have handled interviews for one for a period of close to six (6) months. They have been interviewing May 2013 for close to 6months. It’s unfortunate that people so much in need of help have to go through this dehumanizing situation of sterving, no sense of belonging, lose of dignity, respect, family break ups and above all depression, it’s the best example of despire……….As a human rights activist, I am finding this situation very dehumanizing. There is a choice USCIS can make, categorise scheduling of these interviews based on urgency and individual prevailing situations, country conditions and any other criteria they may deem fit as long as it helps especially those that genuinely need help.

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Jason Dzubow April 14, 2016 at 5:55 am

The offices are all moving slowly – it is because of the high volume of cases at the US/Mexico border, which get priority over “regular” asylum cases. I also wish there as more transparency and that USCIS would at least prioritize cases where families are separated. Take care, Jason

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devon February 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Dear Sir

I am contacting you today for advice, i came to find your website very helpful. I thank you in advance for all your help to many people everyday. My question is, i did apply for the asylum in Sep 2015, they did not send me reciept number. At local office, they say they have no date for me, cause they work with cases filed in 2013 now. I have alian number they give to me, also reference number 8CFR, they say i fall under political asylum. They have no fingerprint date for me yet. Could i still apply for EAD? i will be on 150 this week. I have almost no money left and need job. Could you advise me on this matter, Thank you Mr. Jason. May the God Almighty bless you.

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Jason Dzubow February 19, 2016 at 6:52 am

If you have the Alien number you can apply (using form I-765). However, normally as part of the application, you should include the asylum receipt or the fingerprint notice. If you do not have those, maybe you want to return to the Asylum Office to ask if they can give you some proof of filing asylum that you can use for the EAD application. If not, I guess you should just try to apply – the first I-765 application is free, so there is nothing to lose by trying. Take care, Jason

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Leksang January 19, 2016 at 2:12 am

Hello Jason,
You seem to be great helpful and I would firstly like to thank you for your great help and suggestion. I had applied for asylum in New York in December 2014, and did my biometric in Jan 2015 after that I haven’t receive any letter for interview. I visited the asylum office too and they told that they have back log. So what should I do? Is there any online website where I can check or I just have to wait for interview letter.

Thank you!

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Jason Dzubow January 20, 2016 at 7:22 am

You can check the link at right called Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin. Also, you can ask the asylum office to expedite your case or put yourself on the “short list” if you asylum office has such a list. I did a posting on February 26, 2015 that discusses these options. Take care, Jason

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justin January 15, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Hello Jason can you give any advice on this

So I dud my interview in November 2015 and was told my decision will be mailed to me to date I h as be not get my decision but in fact I was ask to be reinterviewed was not given any reasons other than they just needed to go over some more stuff in my application have you ever heard of that,and is this a bad thing

Thanks in advance

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Jason Dzubow January 17, 2016 at 10:35 am

It is not necessarily good or bad. We see people interviewed a second time in about 5% of cases. It is often because the asylum officer forgot to ask something or maybe the supervisor wanted more info. Hopefully you will get a good decision soon. Take care, Jason

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Maha January 15, 2016 at 1:19 am

Hello there,
I filed my asylum case on October 2014 for the Chicago asylum office and did the biometrics on Dec 3rd 2014 and received a notification that my case is pending as of Nov 2014 but have not received anything since them. when do you think they will contact me for interview?
I would appreciate any feedback.
P.S. I am a PhD student on a F1 visa

Regards
Maha K. Kareem

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Jason Dzubow January 15, 2016 at 6:48 am

If you move, you need to update your address using form AR-11. Otherwise, cases are taking a long time (see the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is provided at the right), and so your case is probably still in the queue. Take care, Jason

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Mary December 27, 2015 at 6:37 pm

Jason,
So i filed my asylum application in September 2015, I have not received receipt notice yet, or any.form of confirmation from sanfrancisco offices, I am lost, I don’t know what to do or not do, will it be wrong to visit their office? And do i need an appointment to do that? Pls advice. Thanks

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2015 at 7:23 am

If you have not received the receipt of fingerprint notice, then something is probably wrong. Can you confirm with the post office that the application was received? Was it sent to the correct address? Applications sent to the wrong address often disappear – you would probably have to file a Freedom of Information Act request to get confirmation of filing. In your case, you can email or visit the SF office to see if they can help you. You can find their contact info and office hours on their website, which you can find if you follow the link at the right called Asylum Office Locator. Good luck, Jason

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Iqbal December 27, 2015 at 2:21 am

Dear Jason

I applied asylum on 1st Dec. 2014 in New york. Interview completed on 17th April 2015. Still waiting for the decision. Could you please share what is the maximum time I may have to wait to get my decision.

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow December 27, 2015 at 9:24 am

There is no maximum – we have people waiting for over a year, and some waiting more than 2 years. Most cases are resolved in less than a year. I did a posting on October 20, 2015 that may provide some help. Take care, Jason

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Moby November 28, 2015 at 1:36 am

hi jason
i already requested the legal and wise advice on my questions few days ago but may b due to your busy schedule u cant answer
please advice me as i applied my asylum in jan 2013 my interview is still delayed
can i apply a visit visa for my wife and kid
Q1. does this step gonna harm my case over here
Q2. if they get visit visa and come to me can i add them in my existing asylum case
Q3. in this situation can i apply for the vacation to canada

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Jason Dzubow November 29, 2015 at 10:03 pm

I really do not have enough information to answer these questions. I doubt that an application for a visa by your family members will affect your asylum case, but I don’t know. I suggest you consult a lawyer if you have concerns. As for a vacation to Canada if you have asylum pending, you can try – you need Advance Parole, form I-131 – but it will be difficult to get, unless you can show a humanitarian need for the travel. Also, of course, you will need a visa for Canada. Take care, Jason

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Janet November 24, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Hi Jason, I want to ask you when can I expect my interview as I filed in January 2014, with low Angeles and requested Uscis to expedite my case in March. 2015 and till now waiting for being called for interview but nothing?

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2015 at 5:26 pm

It is impossible to predict that. Maybe they will expedite. Maybe they will start moving faster. Unfortunately, there is no way to know these things. Good luck, Jason

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Kaz November 24, 2015 at 1:07 am

Hi Jason,

Thank you for your amazing blog which helped all of us in our cases. I have a questions regarding my EAD initial filing based on pending asylum, I applied and it has been received on 19th Oct 2015 and since then it is pending as ” case was received ”. Last May, USCIS issued reliefs for Yemeni National due to the current situation and one of these relief is that the adjudication of EAD can be expedited. I made an expedite request and it was denied but stated that I will received a decision soon then nothing happened and before 1 week I made a service request and stated that it is with adjudicator officer and I will receive a decision within 60 days.I didn’t under why my expedite got denied although that was issued by USCIS itself and it was general not for a specific cases.Please advice .your kind assistance is much appreciated.

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2015 at 10:02 am

I am not sure I understand your question, but it is common for there to be delays in EAD cases. Also, we rarely see EAD cases these days where the decision takes less than 2 months, and 3 or 4 months is common. I just think there is not much you can do about it, and the service requests usually do not accomplish much. Sorry for all the bad news. I guess the good news is that most everyone gets their EAD within 3 or 4 months, and hopefully, you will too. Take care, Jason

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Kaz November 24, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Thank you Jason for your reply.
My main point was that my EAD is based on pending asylum and it is first time to apply therefore the time frame processing is 3 weeks as stated in the USCIS website .

There are reliefs issued by USCIS last week as following :

USCIS is closely monitoring conditions in Yemen. Due to the current unstable security situation, USCIS seeks to highlight several available immigration relief measures that may assist eligible Yemeni nationals.

Immigration relief measures that may be available upon request include:

Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even if the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
A grant of re-parole made;
Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate; and
Consideration for waiver of fees associated with USCIS benefit applications, based on an inability to pay.

Wouldn’t this help to expedite the process??

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2015 at 5:22 pm

You would expect it to help, but I doubt it will. Everyone is delayed with the EADs and I think they will not expedite. Three weeks used to be a possibility for the EAD, but we have not seen that in a long time. Take care, Jason

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Ragaei October 31, 2015 at 8:07 pm

Hi Jason, I have a question regarding my cousin’s case (from Egypt). She is married with two children 6 and 8 years old. She came here by herself and started the case in Arlington in April 2015. It looks like she will not get an interview for a long time. How can she request to expedite the case to bring her children faster? and will this help? Have you seen similar situation where they expedited similar cases? Is there other ways to get the interview faster?

Thanks,
Ragaei

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Jason Dzubow November 2, 2015 at 7:39 am

It is very unlikely that they will expedite any 2015 case, as there are still cases from 2014 and 2013 waiting to be expedited. However, if she or the family has health problems or is in danger, she can get evidence about this and request that the case be expedited. Good Luck, Jason

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Bechir October 31, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Hi Jason

I did my interview on 60/10/2014, and the officer told me that they would sent the result by mail. One year later which two weeks ago my attorney received a call from asylum office, they required original copy of an evidence that they already had it and they going to sent outcome when they get original copy. we send letter including the original copy, and they respond that they had received it, till now Nothing change, At same time I applied to renew my work authorization more then 90 days, i have nit received it yet, plus my case status is name was update for 10 days now.

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Jason Dzubow November 2, 2015 at 7:35 am

That is pretty bad – Most likely, you will get the work permit soon. As to the Officer’s comments about your decision, unfortunately, the Officers often state that a decision should be coming soon, and many times this is wrong. The Officer might make her decision, but the case still needs to be cleared by the supervisor and the security check, and these are out of the Officer’s control. It would be better if they did not give any time frame, since they are so often wrong. Take care, Jason

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Hugh October 29, 2015 at 12:37 am

Hi Jason,
U are good person.
My case is pending since Feb 2015 in Arlington, VA. .I also was tortured to the point of disability in political persecution. So I have taken X-rays and doctors’ diagnosis in hospital. Can I apply my case to be expedited?

Thanks you again.

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Jason Dzubow October 29, 2015 at 9:26 am

I doubt this will get your case expedited. Also, they specifically told me in Arlington that they will not expedite a case filed in 2015 because they have cases from 2013 and 2014 that have requested expedited processing, and they will do those cases first. Nevertheless, we are still trying, and some people have had 2015 cases expedited in Arlington. Generally, you need a current medical problem (and a doctor’s note) or some other current problem that requires expedited processing, so if your injuries are currently affecting you, maybe you can try to expedite based on that. Good luck, Jason

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Hugh November 2, 2015 at 9:21 pm

Thank you.

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Ki Gau October 26, 2015 at 3:19 am

Hi Jason,
Do you know for which month/year, the interview date is coming now in San Fransisco? I had applied in April 2013, so don’t know long long i need to wait. One more general question, I am single now but if i get married after my Asylum is approved, will my wife get EAD or what will happen?

Thanks for all the info that u have posted here.

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Jason Dzubow October 26, 2015 at 10:06 pm

You can see the schedule for SF here: http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum/affirmative-asylum-scheduling-bulletin. If you get married after your case is approved, you would need to wait for your green card and then file for your wife. If you plan to get married, it might be a better idea to do that BEFORE your case is decided. Then, your wife could be included in your case. This is the type of thing you should discuss with a lawyer, as there can be complications. Take care, Jason

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Ki Gau October 27, 2015 at 6:11 pm

You are awesome, thank you Jason.

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Bal October 24, 2015 at 10:06 am

Hi Jason, My case is pending with SF, CA. I have just changed the address, sent them a letter requesting change of address. I haven’t heard anything back yet. I would like to go San Fransisco office in person, what is the proper address to go in and what is their schedule?

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Jason Dzubow October 25, 2015 at 4:39 pm

You can Google “asylum office locator” and you will find links to the SF office. Typically, when you file a change of address form, USCIS does not respond. So you would not get confirmation of the change. Take care, Jason

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Jasxi October 20, 2015 at 12:50 am

Jason,
You are a good person because you are responding asylum cases extremly.USA mother of the world but many of the person who applied for asylum they are separating from there family I.e children. In my point it is better to considered the backlogs many of them suffered mentally illed and they are dependent in a lot of reasons. What do you feel in this case?
.

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Jason Dzubow October 20, 2015 at 6:38 am

I agree that the stress of the backlog can be very difficult, and some people have mental illness that is exacerbated by this stress. It is possible to request that a case be expedited, though this is not easy.

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sam October 9, 2015 at 8:33 am

I currently hasnt file the papers yet. How long it would be before they even call me to schedule for an interview. ? Base on the buletin, Chi office is only doing May 2013 for 4 months?
Can i apply EAD after 150 days, I want to go to school…can I go to school (college n university) while waiting? Can I get married with my permanent resident girl friend and apply for spouse sponsor GC????

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Jason Dzubow October 12, 2015 at 10:04 pm

You should be able to attend school with an EAD (and sometimes even without an EAD – it depends on the school). If you get married to a US citizen, and you are otherwise eligible, you can probably get your green card while the case is pending, but you should consult with a lawyer about that to be safe. As for how long you will wait, no one knows. We know only who is being interviewed today. This gives some idea about how long you will wait, but it is really just a guess. I can’t imagine the interview will be sooner than one year, though. Good luck, Jason

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Qudrat September 26, 2015 at 12:19 am

Dear Jason,

Hope you are fine. I have questions related to “Change of address”.
1. I have applied for asylum from Virginia at Jan 2015. I have completed my fingerprint/biometric and waiting for interview. I have intention to move to New York. I want to know if I apply for change of address during October 2015(Virginia to New York), will my case be in queue with those who applied during Jan 2015 at New York office. I have heard that if I apply during Oct 2015 (any other time) then I will be not called for interview with other applicants who have applied during Jan 2015 from NY.
2. How long it will take to shift my case my VA to NY? I will apply for change of address online.
3. Is NY office is dealing cases more faster than VA?

Thank you

Qudrat

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Bagira September 26, 2015 at 2:13 am

dear Qudrat
I have my case files in NY and believe me, it’s more better to stay at VA than to come to NY if you are looking to get interview faster… good luck buddy.

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Jason Dzubow September 27, 2015 at 9:30 pm

Virginia is currently faster than NY. I do not know how long it will take for the case to be moved and I do not know where you will be in the queue in NY. You can email the NY office to ask them (you can find the contact info here: https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=offices.type&OfficeLocator.office_type=ZSY). Good luck, Jason

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Redet September 23, 2015 at 12:06 am

Hi Jason,

Thanks for the informative post. I was looking just for this information. I am getting prepared to file my application. My friends have been advising me to apply at the Arlington office. They told me that office process fast. According to my current address I am supposed to apply at Newark. From your post I can see that the backlog at Newark is more than double the Arlington. Is there any problem applying at Arlington? Is it wise? Please give me your suggestion.

Thanks.

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Jason Dzubow September 23, 2015 at 10:23 pm

You have to apply based on where you live. Personally, I suspect that Arlington will be faster than Newark, but it is difficult to predict. We know that Arlington currently has a shorter backlog than Newark (from the asylum bulletin), but that does not guarantee that it will be faster. Good luck, Jason

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Andy September 14, 2015 at 5:54 pm

Hi Jason,
I’ve filed for asylum at San Francisco Office in July 2015 and received my receipt just over 4 days later but it’s been 9 weeks since the notice and I haven’t received a bio-metric/fingerprint scan notice (ASC). I understand that there is a backlog and the interview might take over 2 years but I haven’t been able to get any information on the bio-metric scan even after contacting the National Service Center. They told me to contact the San Francisco Office and the local office says they do not offer information on the ASC. I am constantly pursuing to find a way to get some info on this. Is the delay normal? Would it affect a request for EAD?

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2015 at 9:55 pm

I have a feeling that this is nothing to worry about, and I doubt it will affect the EAD, but in truth, I do not know. Maybe try contacting the Ombudsman’s office. Since biometrics are only valid for 15 months, it would make sense not to send you a biometrics appointment now (since you will need to go again later), but I have not heard about them changing that practice, and – if I remember correctly – all of my clients receive a biometrics appointment within a month or two of filing. Good luck, Jason

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Alex September 14, 2015 at 1:23 am

Hi deal Jason
Thanks for your helpfull blog , i had submitted my case in Anaheim office on june /2014 but i never heard about interview after that do you have any new update of what month they are interviewing right now ?

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2015 at 8:15 pm

I think Anaheim interviews in LA. If so, you can find current information about the interview here (and LA is the slowest office in the US): http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum/affirmative-asylum-scheduling-bulletin. If Anaheim is a sub office, they do not provide information about the processing times, so I do not know, but usually the sub offices are slower than the main offices.

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Alex September 15, 2015 at 1:15 am

Thank you so much for your kindly attention dear Jason

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Jason Dzubow June 6, 2017 at 6:11 am

I think you need to stop contacting them so much. It does not help make your case faster. They have a very large volume of cases and are working through them. Contacting them once a month is enough, and even that is not really helpful. On the other hand, I doubt any of this will actually affect your case once you finally have the interview. Given that you have asked to expedite and put your name on the short list, there is really not much more you can do, and I would not have further suggestions for you. Cases are moving a bit faster these days, and hopefully you will get an interview soon. Good luck, Jason

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