The Easiest Office to Win Asylum, and Why You Shouldn’t Apply There

by Jason Dzubow on February 25, 2016

If you want to maximize your chances for winning asylum, where is the best place in the U.S. to apply?

It’s unfortunate that we even need to ask this question. In a perfect world, the approval rates for each Asylum Office would be about the same. But in the real world, approval rates vary–by quite a lot, it turns out.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics: Which are these?

Lies, damned lies, and statistics: Which are these?

Our team of mathematicians here at the Asylumist have been working hard to analyze the most recent data from the Asylum Office, and we’ve summarized our findings in the attached chart. You can see that the approval rate for the San Francisco office (76.5%) is significantly higher than for the other Asylum Offices. The next best offices are Arlington (51.8%) and Los Angeles (50.7%), followed by Chicago (38.3%), Miami (37.7%), and Newark (35.8%). The worst offices are Houston (27.6%) and New York (22.6%).

First, a word about methodology: We used monthly statistical information from the Asylum Division Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting to calculate the percentages. USCIS posts this information four times per year, and you can see the latest posting here. We looked at the numbers from the most recently available six month period: April to September 2015. To determine the approval rate, we removed from the mix (technically, from the denominator) asylum denials based on no-shows–in other words, where the applicant herself never attended the interview.

Just for fun, we added another column listing the length of delay before the interview at each office (as of February 2016 – one day, I will do an article about why the posted wait times are not good predictors of how long a new asylum applicant will wait for an interview). You can see that the Asylum Offices with the lowest grant rates (New York and Houston) also currently have the shortest waits for an interview (20 months and 21 months respectively). Perhaps there is a connection between grant rates and waiting periods, but I doubt it–the office with the highest grant rate (San Francisco) has the third shortest waiting time (25 months).

Based on the above analysis, the savvy asylum seeker might conclude that the best way to maximize his chance for a grant is to live within the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Asylum Office, or as a second choice, the Arlington, Virginia or Los Angeles Asylum Offices (to see which Asylum Office has jurisdiction over your case, check the Asylum Office Locator). But I think such a conclusion assumes too much. I also think there are other factors worth considering besides grant rates and wait times. Let me explain.

First, it’s difficult to know what’s behind the above numbers and how applicable they are to an individual case. Who is seeking asylum at each office? From which countries and for what reasons? Are applicants more likely to be represented by a lawyer (which increases the likelihood of a grant) at certain offices? Some types of cases are more difficult to win than others, and this might be reflected in the statistics. For example, supposedly the Houston office has a higher percentage of applicants fleeing persecution from criminal gangs in Central America. In general, such cases are difficult to win since applicants don’t easily fit into a protected category under the asylum law. If we could eliminate Central American cases from the mix, perhaps the Houston office would have a higher grant rate. So does this mean that if you have a different type of asylum case (say, an Iraqi fleeing religious persecution), Houston might not be a bad place to apply? Maybe. At least it probably is not as bad as the overall approval rate suggests.

Second, while USCIS provides limited information about why cases are denied, they do give us some information–most importantly, they provide the number of cases denied due to missed filing deadlines (asylum applicants are required to submit their applications within one year of arrival in the U.S. or meet an exception to this rule; otherwise, the Asylum Office will automatically deny the case and refer it to an Immigration Judge). For some reason, the New York office has a high percentage of “Filing Deadline Referrals.” Roughly 35% of all referrals in NY are due to the filing deadline. In most other offices, less than 20% of cases are referred on this basis. If you remove such cases from the calculus, the overall grant rate in NY goes from 22% to over 30%. So does this mean that more people are filing late in New York, or does it mean that New York is less likely to find an exception to the one-year filing requirement? While I suspect it’s the latter, we really don’t know. But if you are filing your application in a timely manner, the New York office may not be as bad as the chart above indicates.

The bottom line is, we don’t know a whole lot about what’s behind the Asylum Division’s statistics, and without a better understanding of the situation, it is difficult to make predictions in an individual case.

There’s another unknown factor at play here as well: These cases are taking a long time, and given the relatively short tenure of each asylum officer (two or three years, I’ve heard), the approval rate at a given office may change by the time the interview date arrives. So a good office today may be less good tomorrow (or vice versa).

Finally–and for me, this is the best argument against forum shopping–given the years-long waiting period before the interview, asylum seekers have got to live their lives. I often advise new clients that they should live as though they are going to win their cases. Why? Because it’s impossible not to–how can you put your entire life on hold for two, three or more years while you wait for an asylum decision? In some things (reunification with family, certain job opportunities), you may have no choice, but to the extent possible, you need to live your life while you are waiting for a decision. This means you need to live where you have a job or go to school, or where you have the support of family members and friends. If you choose where to live based on the local Asylum Office approval rate, you may have a hard time surviving the wait.

On the other hand, if all else is equal (or maybe if you just have a hankerin’ for some Rice-A-Roni), San Francisco is probably not a bad place to apply.

{ 110 comments… read them below or add one }

Runner April 26, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Hello Jason,
Hope all is well with you and we are absolutely grateful for your help and advice . I am an Eritrean Christian who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and currently fled to the USA under a B1/B2 visa . Fled due threats by extremists as i was a celebrity musician and a business owner in Saudi and they found out that I was a Christian hence I was threatened and chased father . I still haven’t applied my case as I am in search of a lawyer which I am hoping you can take on. I am just worried of the long wait times and back logs and uncertainty . I am currently in Oakland . I have been to the USA so many times before but as a tourist and never thought of leaving Saudi until my life was under threat. I’m thinking of going to Canada because the asylum process is faster . Is there any possibility of having a faster process in the US or is it a matter of luck ? . Thank you for your answer

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Jason Dzubow April 28, 2017 at 5:10 pm

If you have a reason to expedite, you can make the case faster. I wrote about that on March 30, 2017 – maybe that will give you some ideas. Also, remember that you need to prove a fear of return to Eritrea and also that you do not have permanent status to live in Saudi Arabia. In most cases, Eritreans can win at least Torture Convention relief (in court), but this is not as good as asylum. To win asylum, you have to show that you face persecution in Eritrea based on political opinion, religion, race, nationality, particular social group. As for Canada, if you prefer to go there, you should talk to a lawyer in Canada before you travel to make sure you are eligible to apply and that you will not get rejected and sent back to the US (where you might be detained). Take care, Jason

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mike April 24, 2017 at 10:00 am

Hi Jason
I wast going to apply for asylum in Boston,MA. But I dont see it in the list.Is it included in on of the above stated locations? Can you also tell me how much you charge repersenting till the final decision?

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Jason Dzubow April 25, 2017 at 11:22 pm

Boston is a sub-office of New Jersey, and they do not publish data on that office in terms of the wait time, but the grant rate should be about the same as NJ. We charge $2700 for a case in Boston, which does not include the interview. Take care, Jason

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Oby April 21, 2017 at 11:25 pm

Sir,
I submitted to the imperial valley office in houston texas. Someone said It is the wrong office. She said Applications for asylum and related benefits are not filed at Asylum Offices that I should complete the application form i wish to file, and mail my completed application to the appropriate Service Center.

Form I-589 “Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal” should be mailed to:

USCIS

Texas Service Center

PO Box 851892

Mesquite, TX 75185-1892

Please sir, how true is this?

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Jason Dzubow April 25, 2017 at 8:11 am

If it is the first time filing for asylum, you normally file at the service center. You can find the address on the instructions to the I-589, available at http://www.uscis.govhttp://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

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Oby April 21, 2017 at 11:16 am

Hi Jason,
I applied on my own to the houston office and over one month, no receipt of acceptance of my application. Please what do i do? Thanks

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Jason Dzubow April 21, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Make sure you sent it to the correct address. It may take a few more weeks, but if you do not get a receipt, contact the local asylum office to ask – you can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. If it was not received, you may need to file again, and maybe do a Freedom of Information Act, form G-639 available at http://www.uscis.gov, request to try to get your entire file (and maybe you will see that it was received). Take care, Jason

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Oby April 21, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Sir,
I submitted to the imperial valley office in houston texas. Someone said It is the wrong office. She said Applications for asylum and related benefits are not filed at Asylum Offices that I should complete the application form i wish to file, and mail my completed application to the appropriate Service Center.

Form I-589 “Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal” should be mailed to:

USCIS

Texas Service Center

PO Box 851892

Mesquite, TX 75185-1892

Please sir, how true is this?

Reply

Jason Dzubow April 25, 2017 at 8:04 am

If it is the first time filing for asylum, you normally file at the service center. You can find the address on the instructions to the I-589, available at http://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

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Adie April 19, 2017 at 5:51 am

Hello Jason ,
I am moving to USA on 1 May , my visa will expire on 6th May. I have read that I can even enter on 6th May . I just want to confirm it from you .
blessings

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Jason Dzubow April 19, 2017 at 6:15 am

I am not sure whether you can enter on May 6, but May 1 should be fine (though of course, a visa does not guarantee entry, but normally, unless there is a reason not to, they let you in). Take car, Jason

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Adie April 19, 2017 at 8:19 am

thank you Jason

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Lin April 19, 2017 at 12:04 am

Hi, Jason,
My friend Shen is a political refugee who recently fled from china. Where is the best place for him to apply for political asylum? Is it San Francisco or anywhere else? Thank you very much.

Lin Guo

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Jason Dzubow April 19, 2017 at 6:13 am

You can see what I wrote above, but my strong opinion is that it is best to live wherever you want to live – if you have a job or family in NY, do the case in NY. How “easy” or fast an asylum office might be can change over time, and it is not worth making life difficult by living somewhere that you do not want to live. Take care, Jason

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Suma April 15, 2017 at 8:27 am

Hi jason, Such an informative column. Seeing that SF has good odds of approval, I was thinking whether I could apply for SF and work in a different state while keeping my address in SF. Is that allowed? If not is it possible?. Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow April 16, 2017 at 7:53 am

Technically, not really, but there is no mathematical formula for this. If the Asylum Officer thinks you are lying about your address (so that you can be in the SF office rather then a different office), it may cause the officer to also think you are lying about your case. My personal opinion is that it is not worth the risk, as the offices are not so different that it is worth the trouble to keep an address in one place when you actually live somewhere else. Take care, Jason

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moe April 11, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Hi Jason,
I’m in France and i already asked for asylum and got it but i’m not really happy with being here to be honest i dont like it specially that i dont speak french and no use to my english in here anyway i was wondering if i come to U.S. are they gonna refuse my case only because i had the protection once in a third country or not ?
thanks in advance.

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Jason Dzubow April 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Most likely, you will be refused because you already were “firmly resettled” in France. The legal analysis for “firm resettlement” is tricky, and so you might want to talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your situation to see whether there is any way around this issue. Take care, Jason

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John April 3, 2017 at 8:17 am

Hi Jason,
I am a foreign student in India and due to the fierce civil war in my country,I dropped out of the college and since India is not a signatory to UN 1951 convention,I felt like I should find a way to US and apply for asylum from there.Do you think it’s a bad idea?secondly,which type of visa should I apply for?

God bless you

John

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Jason Dzubow April 4, 2017 at 6:43 am

I cannot assist with a visa to the US, but typically people come on B or F (student) visas or H1b visas. Whether you have a good asylum case depends on your situation, so I cannot advise you about that. Take care, Jason

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Grace April 2, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Hi Jason , I have readed the artical carefully and really help a lot,I am from China and applied for asylum last December, I came USA with b2 visa,firstly I arrived in Utah so I applied to asylum in Houston office, but now I moved to Florida because I like the weather here, now I still not got the C8 card for work,and since I moved, I found that I need to notify the address change to USCIS of this, however, if I do like this, my case will be needed to change to under Miami office, and the 180 days EAD clock need to re-calculate, is it true ? I just wanna get the c8 card earlier then I will have job opportunities , looking forward your advice soon,thank you in advance.

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Jason Dzubow April 4, 2017 at 6:35 am

According to USCIS, if you change to a different asylum office, it will not stop the clock for purposes of your EAD. I personally do not trust this, and so I recommend that my clients keep their old address until they get the EAD. At that time, they can move and change their address without worry. Moving never re-started the clock, but it used to stop the clock. If you have already moved and given up your old address, I suppose you should change your address (it is required) and it should not affect the EAD, at least according to what we’ve been told by USCIS. Take care, Jason

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Grace April 4, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Hi Jason,
thank you so much for your information.
And how can I contact you for more consultation about my asylum case ? At present we have not ask for a lawyer for my case, we applied ourselves, so may be in the future if we need to find a lawyer to take our case, we will contact you for advise, and if you can charge by hours? Because maybe at present we just need some information

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Jason Dzubow April 4, 2017 at 2:34 pm
Grace April 8, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Hi Jason,

The situation is my husband has sent out the mail of AR-11 form to the Houston asylum office and USCIS office to update the address a couple days ago, and I still do not send these mails, if I can use the old address To apply for the EAD card? I heard that I can ask to send the EAD card to the mail address of my new address, so I still no need to send mails to inform them of the address updating.
The problem is I was as spouse to apply the asylum, my husband is the main application of our case, so if is no affection that his address updates but mine keep the old one?

By the way , since the jurisdiction of asylum office will be changed from Houston. To Miami due to the address change , is it ok that we send the mail of AR-11 to Houston asylum office and USCIS? Or we need to do other things to make our case moved to Miami office? And if it will affect and delay the schedule of interview? That means the time need to count from when the new office acknowledge our case?

Thanks for your help, I am appreciated.

David Garcia March 31, 2017 at 2:39 am

Hello, Good evening. Thanks in advance for taking the time in reading our concerns and advice us wisely.
My Name is David Garcia 27 Years old Venezuelan. I was called for fingerprints and had them done March 15th, and Had my political asylum Interview last week March 23rd. At the end of the interview I was given a Paper with instructions to come pick up my desicion on April 6th 7.00am. At this point I would like to know if there is a way to know in advance if it was approved or aomething. Because I have a friend that had his interview last October and was told the same about picking up the desicion two weeks after, but he had fingerprints done after the interview, i don’t know if that changes the paronama a little. The thing is that he was called 7 days prior picking up his decision and was told by an officer that his decision was going to be mailed instead. And he got them in january. The I94 with permenent asylum granted. Now I don’t know if I should go an pick up mi desicion or they are going to tell me that it’s going to be mailed. I have been calling and calling to ask if my desicion is ready cuz I have this work trip by this days and i don’t really wanna miss it, but they never answer.

What do you think?

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David Garcia March 31, 2017 at 3:15 am

I forgot to mention that my interview was at the Houston Asylum Office. March 23rd 2017.

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Jason Dzubow March 31, 2017 at 6:46 am

You cannot know in advance and unless they call you, you have to go pick it up. In many cases, they tell you two weeks, but later that changes to a mail-out decision. In any case, that is the system, so unless you hear otherwise, you should go on April 6 and see what happens. Good luck, Jason

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Keri March 30, 2017 at 4:42 am

Hello there. My interview is over. I now expect results. I was accepted to you? I will get the result after 2 weeks. NewYork is the percentage of winning.

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Jason Dzubow March 30, 2017 at 6:29 am

You have to be patient. The officer often says that results will come in 2 weeks, but in more than 50% of my cases, they call me and tell me that results will be delayed. I hope you get a good result soon, but it may take a while, so be patient. Good luck, Jason

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Pal Chouhan March 28, 2017 at 11:57 pm

Hello Mr. Jason
I am seeing that you are replying to all the comments with your valuable advice and view. I had a few doubts myself.
I am in the U.S with my family and all of us are on a B1/B2 visa. Back in India, we got converted from Hindu to Christian. But my elder brother is against it. He has a lot of contacts in the ruling political party of India. He threatened me not to change my religion and I would shame our family clan. When I said no, I received death threats by him and also from the members of the winning political party. I was also attacked once. We were being harrased to the point that I had to sell my house and change my address. Since I couldn’t think of anything else, I came to the USA with my family. Do you think I can file for asylum of my whole family with cause?

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Pal Chouhan March 29, 2017 at 12:03 am

Hello Mr. Jason
I am seeing that you are replying to all the comments with your valuable advice and view. I had a few doubts myself.
I am in the U.S with my family and all of us are on a B1/B2 visa. Back in India, we got converted from Hindu to Christian. But my elder brother is against it. He has a lot of contacts in the ruling political party of India. He threatened me not to change my religion and I would shame our family clan. When I said no, I received death threats by him and also from the members of the winning political party. I was also attacked once and got a call later from my brother ‘if you don’t listen to me I wont stop this you know what all I am capable to do’.We were also being harrased to the point that I had to sell my house and change my address. Since I couldn’t think of anything else, I came to the USA with my family. Do you think I can file for asylum of my whole family with cause?

I wont stop this you know what all I am capable to do’

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Jason Dzubow March 29, 2017 at 6:41 am

You can file for asylum if you are here. It sounds like you have a decent chance for success, but you will need to explain why you cannot relocate to another part of India and why the government is unable or unwilling to protect you. Take care, Jason

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Pal Chouhan March 29, 2017 at 12:42 pm

Thank you so much for your reply. I am really grateful. Sir, I have one last question.
Do you think this is a good explanation for being unable to relocate to another part of India?
We have property jointly owned by me and my two brothers in home state, Rajasthan. But since our religious community of my village is already aware of our conversion to Christianity and I have already got a call from them threatening me to reverse my decision or else I will have to face the consequences. I fear the people of my village as the governing body there is ‘panchayat’, villagers take decisions jointl, I clearly have a fear here.
I can’t move to other states of India since I do not have any business outside my city I was living in. Since I even had to sell my house which was on loan, I have no resources left. The other reason is that I fear my brother’s influence in politics and if I move to any of the main cities he might even track me there. which reason do you think is sufficient sir?
Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow March 30, 2017 at 6:16 am

I think the better reason is that you fear your brother’s influence and that he can track you down. But you will also need to show that the government won’t protect you. It is worth talking this through with a lawyer, since this is important for your case, and I only know limited facts about your case (and about India). Take care, Jason

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Pal Chouhan March 30, 2017 at 6:06 pm

Thanks a ton for your reply. I’ll use your advice and hire an attorney right away. Thanks for all your help and everything you are doing for us asylum seekers.
May god bless you.

BANUMATHI Tamilselvan March 24, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Hi Jason,
I have submitted an expedited request at my Chicago asylum office through my attorney. Also i requested Senate to help me with my case since my child is in critical health condition due to my separation in addition to his own health issues. In case if they accept, how long it may take to bring my child? I appreciate to help me know is there anyway to bring him ASAP ie, medical visa or visitor visa etc.,
Many thanks
Banu

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Jason Dzubow March 27, 2017 at 6:23 am

You could try to bring the child using a B visa for medical treatment. If that does not work, you could try Humanitarian Parole (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov). This is probably unlikely to work, but you can try. If your case is granted, you can file to bring your child here. That process usually takes 5 to 10 months. You can ask USCIS and State Department to expedite the process, which might help. Also, you can get Advance Parole (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov) and try to visit your child in a third country if that is possible. Good luck, Jason

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Sasha March 24, 2017 at 9:44 am

Hi Jason,
I have noticed on the USCIS asylum reports that the asylum offices tend to reject very few applications. Monthly denials range from 0 to 5 per office while most cases are either approved or referred to Court (which technically doesn’t mean a denial yet). I’m wondering why this would be the case. Asylum offices can only reject applicants who are still in a legal non-immigrant status. Do you think it might be that they look favorably on those who are still in a legal status? Or they just try to have less denials for good stats they can show to the UNHCR?

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Jason Dzubow March 24, 2017 at 12:39 pm

I think it is because very few people with asylum office cases are still in lawful status. In the old days, when cases were faster, more people could maintain their status. But now, cases take years and most people go out of status during that period. Take care, Jason

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Kevin P March 20, 2017 at 9:33 pm

Hi Jason,

Just a very quick question. Our Iraqi houseguest is considering moving from Seattle to Las Vegas. His asylum case would therefore be transferred to the Los Angeles office, which has the longest wait time. Can he request that his case remain in the San Francisco office?

thank you,
Kevin

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Jason Dzubow March 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm

I do not think the asylum office would accept such a request (I suppose he can try if he wants to). If he moves, and he is now under the jurisdiction of a new asylum office, his case will be moved to the new office. He should, however, keep his place in the queue, so at least he does not have to start over at the end of the line. Take care, Jason

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Tarunveer singh March 8, 2017 at 5:01 am

Thanks for ypur previous reply jason
Considering your advise i have decided to move my case to houston where i m currently working so how do i do that . Just fill an ar11 and submit it to houston office … will i receive any confirmation once i submit my new address

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Jason Dzubow March 8, 2017 at 11:34 pm

You can submit it directly to the Houston office and you can also submit it to USCIS per the instructions on the AR-11. You normally do not receive a confirmation, but you can email the asylum office to check that the change of address was received. Take care, Jason

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Tarunveer singh March 9, 2017 at 7:29 am

Thank u Jason ,
your help is really appreciated . I jst got one more question that can i fill ar 11 online .
I tried doing that but it says receipt number invalid as my i589 is pending even when i tried calling customer support center they said we cannot find the receipt number so can i put my new receipt number that was on my
Ead form when i filed i765.. will that move my case or will i have to send it with receipt number on i589 and new address by mail

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Jason Dzubow March 10, 2017 at 7:03 am

You can file an AR-11 on-line for your I-765, but not for your asylum case. For that, you must submit the AR-11 directly to the asylum office. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Once you file the AR-11 with the asylum office, if you have moved to the jurisdiction of another office, your case should be moved automatically, but you can email the old and new offices to follow up. Take care, Jason

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Emad March 7, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Hi Jason
I opened my case in Jan 2016 in LA office.
Being in the pending status, affect my further education here, so to short the conversation, how can I apply for short list ( stand by list).
I appreciate your time

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Jason Dzubow March 8, 2017 at 11:03 pm

Not all offices have short lists. You have to email the LA office to ask whether they have a list and how to apply. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Adie February 27, 2017 at 7:08 am

Hello there ,
I am a 46 years old widower pakistani with two sons of ages 15 n half and 13. I was never a religious person ,was used to ask questions when I was young and got punished by school teachers ( they can give you physical punishment ) though it is legally banned now .I have been even tortured by myour father and siblings. I left that city . Now living in a big city . All these years I continued religious study and after studying the life of prophet Muhammad.I can’t express my feelings and way of thinking against him as I have to be puniches with death. I even don’t wanna be known as a Muslim. Second Thing Is I Am GAY OR Having more interest in men . I even have a Bf.third reason is the unsafe environment due to bomb blasts.firing etc.the fourth issue is polio . Which is ver y common here. I want to seek asylum in USA.so should I bring kids with myslef ?. WI’ll they be able to study there? Will the government provide us shelter n food ? What about health insurance and care?
The last question is where to find a good , less expensive and experienced lawyer. I will really appreciate your help.
Regards ,

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Jason Dzubow February 27, 2017 at 7:31 am

You may have a case for asylum, as there are different bases for your claim. Asylum is a very slow process (2 to 4 years or more), and if you do not bring your children with you, you likely will be unable to see them for a long time. If they come here, they can go to school, up until 12th grade when high school here is completed. After that, they have to pay for college. There are very few benefits here for people seeking asylum – basically, no food, shelter, health insurance, etc., unless you pay for it yourself. I did a posting on September 22, 2016 where I discuss finding a free lawyer – maybe that will help. Take care, Jason

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Adie March 4, 2017 at 5:58 am

Thank you very much Jason for your positive response .
I am muslim.by birth but not by faith. Here we have a law called blasphemy. A Muslim.can not change his religion or he can’t speak a work against Islam and Prophet. There are hundreds of pakistani who were imprisoned, killed ,tortured being non believers. I have moved form one city to another. I have changed almost 3 schools of my children as Thierry class mates hado complains of having evil thoughts agaisnt their religion and prophet. My two previous landlords forced us to leave Thierry properties without angry notice when the came to know about our beliefs. There are fewill.leave other incidentside of threat too. My brothers have beaten me for having evil way of thinking against religion.
What are your suggestion about taking asylum and how much will be the total cost of this procedure including your fee and government fee too.
Regards ,
Adie

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Jason Dzubow March 5, 2017 at 12:17 pm
Adie March 10, 2017 at 5:18 am

Hello jason,
I was just reading about the documents an asylum seeker will required. There I have found d that Evidence of relationship if the immigrant wants to apply for children under the age of 21 years.so what type of evidence a father can provide other. Than birth certificates and his name with kids in the passports.

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Jason Dzubow March 10, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Birth certificates and any other documents he may have with his and the children’s names – maybe education documents. Also, photos together, letters from people who can attest to the relationship, and if none of that works, they can do a DNA test. Take care, Jason

Sam February 22, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Hello. My name is Sam Emmanuel, I am from Pakistan. I am Christian belong to Catholic mission. Appreciate for what you are doing. Great Job. I have question, I am planning to get visit visa in US, Can I apply Asylum in USA because of I have actual threats of killing me in my native land. I am bit confuse regarding ICE force there in USA.. I read in different news page, that ICE force is very rapidly deporting the undocumented people from US, Even those who are being living in US since from long time. What if i get Visa and I apply for asylum, What do you think would I also come in category of undocumented people list, I mean right after one month expiry of my visa, if I applied Asylum. I am confuse , Who is undocumented people. Those who applied Asylum or potential asylum seeker ? Last question, Is ICE force can caught those people too who applied recent asylum ? Thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 23, 2017 at 7:23 am

If you have a visa to come here, you likely will be given 6 months of lawful stay, so you will not be deported during that time. If you apply for asylum, you have a legal right to have your case heard, and you cannot be deported. The new changes largely to do not affect asylum seekers, though there are exceptions. But in your case, you should be able to apply as normal. Take care, Jason

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Sam March 4, 2017 at 5:14 am

Thanks so much Mr Jason. Appreciate for this. I am bit confuse. Can u bit explain on P Trump Executive Order? Brings in a suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Programme for 120 days. Dose it mean no more Refugee applications still for 120 days?
Banned US refugee application Program?
And Hold all work on refugees application Work ?
Thank you so much.

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Jason Dzubow March 5, 2017 at 12:15 pm

The 120-ban on refugees applies to refugees overseas being resettled in the US. It is not related to asylum seekers who are here in the US. There is essentially no effect on asylum seekers in the US (especially now, as these parts of the EOs are on hold due to court orders). Take care, Jason

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HMU February 16, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Hello Jason, I had filed my asylum case in Chicago office with one of the big Asylum support organization and currently a team of four attorneys is involved in my case from two big Chicago based law firms on pro bono basis. Due to two reasons I am considering to move my case from Chi to SF, first I am a student and in Chi Suburbs they are charging me $392 per credit which is way higher as compare to SF and second the weather, in CHI weather I can not resist and remained sick most of the time due to cold weather, I had requested my college for in district tuition but they declined my request (A written notification is available for reference) Now if I moved my case from CHI to SF do I need to provide the evidence that why I moved my case? and How moving from one city to another can effect my case? My team of pro bono attorneys had submitted all the evidences and affidavits to support my case, how changing my pro bono team will effect my case?
I am sorry for a long question, looking forward for your kind response in this regard!!!
Thanks!

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 7:20 am

I think you are better off talking to your lawyer about this, as they should be informed of your plans and they can help you change offices. The form to change your address is the AR-11, available at http://www.uscis.gov. You can submit it to the local asylum office and they will move your case. If you already have your EAD, the move will have no effect. If you do not have your EAD, the move should have no effect, but sometimes, the move can create issues for getting the EAD (this is generally not a problem any more, though). Otherwise, the move should not affect the substance of your case. You will need to tell your lawyers about this, but it is your decision whether you want to move or not. Take care, Jason

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Bill February 16, 2017 at 7:42 am

This is just to let you know that as an asylum seeker, I leart a lot about asylum from. I can tell that you really have a very strong foundation and experience in this matter

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Malam February 11, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Hello Jason!
I would like to share and ask some questions regarding my asylum case.
I filed my asylum case on 8th of September, 2015. In 2016 I requested for expedited interview and was granted for 3rd of October, 2016.
My interview went very well as per my thinking and understanding. I was requested to come in person and collect the interview decision on 17th of October, 2016.
On 17th of October, 2016 I got a call that my interview decision is not ready yet and will be mailed in a couple of weeks.
Now it is 11th of February, 2017 but I didn’t get anything from the asylum office.

What is the standard time to for an asylum decision?
How can I follow up?
I’m not from the banned countries by Mr. Trump so asylum seekers from others countries are also effected?
What are reasons and factors from which the decisions cannot be made and mailed on time?
I also heard that background check or headquarters reviews some time take time, so how much time it will take?

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Unfortunately, it is very common for the officer to tell you to return in 2 weeks, but then the decision is not ready. Usually, the problem is delays due to the security background check. You can follow up by contacting the asylum office. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. You can also contact the USCIS Ombudsman (a link is also at right), and they may be able to help with a delayed case. If you are not from a listed country, the president’s orders do not affect you. I do not know how long background checks or headquarters review takes – it varies from days to years, and it cannot be predicted. Take care, Jason

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BANUMATHI Tamilselvan February 13, 2017 at 12:05 am

Dear Malam
Hope everything will be Okay and I pray that you will receive your decision soon! I have submitted my asylum application in 2016 at Chicago, IL office. I have 4 year old son who is sick and suffering, literally need my support. I am dying day by day without my son. I would appreciate if could share how to expedite my application in general. I will be very grateful and god bless you.
Looking forward to hear back from you soon!
Many many thanks in advance
Banu

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Aglo February 10, 2017 at 1:49 am

Hi
I see how you helping ppl with their questions…
I have two more for you… I wanna know what is the waiting time for interview at Anaheim, California ? And do we have here people who had interview this year, just want to know how many month do I still have to wait….?

And another question it’s about traveling aboard while waiting for the interview , has someone done this ? I wanna apply for traveling document and visit another country.

Thank you so much

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Jason Dzubow February 10, 2017 at 7:44 am

I believe Anaheim is the Los Angeles office. To be sure, follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator and you will see your office. Then, check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin, a link is at right, for an idea of the wait time. You can probably do that, but talk to a lawyer first just to be safe. While asylum is pending, you use Advance Parole to travel (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov). We have had a number of clients do that with no problem, but given the changes under Trump, you need to be careful and talk to a lawyer first. Take care, Jason

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Aglo February 10, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Thanks Jason!!! So I checked waiting time and I have to wait 3,5 more years…. that’s insane !!!! My father is sick … he has had four strokes and I must go and visit him… what do you think …. if I will have any proof from the hospital where my father is it will help with re enter???

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Jason Dzubow February 10, 2017 at 1:52 pm

If you visit your home country, it could cause you to lose your asylum case. It would be important to have evidence for why you traveled in order to try to overcome this problem. To leave and re-enter the US, you need Advance Parole (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov). If your case is in court, you cannot travel, even with Advance Parole, as it will be considered that you have deported yourself by leaving. Take care, Jason

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Mike February 7, 2017 at 11:54 pm

I am a Tunisian Christian and I have just filed for Religious Asylum in the US with Texas office since I am in Colorado now! I have a Pastor Degree from a thology univercity in America as well as affidavits from two of my sisters in Christ explaining the threats and risks I was facing from muslim extremists , I had a business trip to Budabest once and I went through Germany , am I true to assume that this is not a big issue since Germany considers North Africa as a safe country and refuse Asylum Claims from people from North Africa, Plus, it was a business trip and I had a commitment to people who payed for all my expenses! Can I get any confirmations please?

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2017 at 7:45 am

Unless a third country offered you permanent residence, this should be ok. However, if you went to Europe and then returned to Tunisia, the US government may wonder why you did not seek asylum in Europe and instead returned to your country. You will need to explain this, and it may help to talk to a lawyer about the issue just to be safe. Take care, Jason

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BANUMATHI Tamilselvan February 13, 2017 at 12:09 am

Hi Jason,
You are just doing an amazing job! I would appreciate if could clarify my doubt, Can I request my Attorney to put my asylum application in shortlist and also request for an expedited processing based my child ie., family separation.
Many many thanks in advance
Banu

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Jason Dzubow February 13, 2017 at 7:31 am

Not all asylum offices have short lists. You need to contact your local office to ask whether they have one. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. You can also try to expedite based on family separation. If your child has health problems, get some evidence about that (a doctor’s note) and you can submit it to the asylum office with a request to expedite. You may have to contact the asylum office about the expedite procedure, as it varies from one office to the next. Also, unfortunately, the process is not very predictable, but it sounds to me like you have a good reason to expedite, and at least you can try. Take care, Jason

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BANUMATHI Tamilselvan February 19, 2017 at 9:12 pm

Dear Janson,
Many many thanks! I am very grateful to you. The actual situation is my son has developmental lung defect due to my complicated delivery. Now he miss me terribly and want to be with me. My husband told me that, now a days he get up around 11 pm or if he see some children call their mother, he ask my husband, i want to see mom, then he keep asking and then cries un till he get sick, since his lungs are very weak, he couldn’t breath, he got admitted in hospital for oxygenation cum neubulization 3 times in two weeks. He is in life and death situation. In the school, teachers says he is very depressed. I am so scared. My question is does the Asylum system have any format for doctors note or can I get letter from his letterhead in a closed envelope with his signature?

Many many thanks.
Banu

BANUMATHI Tamilselvan February 19, 2017 at 9:15 pm

Dear Janson,
Many many thanks! I am very grateful to you. The actual situation is my son has developmental lung defect due to my complicated delivery. Now he miss me terribly and want to be with me. My husband told me that, now a days he get up around 11 pm or if he see some children call their mother, he ask my husband, i want to see mom, then he keep asking and then cries un till he get sick, since his lungs are very weak, he couldn’t breath, he got admitted in hospital for oxygenation cum neubulization 3 times in two weeks. He is in life and death situation. In the school, teachers says he is very depressed. I am so scared. My question is does the Asylum system have any format for doctors note or can I get letter from his letterhead in a closed envelope with his signature? My another question is can I request for Humanitarian parole for my son and spouse to visit me while I request for expedited processing?

Many many thanks.
Banu

John April 4, 2017 at 4:17 am
SOS February 6, 2017 at 9:27 pm

Hi,
Is it better to apply for Green Card by attorney or anyone can apply for it by himself?
I have applied for work authorization by myself and got accepted, but I don’t know if GC application needs the same process or more complicated.
The attorney says he will take 750$ to do it + 1225 $ fee application+ medical exam cost!! and he will take an extra 750$ if there is an interview. I am worried because of the travel ban has been issued lately, that is why I asked the attorney.
Please, look forward your answer and advice.

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2017 at 7:37 am

The price for the lawyer is fair, but I do not think an attorney makes much difference for such an application. If you have concerns about your eligibility, or you are more comfortable with a lawyer, then you should use a lawyer. But if there are no issues in your case (arrests, immigration problems, etc.), then you can probably do it yourself. Also, if you look at form I-912, available at http://www.uscis.gov, that allows you to avoid the filing fee if you have a low income. Take care, Jason

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Rakesh February 6, 2017 at 6:56 pm

Hi i applied my asylum case from newyork and got my EAD. Now iam planning to move to iowa as i know someone who is offering me a job. If i move there and change my adress is it necessary that they will move my case to the iowa office. What would be effect if i get my driving license from Iowa. I heard chances of asylum cases getting approved from Iowa is very less and also the wait period is not more than a year. Please suggest whether it is better to move or stay in newyork.

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2017 at 7:33 am

These cases take a long time, ad you probably need to live where you have a job. I do not know which asylum office has jurisdiction over Iowa. You can find out if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator and enter your zip code. My guess is that your office is Chicago or San Francisco, and both are good offices. Take care, Jason

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LKk February 6, 2017 at 3:33 am

Hi
I married while in the usa and we got divorce and i get stranded in the usa and my document was not file as i have even overstayed.
I cant travel back to my country due to violation of law of overstayed
I cant travel to my country due to fear of assasination

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2017 at 7:21 am

If you are fearful of returning to your country, you can apply for asylum in the US. I cannot tell whether you have a strong case or not, and I recommend you talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your case before you apply. Take care, Jason

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Lara January 31, 2017 at 11:19 pm

Hi i applied for asylum on 15/03/2016 its pending at anaheim office , first question is what is the website or email for LA shortlist application , and my second question is it true if i moved my case to san francisco office it would get through faster or will it get lost or be put as if i just applied all over again ? Thank you

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Jason Dzubow February 2, 2017 at 7:15 am

Currently, the SF office is faster than the LA office (check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is at right). If you move to SF, your case will follow that schedule. As for the LA short list, you have to contact the LA office to ask about that. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Jhon January 31, 2017 at 11:50 am

Hey Jason. Once again Thank you so much.
Bit worry about the future of Asylum program in USA. As you know Trump signed new law and banned for all asylum applications till for 4 months, So how you look all these scenarios regarding trump,s Law. specially on Ban for 120 days .
I am belong from Pakistan, and I am Christian and its been written on my passport too in religion section. As i read this on BBC news that PM Trump will give the priorities to Christians who are minorities in their homeland. How you look on this? Dose it will work ? What do you thing Dose PM Trump will take off the ban exact after 120 days? What about J1 visa , Dose his new law will effects on it too ? Because i am going to apply in April . Thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 2, 2017 at 12:28 am

Asylum is not banned for 120 days; cases are still being processed. People from the countries on the banned list are not allowed to enter the US for 90 days (at least) and USCIS is not making decisions in such cases for people who are already in the US (for how long this will continue, it is unknown). As to your other questions, the EOs are vague and we still do not know how they will be implemented, so I cannot really answer these questions. Take care, Jason

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SOS January 22, 2017 at 6:47 pm

Hi,
I got my asylum approval on August, 2016 through Chicago office since I live in Michigan. Now I am willing to move to another state that dependent on a different offices (Florida or California). Can I apply for green card from any different state without the need of transferring any documents, if I moved, or I have to wait in MI.
Please, hope you can answer my question

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Jason Dzubow January 23, 2017 at 7:02 am

You can live anywhere you want in the US – just file a change of address (form AR-11, available at http://www.uscis.gov) with the USCIS to lost them know your new address. You would apply for the GC using your address at the time you apply. Take care, Jason

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Rose January 27, 2017 at 3:06 am

Sos ,would please tell us how long did u wait after the interview to get the decision?

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SOS February 6, 2017 at 10:39 pm

I waited since November, 2014 till August, 2016 when the approval issued, so it is about 21 months

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Georgina January 21, 2017 at 2:34 pm

I have undergone fgm. The psychological scars I still bear. I had my daughter in the us for fear of her being mutilated while I’m yet to recover. Now I’m being threatened that she has to pass through the rites by the extended family. I don’t know if this is enough grounds to seek asylum. Thanks

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Jason Dzubow January 21, 2017 at 8:43 pm

FGM is a basis for asylum, so that might be a good case. As for you winning asylum based on FGM of your US-citizen daughter, this can be a basis for asylum, but the law is inconsistent across the country, and it may depend on where in the US you apply. You should talk to a lawyer about this to research the law and help you present the case. Take care, Jason

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Moustapha January 20, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Hi ,

I will need contacts (organism , association …..) in us , that can help me for asylum case due to sexual orientation but also housing and financial aids until i get better situation .

Thanks in advance

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Jason Dzubow January 21, 2017 at 7:06 pm

I did a posting on September 22, 2016 that might help. Also, you can try Immigration Equality, which assists with LGBT asylum cases and might offer assistance with other aspects of the case. Take care, Jason

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Moustapha January 23, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Sorry i got lost in the answer , which one is mine

Sorry and thanks

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Jhon January 19, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Hey Jason.

Appreciating for your work.

I have two more questions, If I applied asylum case in USA, and right after 4 or 5 months after asylum case, if got marry there with American citizen, would be possible this that I drawback my Asylum case and directly reapplied for green card via marriage with USA citizen? Because Asylum cases took long time to decisions.

My 2nd question is this, if I apply asylum case in USA, Do they will hold my Passport in their custody or they will put stamp on its page? What they will give any proof that I am asylum seeker waiting for decision. If they will stamped on my passport , will they do it in the beginning of Process when i will apply the asylum or later ?
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow January 20, 2017 at 9:48 am

Assuming you are eligible, you can get married to a US citizen, get your green card, and once you have the card, you can withdraw the asylum case. You may want to talk to a lawyer as there are different possibilities here (for example, continue the asylum case even after you have the GC), but generally, it is possible. If you apply for asylum, they do not take your passport (tough you should send them a copy of your passport). You will have a receipt and later a work permit to show you are an asylum seeker. Take care, Jason

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Refugee January 19, 2017 at 8:36 am

Were from the philippines and the country is experiencing extra judicial killing from the present government. Theres a lot of fear that is happening now because there are no court proceedings and justice is under the hands of police. We wanted to file fir asylum and there are other personal circumstances which i can not discuss.

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Jason Dzubow January 20, 2017 at 9:05 am

I am not sure about your questions – but general country conditions problems are not always a strong basis for asylum. You need to show a specific threat against yourself on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. If you were looking to contact me about your case, you can email me at [email protected]. Take care, Jason

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jet January 19, 2017 at 4:57 am

If I move and transfer my case to another office.
Wii that be faster ?
and my interview date will be new or still.
for example if I live in L.A. and filed asylum in 2013
then I move to N.Y in 2017. is that mean I filed in 2017 in new office ? thank you

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Jason Dzubow January 20, 2017 at 9:01 am

If you move and file the AR-11 form with your old asylum office, your case should be transferred to the new office, where you should keep your place in the queue. So if you move from LA to NY and you filed in 2013, you should get an interview soon (in NY) – check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin to see where each office is in terms of interviews – a link is at right. Also, you may need to follow up with the old and new asylum offices to make sure the case is moved and you keep your place in line. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Mary January 15, 2017 at 7:52 am

Hi,my name is Mary I am from NigeNigera.I liive in Georgia i already filed for assylum after arriving 2 months in the USA with my daughter and spouse in north Carolina in 2015 then later moved to Georgia.
I am supposed to be circumcised with my daughter as soon as she turn 2 years old and after having my second baby so i filed for fear to be circumcised and persicution for my husband and we ve been waiting for almost 2 years now no interview date yet.
I want to no how strong my case is?

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Jason Dzubow January 18, 2017 at 7:13 am

Fear of FGM is a basis for asylum and it is certainly possible to win based on that. It is more difficult to win a case where you fear persecution because your daughter will be circumcised (only some courts have definitively stated that this is a basis for asylum). It sounds like in your case, you have both bases for seeking asylum, so you may have a good case. But it depends on many things – the likelihood that you and/or your daughter face FGM, whether you can relocate safely within your home country, etc. If you would like a better idea of the strength of your claim, you should talk to a lawyer who can understand the whole story and maybe best help you present your claim. Take care, Jason

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Soliman January 15, 2017 at 4:29 am

Please What does it mean (Delay in months) up there in the photo ?

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Jason Dzubow January 18, 2017 at 7:09 am

It is just a measure of how long people were waiting for an interview. But this post is a bit old. To get a better idea about this, check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is at right. Take care, Jason

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Jhon December 28, 2016 at 5:39 pm

Hello thank you so much for your great job which you are being doing here for everyone.
My name is john, and I am from Pakistan. In my native land I got there Religious persecution in the start of this year from Muslims community and i flee from there into Europe on study basis. When i reached here in Europe I did not have any plan to get asylum here, Because I was thinking this that this matter will be subside gradually with passage of time, but right after 6 months here in Germany i am getting threat full messages from unknown numbers, getting emails from my native land, written init, we are not going to leave you , our people will caught you there in Germany, One of my brother is now in their custody, from him they got info about me, I am very Upset. I am planing to move from Germany to USA and I am going to apply for J1 Visa. As you know already Germany is going through in crisis due refuges, and calls which i am getting on and off , its from unknown Germany numbers, I have all other persecution proof with me. i want to know what if move to USA, would be possible that i can apply Asylum there? One more thing i want to know, I have Plan to apply Asylum in CA, Do you have office there ? What if I want to hire you as my lawyer , Is it would be possible ? How seems my case strength? Thnaks

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 10:43 pm

The case sounds like a strong case. You will need to explain why you did not seek asylum in Europe, but we have done that in many cases, and unless you have a permanent offer of resettlement, you should not be blocked from asylum in the US. We do not have an office in CA, but we can do cases there if you want. Feel free to contact me once you are here if you want to discuss ([email protected]). Take care, Jason

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Jhon December 30, 2016 at 7:56 am

Thank you so much .
Really appreciate for this.
Yep sure I will.

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:59 am

You can try to expedite your case based on family separation and your child’s health problem, and it sounds like you have a strong basis to expedite (though the expedite process is not very predictable). Get evidence about the issue and submit it to the asylum office (doctor’s note, medical records, letter from teacher). You can contact the asylum office for information on the procedure to expedite. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow April 10, 2017 at 2:50 pm

I am not sure I understand your first question. If you move, you are required to change the address. If you are able to keep the old address until you have the EAD, that is preferable. If you move the case, you keep your place in the queue. Once you notify the old asylum office, the case should be moved automatically. However, it doesn’t hurt to contact the old and new asylum offices to make sure the case was moved. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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