The Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin, Explained (Sort of)

by Jason Dzubow on June 7, 2016

The purpose of the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin (“AOSB”) is to give asylum applicants “an estimate for when they might expect their interview to be scheduled.” At best, though, it’s a very rough estimate. The problem is that the AOSB tells only part of the story, and not even the most important part. Let me explain.

For two bits, Madame Blavatsky can predict when your interview will be. And I'll bet she's more accurate than the AOSB.

For two bits, Madame Blavatsky can predict when your interview will be. And I’ll bet she’s more accurate than the AOSB.

First, what is the AOSB? It is a chart that lists the eight main Asylum Offices. For each office, we can see the filing date of the cases that that office was interviewing in March 2016 (the most recent month listed on the chart). We can also see the two previous months (January and February 2016), which gives some idea about how quickly (or not) the office is moving through its case load.

So, for example, if you look at the Arlington, Virginia Asylum Office, you will see that as of March 2016, it is interviewing people who filed their cases in October 2013. In January and February 2016, Arlington was interviewing people who filed their cases in September 2013. The Chicago office has made the most progress during this period, advancing from May to August 2013. San Francisco is also making steady progress, moving from January to March 2014. Other offices–Houston, Los Angeles, Miami–have moved not at all. But again, this is only part of the story.

One thing the numbers do not tell you is that many of the cases filed prior to December 26, 2014 have already been interviewed. Extrapolating from our own case load, for example, I estimate that in my local Asylum Office (Arlington), approximately 60% of cases filed between October 2013 (the date listed on the AOSB) and December 2014 have already been interviewed. That’s because there was a policy change on December 26, 2014 affecting how the Asylum Offices handle their cases.

What happened is this: In the Good Old Days (and the dates for “the Good Old Days” differ depending on your Asylum Office), asylum cases were filed and interviewed relatively quickly. At my local office, most interviews took place two or three months after filing. Then, starting in 2012 or 2013, and continuing until today, the number of people arriving at our Southern border increased significantly. These migrants are mostly young people from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. They are fleeing violence and poverty. Some are attempting to reunite with family members already in the United States.

At the border, the migrants ask for asylum. They are generally detained and subject to a credible fear interview (“CFI”). A CFI is an initial evaluation of eligibility for asylum. It is easier to “pass” a CFI than to win asylum, and a large majority of applicants pass the interview. They are then permitted to present their asylum cases to an Immigration Judge or an Asylum Officer. Applicants who do not pass the CFI are deported.

This mass migration (often called “the surge”) affects the affirmative asylum process in a few ways. First, CFIs are conducted by Asylum Officers. These are the same officers who conduct asylum interviews at the various Asylum Offices. If the officers are spending time on CFIs, they obviously are not spending time interviewing applicants at the Asylum Offices. And since most of the people arriving at the Southern border are detained, which costs the U.S. government money, CFIs get priority over the Asylum Officers’ other work. Another way the surge has affected asylum seekers is that the Asylum Offices are prioritizing unaccompanied minors over other applicants. A large percentage of “surge” asylum applicants are minors, and thus their interviews receive priority over “regular” asylum seekers.

When DHS diverted resources away from the Asylum Offices, affirmative cases started piling up. This began in our local office in 2013. About 60% of the case we filed during this period were interviewed in the normal time frame; the other 40% disappeared. The disappeared cases came to be known as “the backlog.”

Once it became apparent that the backlog was not going away, the Asylum Division changed its policy. Starting on December 26, 2014, cases would be interviewed on a first-in/first-out basis. This meant that the Asylum Offices started interviewing the cases in the order received, starting with the cases that had disappeared into the backlog. The AOSB was first published in about July 2015, and since then, there has not been a whole lot of progress. In Arlington, for example, since July 2015, the Asylum Office has only advanced from August to October 2013. Los Angeles is worse. Back in July 2015, they were interviewing cases filed in August 2011. Today, they are still interviewing cases filed in August 2011. Ugh.

The U.S. government has been trying to improve the situation. The Asylum Division has hired more staff, including officers devoted exclusively to CFIs. We now have a system–limited to be sure–to process refugees in-country in Central America and bring them to the U.S. More controversially, we seem to have convinced Mexico to crack down on migrants passing through its territory, and we have prioritized the deportation of “surge” applicants, sometimes at the expense of our international obligations and due process of law. But if the AOSB provides any indication, these efforts have done little to reduce the backlog.

The most important factor impacting movement at the Asylum Offices still appears to be the number of people arriving at the Southern border. As long as these numbers remain high, I am not optimistic that the Asylum Offices will make much progress on the backlog. And the prospects for improvement in the near-term do not look good: Preliminary reports from the border indicate that we can expect more asylum seekers than ever, as migrants seek to enter the U.S. before our increasingly-hostile political climate makes conditions for asylum seekers at the border even more dire.

All these factors, and more (like, how cases and CFIs are distributed between Asylum Offices, how many Asylum Officers are detailed overseas to process refugees, etc.), contribute to movement on the AOSB. Because there are so many unpredictable factors at play, I don’t see how the AOSB can claim any accuracy as a long-term predictor of when an individual asylum interview will be held. To me, it’s kind of like looking at the weather report a month before your vacation. It doesn’t tell you much, but since it’s all you’ve got, you pay attention anyway.

In the end, there is some value to the AOSB: Once you see that your asylum filing date is coming up, you know to prepare for your interview. Also, for applicants, I suppose it is helpful to know that they are not alone in Backlogistan. But as far as predicting interview dates, the AOSB is a mirage in the desert–it may encourage you to keep walking, but it tells you nothing about when you might get your next drink of water.

{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria October 9, 2017 at 10:24 am

Hi,

According to the processing time posted by USCIS and experience from others, it’s taking 3-4 years to schedule and interview. Is it a good or bad sign if my interview has been scheduled before the timeline shown by uscis?

Thank you,

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Jason Dzubow October 10, 2017 at 6:05 am

I do not know whether it is a good or bad sign. In some cases, we have seen people inquire with the asylum office about the status of their case, and the asylum office puts their name on the “short list,” so maybe that happened to you. Otherwise, I am not sure why they would interview you early. If you find out, please let us know. Thank you, Jason

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Malek September 24, 2017 at 1:43 am

Hello Jason, I applied for asylum in November,2013 in Chicago. Now they are intervieweing who apply in May 2015. I went to the asylum office,and they told me they know but the only reason is pending. I asked why it’s pending. They said ” because it’s pending ” it’s so frustrated, on November I will close 4 years without interview. Do you have clue what happened? Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow September 25, 2017 at 8:47 am

Something is wrong if you filed in 2013 and have not been interviewed yet. You need to speak to a supervisor, or get a lawyer to help you. If nothing else works, you can file a mandamus lawsuit to force them to interview you, but that really should not be necessary. Take care, Jason

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Ali September 21, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Hi Jason
Thanks a lot.please could you let me know if I will be inform in advance for my interview and for how long a time to the interview date.

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Jason Dzubow September 21, 2017 at 10:34 pm

Normally, they give you about 2 or 3 weeks notice before the interview. Take care, Jason

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Ali September 15, 2017 at 3:52 am

Thanks Jason,
But when I checked the asylum bulletin, it shows the same date since July ( Last Reviewed/Updated: 07/13/2017).or
Is there another source to get the latest update ?
Do you think interviews are going on at san francisco office?
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow September 15, 2017 at 6:17 am

I misunderstood – the Bulletin was updates, but for your asylum office, it sounds like there was no movement. This means that they are going very slowly there. Sometimes, offices focus on different things, like cases at the US/Mexico border instead of “regular” asylum cases. Hopefully, they will start moving again soon. Take care, Jason

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Ali September 14, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Hello Jason,
I applied for asylum in August 2015 at san Francisco when should I be expecting my interview as the asylum bulletin hasn’t been updated since July.
Do you think the stopped interview for now?
Appreciated. Thanks

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 9:59 pm

The bulletin was just updated. Hopefully, that will give you a better idea about the wait. Take care, Jason

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Ali September 14, 2017 at 3:00 pm

The bulletin hasn’t been updated since July,is there a problem or are they on vacation? Thankd

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Isatou September 10, 2017 at 11:23 pm

Hello I applied for asylum in July 2015 from Columbus Ohio how long does it take to have an interview date an at what office

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Jason Dzubow September 11, 2017 at 6:38 am

You can find your office if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator and enter your zip code. You can also check the link at right called Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin to get some idea about when your interview might be. Take care, Jason

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Can Ulus August 31, 2017 at 7:33 pm

Hello all,

I was in US in 2007-2010 on student visa, left US and came back in Jan17 with B2 tourist visa have applied for political asylum in the meanwhile in Arizona and received a receipt on 08/25/17. Everything goes according to the book with the guidance of an immigration attorney. My drivers license expired 2 weeks ago and according to DMW I cannot extend my drivers license with the pending case I-589. According to my attorney it is possible for the DMW to extend the dl however it is up to their initiative and they have negatively used theirs so far… I have valid social security from my student days, but still not able to renew my dl. Any info on how I can do that. I drive uber and lyft so got stuck in a tight spot , if I don’t drive it will be impossible to get by… What should I do? Thanks in advanced.

Documents I presented:
Social Security Card
Expired DL
Passport with recently expired B2 visa
Pending receipt of I-589

Sincerely.

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Jason Dzubow September 1, 2017 at 5:06 pm

Different states have different rules about driver’s licenses. In most places, I think you cannot get the DL until you have your work permit. So unfortunately, I do not have a good solution for you. Sorry, Jason

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Can Ulus September 2, 2017 at 4:32 am

Thank you very much for your help Jason. Sincerely

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Kishor July 13, 2017 at 4:15 am

Hi, I have applied for renew my work permit in 2017 april 24. But I still haven’t got received latter. From June 16 I have not any valid identification.uscis has charged cheque money from my account. Here is my question why I didn’t get receive letter and until when I will have new work permit? And after expiration date how long I can work?

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Jason Dzubow July 13, 2017 at 6:37 am

Maybe something is wrong with your address? Normally, you should have the receipt in less than a month. If you can get your cashed check from the bank, USCIS should have written your receipt number on that, and then you can check the status on-line. You might also want to call or – better yet – go in person with an info pass appointment to ask about the status of the EAD. You can find the phone number and make an appointment at http://www.uscis.gov. Good luck, Jason

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Meisam June 25, 2017 at 9:46 am

Hi
I apply for asylum case and I interviewed in March 2017 .I received a letter from USCIS they said your case now at immigration court.I want to know how long does it take to get an appointment with judge and what is the process.

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Jason Dzubow June 25, 2017 at 12:42 pm

They will send you a notice about the court date. It can take a few weeks, but it can also takes months. To check your court date, you can call the court hotline at 1-800-898-7180 and enter your Alien number. Push 2 and the system will tell you your next court date (once the date is scheduled). It will also tell you the name of your judge. Take care, Jason

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reza June 25, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Hi meisam can i ask you when did you apply for asylum in which office?

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yousef June 13, 2017 at 1:55 am

Hi,I hope best wishes for you, i applied for asylum on October 2016 in Seattle Washington state and it is sub office under San Francisco office,my question is my scheduling is like San Francisco or more or less???

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Jason Dzubow June 13, 2017 at 6:28 am

Seattle is a sub-office of SF, and typically sub-offices are slower than the main office. You can email the SF office to ask about the schedule in Seattle. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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yousef June 14, 2017 at 12:58 am

Thank You So Much

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yousef July 15, 2017 at 12:34 am

Hi i have sent letter to uscis for schedule in Seattle and they sent me they are scheduling the cases who field in December 2012-January 2013 it is worst thing i heard ,in uscis bulletin says sanfrancisco office is scheduled the cases who field in may 2015 i am confused why in same office happens like that????????

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Jason Dzubow July 16, 2017 at 7:03 am

I had not heard that it was so slow, and it surprises me a bit. Maybe you want to ask to expedite your case – I did a post about that March 30, 2017, and maybe that would help. Take care, Jason

Hahye shah June 9, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Hi Jason
I just had my interview 10 days ago. And I am told to come back to pickup decision after 2 weeks. I am getting idea from the above posts in this blog and few other blogs that they are delaying the decisions. I have a very strong case. Asylum officer seemed to be a good and patient person. Few reasons to delay the interview I read were if you have a valid status, asylum interview was done in field office. These two reasons doesn’t apply to me. Should I be worried about getting delayed. Or that just depends on the case. Appreciate your response as always! .

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Jason Dzubow June 12, 2017 at 6:34 am

We see more than 50% of our “pick up” decision changed to “mail out” decisions, so it is definitely possible. There is nothing you can do about it, so just hope for the best, and if you do not hear from them, go to pick up the decision (sometimes, when you go pick up, it is not ready, so you have to remain patient until you actually have it). Good luck, Jason

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joseph May 28, 2017 at 10:09 pm

hi i applied for asylum in july 2016 and i received my EAD in janvier 2017, I get my social too. i want to know what time can take my appointment for interveiw to be granted asylee?i am so confused

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Jason Dzubow May 29, 2017 at 6:53 am

The Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin gives you some idea about when to expect your interview (as discussed in the above article). Other than that, there is really no way to predict when the interview will be. Things have started moving faster at the asylum offices, so that is a bit of good news. Take care, Jason

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joseph June 7, 2017 at 9:42 pm

thanks man,i have another question,I change state,i was in NEW YORK and I move to KENTUCKY,how can I advice uscis or where can I apply to notify them about my change of address?

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Jason Dzubow June 8, 2017 at 6:35 am

You can file a form AR-11 (available at http://www.uscis.gov) with the local asylum office (NY). This can now be done on-line, or you can send it to the asylum office. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Boston Sub-office April 22, 2017 at 10:23 am

Hi Jason!
I applied for Asylum in December 2013 at Newark Asylum office and it seems that the office is interviewing cases well after December 2013 right now. Since I live in Rhode Island, I understood from my lawyer that we have to be interviewed at Boston sub-office which has delays for probably several more months. Can I transfer my case to the main office at Newark asylum office? or is it automatically done at Boston sub-office due to geographic location?
Thanks for help

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Jason Dzubow April 25, 2017 at 8:33 am

I believe it is automatically done at the Boston sub-office, but I think you have no choice about it. If you want to double check, contact the local asylum office to ask whether it is possible. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Faiza Seif April 5, 2017 at 10:01 pm

Thank you for your service. I am a Yemeni female and a widow, I applied for asylum in Florida and did my fingerprint on August 19, 2015. I renewed my work permit for the second time and more than two years past without hearing anything about my asylum case. What is the best way to make my case move faster? Do you have any advice? Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow April 7, 2017 at 6:22 am

I did a posting last week about how to expedite a case; maybe that would be helpful to you. Take care, Jason

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Hahye shah March 12, 2017 at 11:03 pm

Hi Jason
Thanks for all your help! I have applied for asylum in October 2014 in Newark asylum office. I see their cases are moving fast now. But somebody told me this is because they are rejecting cases to get rid of backlog?do you think there could be a case like this. I am worried because I have high hopes to go back to school at once asylum is granted to me. And I have been waiting from past three years to be called for interview.

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Jason Dzubow March 13, 2017 at 6:44 am

I have not heard that they are rejecting cases to get rid of the backlog. I would be surprised if they did such a thing, and I expect it would be well-known if that was what was happening. So hopefully, they are just going faster because they have more resources or because they have fewer cases at the border to process. Take care, Jason

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ask March 7, 2017 at 4:33 am

hi Jason my question when u apply child ,the child may garanty you interview early?

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Jason Dzubow March 8, 2017 at 10:48 pm

If an adult applies with a dependent child, the adult is interviewed per the regular schedule. The child has no effect on the timing of the case. Take care, Jason

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marija nunevska March 4, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Hi Jason ,
I moved my case from Arlington, VA to Chicago IL. My lawyer said that I will not keep my place and I will have to wait in line like I just applied . Do you know If this is true ?
I applied back in March 2015 and the bulletin has not been updated yet so do you know if there is some advance from both of the offices ? Chicago and Arlington ? Thanks!

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Jason Dzubow March 5, 2017 at 12:37 pm

My understanding is that if you move your asylum office, you keep your place in the queue, so I think your lawyer is not correct. This is what we have heard directly from the Asylum Office Director. You can contact the asylum office directly to follow up, to make sure the case was moved and that you are properly in line in the queue. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Nik March 3, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Hello Jason. I have filed my application in july 2016 from Fort Lauderdale. I already got my EAD. My question is this. Since I know from the bulletin that Miami office is handling cases pretty slowly, I was thinking about moving to New York. If I move and notify the USCIS about the change of address, does that mean that I will be called for an interview in New York (and therefore have my interview sooner because New York office is a lot faster?)
Thank you in advance.

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Jason Dzubow March 3, 2017 at 5:13 pm

If you move to NY and move your case from FL, you will keep your place in the queue (July 2016) and be interviewed according to the NY schedule. Whether it will be faster in the end, it is difficult to predict, as I discuss in the above article. Take care, Jason

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christou February 21, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Hi Jason, It ‘s a long time that i read you and thank you for what you do every day for us. Here is my situation. i applied for asylum with my family in november 2016. In january 2017 i received a certificat from quebec mention that i am eligible to request for a permanent resident visa for their country. Here is my fear, could my asylum seekers case in USA affected the approval for my visa to canada?. (I applied for this certificat in 2013 before facing torture in my country)

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Jason Dzubow February 22, 2017 at 7:15 am

It could be. If the certificate from Canada is an offer of permanent status in Canada, it may make you ineligible for asylum in the US. At a minimum, you will need to explain what the certificate means at your asylum interview (and it is very possible the US government will know about this even if you do not tell them, as the US and Canada share information). I recommend you talk to a lawyer to review the certificate and see how it impacts your case. Take care, Jason

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christou February 22, 2017 at 11:57 am

Thanks Jason.
Never mind if this make me ineligible for asylum, in my plan i will close my asylum case when i will receive my visa for canada.

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nana February 18, 2017 at 1:43 am

Hi.apply for interview since February 2015 and and I have a medical record that I sent it to my asylum office but the answer me that they can’t make any expedited interview this for the next 180 day .I am very depressed I can’t wait any more .please tell me what should I do ?

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:00 am

There is not much to do. Hundreds of thousands of people are waiting, and they do not expedite many cases. It does sound like they are not expediting for the next 180 days, so maybe after that period, you should try again to expedite. Take care, Jason

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BANUMATHI Tamilselvan March 9, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Dear Janson,
I appreciate your wonderful service. You really helped to explain my situation to my attorney to expedite my case. I have received a letter from my son’s doctor, all medical reports and from the school describing his critical situation in India. In addition I have received one letter from my husband. My attorney told me get character reference letter from US citizen friends. I volunteer at the local food bank and also doing service for 12-STEP self-support group in different churches and hospitals. Do I need to submit those letters along with my request to expedite my asylum based on Humanitarian reasons?

How to request for the same? Do I need to send them by post?
I tried to contact my Chicago asylum office, Unfortunately i couldn’t reach them.
My another question is once they accept for an expedited interview, how long do they take to call me for an interview, because, once i submit my request, i have to get ready with all my supporting evidences.
Many thanks in advance!!!!
Banu

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Jason Dzubow March 10, 2017 at 7:38 am

Any documents you want to be included in your case should be submitted at the same time (or before) the expedite request. We submit such documents by dropping them off in person, or once in a while, we mail them. I do not know how long Chicago takes once they accept an expedite request, but in my local office, it usually takes a few months to schedule the interview. Good luck, Jason

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Chernet February 11, 2017 at 8:25 am

I file 589 for political assylem before 1 month and apply driving licence last week.they said my document send to immigration for legal existance.is there any problems happen in my case.

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 12:21 pm

I do not think this is a problem. Some states allow asylum seekers to get s driver’s license based on the asylum receipt; other states require the EAD. So maybe they are verifying your asylum pending status. Take care, Jason

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Sandeep February 9, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Hi
I have filed asylum case in December 2014. According to scheduling bulletin my interview should be done in December or may be in January. But still I don’t know anything about my interview.

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Sandeep February 9, 2017 at 5:26 pm

Hi
I have filed asylum case in December 2014. According to scheduling bulletin my interview should be done in December or may be in January. But still I don’t know anything about my interview. So do you have any idea about this.

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Jason Dzubow February 10, 2017 at 7:24 am

If you have missed your date based on the Scheduling Bulletin, you can contact the local asylum office and ask about it. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Mahsa February 8, 2017 at 10:54 pm

Hello
I am on pending religious asylum case. I filed my case in April 2015. I live in Tucson. My case is considering in Los Angeles Asylum office.
When is my interview?
Thank you

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Jason Dzubow February 9, 2017 at 7:14 am

It is not possible to predict when interviews will be (as I discuss above). You can get some idea of the waiting time if you check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin, a link is at right. The LA office is getting some help these days, so hopefully, things will be moving a bit faster there. Take care, Jason

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Rahman February 3, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Hello, I have applied for asylum in April 2016. As per the office locator, my asylum office is Arlington VA. May i know how much time more it will take? Its now 10th month started. 🙁

Best.

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Jason Dzubow February 5, 2017 at 11:09 pm

Check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is at right. If you or a family member has a health problem, or there is family separation, you can ask them to expedite your interview. Contact the asylum office and they can tell you how to request an expedited interview. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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laura January 27, 2017 at 10:14 pm

Hello Jason,
Thank you for your advice.
let me explain to you my case: i was here in 2010 i applied for Tps (haiti) , they sent me work authorization, 5Months later they said they denial my tps for lack of proof but i never receive any letter. They gave me a chance to get my visa back follow all the instruction , i go back to my home.
Late in 2015 i came back because of political issues.i am on the asylum case pending for interview.
i would like if it possible i can reapply for tps this year?
Then i have a canadian visa can i travel to canada by car while under asylum protection?

Thank you

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 10:13 pm

Sorry – I do not know about TPS for Haitians. You would have to talk to a lawyer who is familiar with that. As for Canada, you may be barred from asylum there due to a treaty between Canada and the US. Talk to a lawyer in Canada before you go there, to see whether you are eligible for asylum there. If they reject you at the border, and you are returned to the US, it is very possible that you will be detained by the US authorities and you may have to pursue your asylum case in the US while you are in jail, which can be very difficult. Take care, Jason

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Asylum seeker January 26, 2017 at 2:52 am

Hi – I applied for asylum and had an an interview. I am in F1 status. If I don’t maintain F1 and request for asylum deny then what would happened?

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Jason Dzubow January 26, 2017 at 8:53 pm

If you do not stay a full time student, and lose your F-1 status, and then lose your asylum case at the asylum office, your case will be referred to an immigration judge where you can present the case again. There, you will be granted asylum, granted some other relief, or ordered deported. You (or the government) can appeal the Judge’s order. Take care, Jason

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Tee January 21, 2017 at 7:50 am

Hey

I’m just wondering if there is any effect on the time wait if someone files an assylum without a lawyer as opposed to filing with a lawyer? Are there any risks too?. And during the interview, what are the chances of a person, who has filed an assylum without a lawyer, being granted assylum? Thanks

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Jason Dzubow January 21, 2017 at 8:38 pm

There is no effect on the time frame. If the lawyer is good, he/she should be able to help you prepare the case. I have not seen statistics about the grant rate at the asylum office with/without a lawyer, but a good lawyer should be able to help you, especially if you have problems with your case (I did a post about this on July 7, 2016 that might be helpful). Take care, Jason

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Rose January 20, 2017 at 10:11 pm

I’m pending both asylum and TPS, now my concern is: if i’m granted TPS ,,will TPS be considered an “immigration status” therefore will cause me to lose the chance of appealing my asylum decision in the court in the future?!!Therefore losing the asylum for a tps?!!! plz help

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Jason Dzubow January 21, 2017 at 7:13 pm

If you have TPS and lose the court case, some judges will let you litigate the court case; others will not, so it depends on the Judge. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow January 18, 2017 at 8:08 pm

Dear Jason,

How are you doing today? I have a question regarding claiming an asylum to southern California , is it True that i will need to wait 5 years to get interviewed?! I mean is it possible to get interviewed earlier than that ? Some say it takes 2 years others says 3 years, I’m really confused! I need to purchase my own house in Southern California and I’m confused if I can do it once I’m there or after im granted asylum?! Can i claim in San Francisco and be living in In OC ? Also I already applied for green card lottery hopefully I can win because I’m coming from a country where low people fill for green card or think to move to US – if I didn’t win the lottery, can i re enter the lottery this year? If yes should I put my home country or US if I’m staying there? Also will my family “sisters-brothers-parents ” be able to visit California or any other state after i claim an asylum or they will be refused? I’m coming from The Gulf area in Middle East where lots of people own property and vacation in the states year around. Thanks so much for your time and help. Much appreciate it

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Jason Dzubow January 20, 2017 at 8:51 am

I think you need to consult with a lawyer, as you have many different questions, and I am not familiar with your case. As I discussed in the above article, the wait times at the LA office are the slowest in the country, but that could change and it is difficult to predict how long you might wait. You can only apply to the office where you live. To find out which office covers your home, follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator and enter your zip code. As for the Lottery, you can try as many times as you want. However, if you win, you may need to leave the US to get your GC, and the may not be possible depending on your case. If you win, you will need to hire a lawyer to see. Your family members can apply for a visa to visit you, but the fact that you are seeking asylum may make it harder for them to get a visa. Take care, Jason

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Ellie January 13, 2017 at 1:40 am

Hi, thank you for your support,
I am another applicant with different story.
Obviously everyone has the same problem, waiting for along time, and it’s not fair.
Any way I filed on December 2015 , I am with my son here, he missed his dad and he suffers from being separated with his sister, meanwhile I had an incident in one of the stores here, caused many problems for me, I Am in an regent of neck surgery and without insurance it’s impossible, the store didn’t pay me anything yet. My husband asked for a visa to come for help but the embassy denied his request.
I am absolutely in a place where I can not find any help.
Can tell me what should I do.

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Jason Dzubow January 13, 2017 at 7:43 am

You should Google “Catholic Charities” + the name of your city. They are a large social service provider, and they help immigrants. They may be able to refer you to someone who can help. Take care, Jason

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Anna January 1, 2017 at 7:16 am

If i file for asylum and then apply for H1 while in US. Will my H1 be processed?
Can i switch status from asylum seeker to H1?

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Jason Dzubow January 2, 2017 at 10:52 am

As long as you are legally here (in some status other then “asylum pending”) you should be able to get an H1b visa while your case is pending. For example, if you are an F1 student or you have OPT and you have filed for asylum, you should be able to switch to an H1b (and you can also continue your asylum case while you have the H1b). However, if you have no other status than asylum pending, you will probably need to leave the US, get your H1b at an embassy, and re-enter the US. This may or may not be possible, and you should talk to a lawyer before you start that process, as it depends on different factors in your case. Take care, Jason

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scopa December 29, 2016 at 11:49 pm

Dear Jason, I am staying in Arizona and I am really worried about the LA asylum office. San Francisco is better. Is it possible to request a change of office from LA to SF office while staying and working in Phoenix? Another question how long do you think the EAD takes after 150 days are elapsed? I am really worried as it is very difficult to stay longer with job and income. Thank you so much!!!

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Jason Dzubow January 2, 2017 at 10:25 am

People on the West Coast (or close to there West Coast) seem to get EADs faster – I have heard about people getting them in 1 month. Where I am, it is usually 3 or 4 months. The LA office is getting some help, as a remote office has opened in Virginia that will take on some work from LA. If you want to change to the SF office, you need to move to an area within their jurisdiction. You can check that by following the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Asylumseeker December 28, 2016 at 2:50 am

If I apply in April 2017 when will be my expected interview date from Richmond Virginia. And in the meantime will I get any benefits?

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 10:32 pm

There is no way to predict, but it will likely take a long time. To get a basic idea, check the link at right called Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin. Your local office is in Arlington, VA. There are few benefits available to people with asylum pending. But 150 dyes after your case is received, you can apply for a work permit (assuming Trump does not change the rules about that). Take care, Jason

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Paul December 27, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Hi, my wife she filed i589 jan2016 this year, i was dependent on her case, but uscis office they sent me notice that they unable to accept my application for following reason. ” im in deportation proceedings” my case under “administrative closer”, i had case before i360 it was approved , than was reopened and rejected. My question is what will happen to me? When my wife she will have intervew ? After intervew if she passed do i have any chance to join her
Thanks looking forward need your advise

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 8:43 am

You should probably talk to a lawyer to see about your situation, but I think if her case is granted, she can file an I-730 petition for you. You can then re-open your court case and get your own asylum. You would probably need a lawyer to help with this. Take care, Jason

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Monique December 9, 2016 at 10:42 am

Hi Jason! Thank you for your dedication and your personslized responses to your readers’ comment.

It seems accurate for my aunt who filled her application in August 2013 and got her interview in late 2015 in Arlington. She was granted an aslyum. She was single and didn’t have any child.

What worried me is that I din’t get an interview. We lived together back home and went through the same situation. We both applied at the same time in 2013, and we share the similar story as we were together back in our home country. The only difference is that I have an F-1 visa. She was scheduled an asylum interview on the exact same day her other immigration status expired. Me, I stayed on my visa, with full-time status as I have a scholarship that depends on it.

Would my still-valid status make my asylum case appear of less priority? Based on the bulletin, I should have gotten an interview back in late 2015 as she did.

One thing to add though is that I moved in 2014 and now my office is Chicago. When should I expect an interview? Or you think I will be considered once my other immigration status (F-1) expires?

Thanks,

Monique

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow December 11, 2016 at 8:22 am

I think your F-1 status should not matter. In 2013, when a case was filed, some where interviewed (like your aunt), while others disappeared into the backlog (like you). However, if you have passed your filing date on the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin, you should contact the asylum office to ask why you have not yet been interviewed. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Perhaps the move cause the delay, but if so, this was a mistake by the asylum office as you should have kept your place in the queue. Contact them and ask what is happening with your case. Good luck, Jason

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Sherio December 1, 2016 at 3:54 am

Hi Jason
I filed in 2016. My son is still back home unfortuantly his mother (xwife) emailed saying that the boy is facing very hard time and wants to live with me. he is already filed with me . Any help with that you recommend? Thanks

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Jason Dzubow December 1, 2016 at 7:41 am

He can apply for a visa to come here. This is probably unlikely to work, but he can try. Also, you can get evidence of this problem (letter from ex-wife and son, letter from his teachers, etc) and use that to make an expedite request with the asylum office. Take care, Jason

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BANUMATHI Tamilselvan December 12, 2016 at 11:45 pm

Hi Jason
I filed in Sep. 2016. My son 3.5 year is still back home with my husband .he was 2.5 year old when left him. He is asking my mom and my husband 100 times a day that when I am going to see my mom? In the school also he some times sit byhimself looking at the wall asking mom? My husband send me an emailed saying that my child is facing very difficult time and is there any possibility that they can come and stay with me. Please advise me in this regard. Many thanks in advance.
Banu

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Jason Dzubow December 13, 2016 at 7:33 am

This is the terrible problem with asylum delays. Maybe your husband can try to get a visa to the US, but this is quite difficult. His best chance is probably an H1b visa or an L visa (if he qualifies), as these are unlikely to be affected by your asylum case. If you have evidence of your son’s distress (like a letter from your husband or a teacher), you can use that to request to expedite your case. However, even an expedited case can take many months. Finally, you might apply for Advance Parole (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov) and travel to meet him in a third country (if you do that, apply before December 23, as government fees are going up). Take care, Jason

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BANUMATHI Tamilselvan December 27, 2016 at 10:54 pm

Many many Thanks Janson! Unfortunately my husband completely depend on my application. Though he hold a professional degree, the language is the main issue for him. Now H1B also going to be tough because of Trump administration. I suffered a lot due to domestic violence and I don’t want to remember them at all. I am in trauma, pain. But this asylum backlog make me to suffer further. My child is the only hope in my life. It’s a pain when I see him crying to see me. He is a child,it is very hard for me to explain. I keep writing, talking to find a solution to bring my child over here. I kind of read, if I leave the country , i mean us through parole, there is no grantee that i can come back. Asylum in US is my last hope in my life. If I lose, it is mostly the end of my life and my child. But many many thanks for you advise. My son teachers always advise to take my child with me due to his distress. May be i will get a letter from them and request for an expedite interview. O god please help us! It is such a pain!
Banu

Amy November 28, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Hello Jason. There is no update of asylum bulletin of October 2016. What would be the reason for this? Any ideas for when it may be posted? Thank you in advance

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 6:30 pm

I do not know the reason, but I suspect it is because that is a low priority for USCIS. I do know that Arlington, VA has advanced to February 2014, for what that is worth. Take care, Jason

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Ayesha November 25, 2016 at 11:00 am

Hi Jason
There is no update of asylum bulletin of October 2016. Is it because of president elect that USCIS is not processing cases? Thanks

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 6:34 pm

They are processing cases, slowly. I just think this is not their priority, so they do not update that often. I know that Arlington, VA has advanced to February 2014. Take care, Jason

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Jake November 24, 2016 at 10:40 am

Hi Jason,
Please can someone request expedite interview if the person is hive positive

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2016 at 12:03 pm

You have to contact your local office to ask about the expedite process. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. You probably will need to give them proof of your HIV status (letter from doctor), explain why finishing your case quickly is important (so you can get health insurance or for some other reason), and ask to expedite. Make sure all your evidence is submitted by the time you ask to expedite. Take care, Jason

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Therese Le November 18, 2016 at 1:34 am

Hi Jason,

Once 150 days have passed, i’ll be able to apply for a work permit right? How long does that EAD last? And how many times do they issue that card for people whose waiting time exceeds the validity of the work permit? Thanks!

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Jason Dzubow November 18, 2016 at 5:37 pm

You can apply after 150 days and the EAD is good for 2 years. You should renew the EAD 120 days before it expires, and you can do that as many times as necessary until your case is finished. Take care, Jason

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Phuong Le January 26, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Thanks for your reply, Jason!!! I’ve just got the letter from USCIS with the EAD case number. Thank God!

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 11:37 am

It is nice to hear some good news – Congratulations, Jason

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Meisam November 10, 2016 at 9:47 pm

Hello
I have applied my case on May 15, 2015 in Los angeles.Do you know how long does it take to get my appointment.

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Jason Dzubow November 11, 2016 at 11:17 am

LA is the slowest office – check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin to get an idea. A link is at right. LA is receiving some help from an office in Virginia that conducts interviews for credible fear interviews by phone, but nevertheless, it is still a slow office and I doubt you will get an interview quickly. If you have a health problem or family separation, maybe you can ask them to expedite your case. Take care, Jason

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Nabeel October 14, 2016 at 1:24 am

Hi,
i have filed in Nov 2013, the asylum Bulletin now says that they have scheduled interviews in Sep 2016 for those who filed in Nov 2013, i have not received any thing for interview and now it’s already mid of October.
what does that mean?

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Jason Dzubow October 14, 2016 at 6:27 am

I do not think you need to worry about it yet. If the Scheduling Bulletin passes your month and you are still not called, then you need to email or visit the local asylum office to ask them what happened. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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marij November 17, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Do not worry. I have filed asylum application on july 2013 and i just had an interview on november 14. Three months ago , i was worrying like you until i have received an interview letter two weeks before the interview day. You still ok.

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fariss talib majeed al zubiade September 25, 2016 at 3:10 am

i have receive notice receipt n.alien,n.,and my priority date on 2/20/2014 from chicago IL.but, when, i had been applied at that date till right now they did not send me any notice to inform me about,my appointment for asylum interview .

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Jason Dzubow September 25, 2016 at 7:29 am

To see when they might schedule your appointment, check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin (a link is at right). As I discuss in the article above, this gives you a very rough idea about when your interview might be. Take care, Jason

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Pending Asylum September 16, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Hello Jason, I have applied my I-589 on January 23, 2015. And I still haven’t got any update ever since. Is it normal?

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Jason Dzubow September 16, 2016 at 4:35 pm

It is normal – you can check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin (a link is at right) and you will see who is currently being interviewed in your local asylum office. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 10:19 pm

It is a great difficulty, unfortunately. We have had some luck expediting cases, and I urge you to try. Also, you can try to visit your son using Advance Parole in a third country. If you are worried, talk to a lawyer before you go, but we have clients leave and re-enter the US successfully. Good luck, Jason

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