How to Find a Free Asylum Attorney

by Jason Dzubow on September 22, 2016

If you want to hire a lawyer to help you with your asylum case, you’ll find that attorney fees are all over the map. Some lawyers charge tens of thousands of dollars for a case. The larger immigration firms typically charge in the five to ten thousand dollar range. “Low bono” lawyers–and I include myself in this group–charge a few thousand dollars for an asylum case.

Remember, when you use a pro bono attorney instead of hiring me, you are taking food from the mouths of my children.

Remember, when you use a pro bono attorney instead of hiring me, you are taking food from the mouths of my children.

But what if you do not have any money for a lawyer, and even a “low bono” fee is too much? The options then are to do the case yourself (usually not a great idea) or to find a pro bono attorney.

Pro bono (short for “pro bono publico”) is a Latin phrase meaning “for the public good.” In the legal context, it basically means that the lawyer does the work without charging the client any money.

There are different types of pro bono attorneys. The major categories are lawyers who work for charities, attorneys who work for law school clinics, and private attorneys who volunteer their time. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of pro bono attorney, and strategies for finding an attorney in each category are a bit different.

I suspect that most asylum seekers who find a pro bono attorney do so through a charitable organization. You can find a fairly comprehensive list of such organizations on the Executive Office for Immigration Review website (EOIR is the government agency that administers the nation’s Immigration Courts). The list is organized by state, which is helpful. If you do not see your location, click on a nearby state and you should find charities that serve your area. The American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (an association of private and non-profit attorneys) maintains a similar, and probably more comprehensive, list. Many of the organizations on these lists are free. Some charge a nominal fee (though in certain instances, I have heard about “nominal fees” ranging into the thousands of dollars, but this is the exception, not the norm). Also, most such organizations will not take a case where they believe the asylum seeker has the ability to pay for a lawyer.

The main disadvantage of using a charitable organization is that they are very busy, and they may not have the capacity to take your case. Also, if you need your case done in a hurry, they may not be able to accommodate you. Indeed, the reason lawyers like me exist is because the charitable organizations do not have the resources to help everyone. If you are able to obtain representation from a charity, they will either do the case in-house, or they will find you a volunteer attorney who will work under their supervision. Many of these volunteer attorneys do not specialize in asylum. However, the non-profits are adept at training and supervising their volunteer lawyers, and in most cases, you will get excellent representation.

So how do you get one of these charities to take your case? It often is not easy, and you may need to call/email/visit a number of organizations before you find one that can help you. But if you are persistent, you may be able to obtain representation. If one organization cannot help you, ask whether they can recommend another to try. It can feel like a full-time job to find a pro bono lawyer, but those applicants who make the effort are often able to obtain representation.

Another type of pro bono representation is the legal clinic. Many law schools have clinical programs where a law professor supervises law students in real-life cases. The students do the actual work on the case. I do not know of a comprehensive, updated list of law school immigration clinics, but this list (in Excel) from the Law Professors Blog Network should get you started. Also, you might try Googling “Law School Immigration Clinic” + the name of your city. Again, these clinics receive many requests for assistance and they have limited capacity, so it is often difficult to get one to represent you.

If you are represented by a law school clinic, you will work mostly with the students–after all, the primary purpose of the clinic is to provide a learning experience for the students. The obvious question is whether law students have the ability to adequately represent asylum applicants in court or in the asylum office. My observation is that, what the students lack in experience, they make up for in enthusiasm and energy. Also, the supervision at clinics (at least the ones I have seen) tends to be excellent. I do not know of any studies on this, but I expect that the success rate of clinical students is comparable to the success rate of practicing attorneys. One issue for clinics is that their cases must be scheduled according to the academic calendar, which can sometimes cause additional delays (though sometimes, it can make things faster instead).

Finally, many law firms have pro bono programs where the firm will represent individuals free of charge. Most firms get their pro bono clients from charitable organizations, but they can take on individual cases directly. If you know someone at a law firm (or if you know someone who knows someone), you might want to ask about this. If the attorney is not familiar with asylum law, she can likely partner with a non-profit organization, which will supervise her (the non-profits usually love to get new volunteer attorneys and are happy to help).

In truth, it is often difficult to find pro bono representation. Resources are stretched thin. But if you persevere, it is possible to find a free attorney. And having an attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Shabbir Shaikh January 18, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Hi Jason,
I had applied for asylum on 9th Jan 2016 means I had given my case to the lawyer on this date n made the payment what he had asked but after 10 days still haven’t received any acknowledgement from them whether my case is filed or on which date it will filed I will be very thankful if you please tell me what is the actual procedure.
Thanking you,
Shhabir Shaaikh

Reply

Shabbir Shaikh January 18, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Sorry 9th Jan 2017

Reply

Mad January 12, 2017 at 1:05 am

Hello Mr Jason
For i renew my work permit who will be expired in 05/ 04/ 2017 im late as i need renew it befor 120 days is it possible to renew it right now
How mush cost fee for renew my work permit
My respect

Reply

Jason Dzubow January 13, 2017 at 7:16 am

You are not late. The earliest you can renew it is 120 days before it expires, but there is no problem renewing it less than 120 days before it expires. I just recommend that people renew 120 days before it expires in order to avoid a gap between the old and new card. Take care, Jason

Reply

Mad January 2, 2017 at 7:08 am

Do i need to send it by mail ? Im in san francisco
Thanks

Reply

Jason Dzubow January 2, 2017 at 11:06 am

I always send it by mail, but maybe you can do it online – you would need to review the instructions. Take care, Jason

Reply

Mad January 2, 2017 at 7:07 am

Hello Mr Jason
I want renew my work oermit alone .wish doc form i need ..thanks

Reply

Jason Dzubow January 2, 2017 at 11:06 am

I am old school and do not do those on-line. But the form is the I-765, available at http://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

Reply

Mad December 5, 2016 at 4:19 am

Hello Mr jason thanks for help
Can i renew my work permit aloen ( by my self) or only my attorney can do it .i let you know i have problem with my attoreny right now and he dont answer all my request
Can i do it by my self even immigration thy know that i have attoreny and thy has begun to deal with him when i open asylum cas
Thanks

Reply

Jason Dzubow December 5, 2016 at 7:45 am

Speaking as an attorney, it is not always easy to respond to clients as quickly as they want, but if the lawyer does not get back to you in a few days, that may be a problem. If you are not happy with the lawyer, you should find someone else. As for the work permit, you can do it on your own (form I-765, available at http://www.uscis.gov). I recommend you at least let your attorney know what you are doing and keep a copy of everything you send to USCIS, in case you need it later. Take care, Jason

Reply

Mad December 6, 2016 at 3:40 pm

Thanks for answer my question MR Jason but how i can let him know and he dont answer me since 4 month
Other way to find new attorny is not easy for me
cause i have hard economic situation .i see better to do it by my self ?
My respect

Reply

Jason Dzubow December 7, 2016 at 2:12 pm

You can tell him that if you do not hear back, you will contact the state bar association to file a complaint. You can find that by Googling “Bar Association Complaint” + the state where the attorney is practicing. My guess is that if you threaten to complain, the lawyer will respond. But of course, this will not be good for your relationship. I do think you need to find a new lawyer if your current lawyer is not responding to you. Take care, Jason

Reply

Mad November 30, 2016 at 2:42 am

Hello jasen
I have series issue and i want get advice please
.my attorney inform me that i have asylum interview
in september 26 2016 but before 2 days of interview he call me and he say that im not ready to interview??? then let’s reschedule it to next 2 weeks
My interview past and i don’t go as my attorney advised me but i don’t receive any new appointment
From immigration even my attorney he lknow that if i lost this interview appointment in september 26 2016
It will not be possible to find new appointment soon i feel like he give me wrong advice even i try to call him he don’t answer and i try to send him e mail ..the e mail back to me means he block me
how i can know if i have another appointment and what can happens if i lose other appointment with immigration
I afraid if i lost my case
Now i have big concern about my case and i hope if you advise me

My respect

Reply

Jason Dzubow November 30, 2016 at 7:38 am

It is strange that the lawyer would postpone the interview without telling you why, and it is very strange that he is not returning your emails. I recommend that you contact the asylum office yourself to ask whether the case will be rescheduled. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Usually, this only takes a few weeks. Also, you might want to talk to another lawyer for help. Good luck, Jason

Reply

Mad November 30, 2016 at 11:58 pm

Thanks jason
I will call the office .as you have experiance how many time it take for thy reschuadul someone who. Dont vo to his first appountment .thanks

Reply

Mad December 1, 2016 at 12:03 am

I mean someone who lost his appointment

Reply

Jason Dzubow December 1, 2016 at 7:35 am

I am not sure. You can call, and you can also email them – that is usually the better way. You can also go in-person. Take care, Jason

Reply

Info November 3, 2016 at 3:13 pm

I have few days left till my 1 year deadline to file for asylum, so I want to file I-589 with overview of my story and then sit down later with an attorney and make sure that my story includes everything and submit the story at the interview. Can I do that or will it hurt my case if I do it that way? Also, I read that USCIS gives receipt for the application within 21 days. If I overnight it via Fedex to them, will the date when they get it physically (next day after I mail) count as a day of filing or whenever they acknowledge the receipt?

Reply

Jason Dzubow November 3, 2016 at 5:10 pm

You do not have to send the full story with the case. As long as the form is properly submitted before the one-year deadline, you will be fine. The time to get the receipt is not predictable, but it is usually a few weeks. The date on the receipt is usually the date that the application was received by USCIS. The case is filed when it is received, not when it is mailed. But if you mail it before the deadline, the regulations state that it is considered timely filed. Take care, Jason

Reply

Info November 3, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Thank you very much for your response. You are true lawyer and should be proud of yourself.

Reply

Jess October 24, 2016 at 9:01 pm

Hello Jason,

I have two questions: I am in common law since 2009 with my #husband#. He is going to be the principal applicant in a asylum case. What do we write on line #10, about his marital status? Married? But we do not have a Marriage certificate, we just have a legal proof of Common Law Status from our country?

My second question is: He has 10 months in this country, and he is working in certain decent jobs, but Should he write down in Part A.III, about his background, that he worked in US for the past 10 months? Is not going to prejudice his application, since he was working without work permit? Thanks a lot

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 25, 2016 at 6:29 am

First, there is a one year deadline to file, and if he has been here for 10 months, he should file soon. If he files after one year in the US, it could cause him to be denied asylum. As to your questions, if he is legally married, he should put that he is married. I think he should then explain that it is a common law marriage (he can do that in an affidavit or on the last page of the I-589 form (Supplement B). For us, if a client has worked illegally, we list the job on the form. It does not affect his asylum application, and if USCIS learns about the job and it is not listed, they may view him as having lied – and if he lied about his jobs, he may be lying about his case. Take care, Jason

Reply

Dima October 21, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Can I hire an attorney just for the interview? or should the attorney be there from the beginning?

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm

As you like, but there are three things the lawyer does for you: (1) prepare the documents and affidavit; (2) practice with you for the interview; and (3) attend the interview. The first two are the most important by far (in my opinion). The lawyer’s job at the interview is fairly small, and I think you are better off using your money to get #1 and #2 than #3, though it is nice to have a lawyer with you at the interview, especially if you have bad luck and the asylum officer is no good (fortunately, that is uncommon). Take care, Jason

Reply

Zain October 21, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Hi Jason, I really enjoy your articles. I’m curious as to how having an attorney could change the outcome of the case? We filed our case alone, and got our EAD too. I’m hoping that our file will have no mistakes.
I talked to an attorney recently, he said he could get us an interview in 6 months. I’m assuming he is lying, right?
I have a question about change of address, will it affect our case if we don’t change it? (We moved) or should we just wait until the interview to tell them that.
Thank you.

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 21, 2016 at 4:54 pm

I am not sure whether he is lying, but there is no way he can guarantee that. He can ask to expedite the case based on a health problem or family re-unification, but you can do that yourself too. Obviously, I do think that a lawyer can help with a case (since I am a lawyer), but the statistical data supports that conclusion. A did a post a few months ago where I described who REALLY needs a lawyer (it is on July 7, 2016). As for moving, if you change your address, you should keep your place in the queue. However, to be sure, I recommend that you contact the old and new asylum office to make sure your case was moved. You can find the contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

Reply

Zain October 25, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Thank you so much Jason for your help. I am just moving to a different house not a different state, is that the same?

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 26, 2016 at 6:30 am

If you stay in the same state, your move will generally not change the asylum office (though there are exceptions). You just have to let them know that you moved and give them the new address.

Reply

Brook October 8, 2016 at 11:32 pm

Hi Jason
I have applied for asylum as a dependent on my wife’s i589. We have received application accepted notice and the fingerprinting appointment. Then only my wife is finger printed and not me. Am I missing something or this is how the system works for dependents?
Thank u so much

Reply

Brook October 8, 2016 at 11:36 pm

Just to add. The finger printing notice mentioned only her name not mine. But on the application recived notice they informed us to bring all material that proves our relationship ship to the interview.
Thannks

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 11, 2016 at 6:34 am

I think you should also have been printed. I do not think it is really a problem, though, as long she is printed. Also, USCIS is always changing the procedures about fingerprints, so maybe now dependents are not being printed. If you want, you can contact the local asylum office to ask about this – you can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

Reply

Umer October 3, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Hi Jason u do a great job for asylum seekers. My question is about work authorisation. I applied for work authorisation before my 150 days completed so they denied my work permit application because my 150 days are not complete that time and they send me letter that I move the motion or appeal against decision and send them fees of 630 dollars for that motion. Now my 150 days are complete so can I reapply new work permit application or I have to submit that fees for motion. Plz guide me Iam thank full to you.

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 4, 2016 at 6:29 am

Do not file the appeal – you will lose and you will lose your money. File a new application (I-765) for the EAD, and explain that you previously filed and it was rejected. Take care, Jason

Reply

lulu October 2, 2016 at 7:32 pm

Shana Tova! Happy Jewish new year to you Jason!!

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 4, 2016 at 6:17 am

Thank you. Happy 5777 to you too, Jason

Reply

Dominique October 2, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Hi Jason,

I filed my I-589 form in 2014 and interviewed in December of 2014 at the AO in Chicago. My case has been in pending status since then.
My issue is, I have just recently moved to TX for a new job. Can I file a change of address and apply for a travel document concurrently? Will this affect my case in any way and delay it even further?
I have not seen my spouse and children in 4 yrs :'( I am looking to travel to a third country around the holiday season this year to meet them.
Please help! Thank you Jason!

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 4, 2016 at 6:40 am

You can apply for Advance Parole (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov) to travel while the case is pending. It should not affect your case, and changing your address at this point probably will not affect your case either. But I have seen once (recently) where the person had an interview, moved, and then had a second interview at the new office (had he not moved, the second interview would still have happened, but at the original office). Take care, Jason

Reply

Dominique October 7, 2016 at 7:21 pm

Thank you so much for your assistance Jason!
I will be filing this weekend. My intended departure is December 15, 2016. Do you think that leaves me enough time to apply for both I-131 and change of address?

Again, thank you for responding. It is greatly appreciated!

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 11, 2016 at 6:28 am

If you are filing the I-131 for Advance Parole, it is possible you will get it before December 15, but I kind-of doubt it. The normal wait time is probably 4 to 6 months. Anyway, you will try and if it is delayed, maybe you can delay your trip. Take care, Jason

Reply

Dominique October 12, 2016 at 7:23 pm

One last question Jason, I promise!

Do I file the I-131 to the Dallas LockBox since I now live in TX or should I mail it to the Phoenix LockBox since I am also including a Change of Address form indicating that I moved from IL to TX?

Thank you so much!

Elizabeth October 2, 2016 at 1:51 am

Hi Jason.
Bless your heart for all you do.I will submitting my asylum application next week to Philadelphia for my son(5years) and myself, my lawyer advise we submit seperate forms as my son might get earlier date as a minor with severe disability.
Do you have an idea how long for a minor disable applicant interview?
Does that expedite mine?
Thank you

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 4, 2016 at 6:45 am

I would ask your lawyer to double check this. There are faster dates for unaccompanied minors, but your son is not unaccompanied; he is with you. Maybe it can be done, but it might be better to keep the cases together. Also, if you file together, you can ask to expedite both cases based on his disability. Anyway, really, I do not know, and if you are confident that the lawyer is doing it correctly, then you should be fine. Of course, it does not hurt to double check. Take care, Jason

Reply

lulu October 2, 2016 at 12:50 am

I got a problem that irrelevant to your post but hope Jason you can help because you are sooooo nice all the time! The thing is I submitted my application in California but moved to Chicago afterwards, so, should my case has to get in line from the beginning in the new pool? if it’s true, actually I moved in Sep 2015, I ‘d expect 33 months after sep 2015 to be my possible interview date? Thank you!!

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 4, 2016 at 11:27 am

According to USCIS, if you move, you will keep your place in the queue. You may have to email the old and new asylum offices to make sure that the case moves and that you keep your place in line. You can find their email if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

Reply

lulu October 5, 2016 at 4:44 pm

wow! thx for your supportive reply and it looks it wont take very long for me to take the most important interview in my life! the best wishes for you!!Jason!

Reply

Rich September 28, 2016 at 12:59 am

Hello Jason.

Im currently leaving and working in different state from where i applied for my asylum case and it doesn’t belong to the same asylum office.
Question:
I wanna know if I’m gonna have a problem with my case in this situation? And what should i do if your answer gonna be yes?!
If you can give me an advice!

Thank you for all what you are doing here! This website is extremely helpful!

Reply

Jason Dzubow September 28, 2016 at 6:14 am

It could be a problem. If the Asylum Officer thinks you are lying about your address, she might also think you are lying about your case. The easy answer is to change your address with the Asylum Office (using form AR-11, available at http://www.uscis.gov and filed with the local asylum office). If your move is “temporary” and you have evidence that you kept your permanent address, then maybe you will not have a problem. Take care, Jason

Reply

Ruslan September 27, 2016 at 1:18 am

hello. I have a question about my spouse and application i589. i did get it that if she wants get all benefits of asylum application ( like work permit after 150 days) she should be included in my application. but what if she has nothing to do with my problems with government and does not have anything to do with my case story. Can I put her in application without any hurt to my case ?
Thank You

Reply

Jason Dzubow September 27, 2016 at 6:11 am

The only requirement for her to be included in your application is that you are legally married. It is not relevant that she has no involvement with the basis for your asylum claim. Take care, Jason

Reply

Francia October 5, 2016 at 12:33 am

Hi Jason, How about common law? Can a person apply for her couple if they are just in a common law relations, no legal civil marriage? If not, do they need to get married before apply for political asylum?

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 5, 2016 at 6:19 am

I do not know about that, but typically, USCIS wants to see a written marriage certificate, and they will reject an application without one. I just won an asylum case yesterday where the applicant was in a common-law marriage, so we may research this question for him. Maybe check back in a month or so, and I might have a better idea about this. Take care, Jason

Reply

Dess September 26, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Dear Jason
Social far I don’t have a lawyer but I have applied the asylum and waiting for interview and want have a lawyer. Would you mind to be my lawyer? I will tell you why if you send your personal email or address with schedule
Regards

Reply

Jason Dzubow September 27, 2016 at 6:00 am
Olu September 25, 2016 at 9:57 pm

Hi Jason,

I have question about a confusing situation. I have a pending asylum application but I’m now trying to file forms I-485 and I-130 with my spouse who is a citizen. I’m confused on how to fill the part of form I-485 where it says “current USCIS status” and expiration date, and also “nonimmigrant visa number”. I came into the US with a visitors visa and filed for asylum a month later. I’m confused as to what my current status would be, and also if I’m supposed to fill in the number on my B-2 visa which is no longer valid. All I’ve had since I applied for asylum has been a work permit EAD and an SSN.

I would really appreciate your insight into my situation. Thanks

Reply

Jason Dzubow September 26, 2016 at 6:36 am

Unfortunately, I cannot answer such specific questions about how to answer on a form, as I am not familiar with your case. Typically, when will fill such forms, we put “asylum pending,” but I do not know if you have any other status. I will say that as long as you are honest with them, even if you make a mistake on the form, you will be able to correct it. When you send the application for the green card, you should include copies of your visa, I-94, and asylum receipts – that way, they will not think you are trying to hide anything. Good luck, Jason

Reply

Rajan September 23, 2016 at 11:26 pm

Hi Jason, I got my asylum Interview date for next week. I had also applied for TPS and yesterday uscis approved it. So technically I am in TPS status. I heard that if I am in TPS status they don’t refer me to the court instead of that they approve the asylum case or deny it. Is it true? If yes, is it good to be inTPS status while your asylum interview is taking place or it has bad impact to your approval chance?

Reply

Jason Dzubow September 25, 2016 at 7:18 am

I do not know whether they refer people with TPS to court. We have seen some TPS people do their court cases, but I have not had a client who had TPS at the time he was denied asylum. My guess is that if you have TPS, and they want to deny you, they will send you a letter explaining why they want to deny, and then give you an opportunity to explain. If you satisfy them, they will grant the case. Otherwise, they will deny the case and you will just have TPS. If you did not have TPS, they would not give you a detailed explanation for the denial, they would just send you to court. Take care, Jason

Reply

Rajesh September 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Hi Rajan, can you please tell what happened in your condition at interview?

Reply

Daniel September 23, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Jason, a quick question about asylee families who are following to join them.

When someone gets asylum, and their spouse and kids are still overseas, my understanding is that the spouse and kids must go to a U.S. consulate and provide their passports, which will then be stamped “Asylum status granted” or words to that effect.

But what happens after that when the family is boarding a plane to the U.S. in the home country’s airport, and the home country security officers look at their passports and see that asylum stamp? I get nightmarish thoughts of families seized and jailed, and threats made against them unless the original asylee comes home. Does that ever happen? Can it be prevented?

Reply

Jason Dzubow September 25, 2016 at 7:10 am

I have never heard of such a procedure. If a person wins asylum, he can file a form I-730 for the spouse and minor, unmarried children. There is a procedure to get a visa, but unless you know all the codes on the visa, you cannot tell that they are coming to the US based on their relative’s asylum. Take care, Jason

Reply

Riz September 28, 2016 at 8:08 pm

Daniel ! I think the Visa Type will be print as V92. Instead of Derivative, Beneficiary etc.

Reply

Ian September 23, 2016 at 7:32 am

Hi Jason,

Been reading your blog for years and every time I click the link it would encourage me to hope for the best, it becomes a habit to check this blog daily, sometimes multiple times a day when i feel desperate and hopeless, you are a great man! A true angel for those who suffered from tough times.

I had my interview in Chicago around first week in June this year, the officer made me to sign on the mail notice agreement, since then i’ve been expecting the decision to be mailed to me. I went to the office to check the progress of the case every once a while but get the same answer every time, says my case is in progress. It’s been 3 months and I feel hard to get asleep at night, I understand you have mentioned in other posts that the decision might take months or years to make, and there is few we can do to help, I was just wondering what is the average waiting time recently to get the decision according to your experience? It already took me 3+ years to get an interview and I start to lose patient and get emotional more and more often.

Regards,

Reply

Jason Dzubow September 23, 2016 at 4:46 pm

You are not along, for sure. There really is no “average”, so I cannot answer the question. It depends on too many factors. Maybe you can inquire with the USCIS Ombudsman (a link is at right). Sometimes, they give more info than the asylum office, but I doubt they will give you any sort of time frame. If you can ask the asylum office whether your case was sent to headquarters, that might be helpful to know. You can also check this report, https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CISOMB%20Annual%20Report%202016.pdf, pages 12 to 17, which discusses the delays. Good luck, Jason

Reply

Gina September 26, 2016 at 1:32 am

Jason,

Thank you for answering all our questions. I applied for asylum at Newark asylum office in August 2013. I live in Buffalo Newyork. Right now the asylum scheduling bulletin is saying Newark is interviewing those that applied in August-October 2013. When should I expect my interview because it seems that’s when I also applied. Another question is will my interview be at Newark or it will be at Buffalo asylum office.

Reply

Jason Dzubow September 26, 2016 at 6:40 am

I have only had one case in Buffalo – the person was interviewed in Buffalo, not NJ. If that happens to you, it is likely that you will wait longer than the dates listed in the Scheduling Bulletin. You may want to contact the NJ office and ask about this – You can find contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

Reply

Ian September 27, 2016 at 1:25 am

Jason,

Appreciate your priceless help, a link worth a thousand thanks!

Best

Reply

Kargay September 22, 2016 at 9:53 pm

Hahahaha
Jason, I like the picture in this article with the caption.
😂😂.
This is an awesome article though.

Reply

Jason Dzubow September 23, 2016 at 6:19 am

Thank you, Jason

Reply

John September 22, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Hi Jason,

It was very nice/generous/kind of you to write this blog post against your own business interest. And it was informative.

But, unless they really really really can’t afford, I think they should hire you or any other attorney for that matter. First, private attorneys can provide lot more time to a client’s case and many times the case warrants that.

Secondly, pro-bono lawyers will have less clients to represent who really really really can’t afford. I assume that number isn’t large. That way, they can also provide extra time for the people in serious need.

That way everyone would be a winner.

Reply

Jason Dzubow September 23, 2016 at 6:19 am

I agree that only people who truly cannot afford a lawyer should use a pro bono lawyer, and these days, many pro bono resources are devoted to minor children seeking asylum, so resources are stretched very thin. Also, many organizations will not accept cases from people who can afford to hire a lawyer. I think it is also true that if you find a good private attorney (as opposed to a private attorney who is just interested in the money), you may be better off than if you have a pro bono lawyer because the private lawyer can devote more time to the case and has more experience with that area of the law. In my experience, though, the pro bono lawyers and law students usually do a great job for their clients, and I do not think the difference between them and private lawyers is all that much (thou again, your first point is crucial – people who can afford to hire a lawyer should not use scarce pro bono resources; plus, my children will thank you). Thank you for the comment, Jason

Reply

Ai-ka September 22, 2016 at 2:43 pm

Hello Jason,

My wife has applied for asylum on her own, she has not received anything yet, it has been 6 months now, and according to people and threads it is taking long these days.
Now we are about the get the EAD after 150 days.

Question is,

How do you think is she needs a attorney if so when, will she need a attorney for interview or courts? Based on your experience what will be the best option for us and your best suggestion.

Thanks

Aika

Reply

Jason Dzubow September 23, 2016 at 6:03 am

I wrote an article about whether an asylum applicant needs an attorney (there is a link to it in the article above). I am not sure what you mean when you say that she has not received anything. If she did not get a receipt or a fingerprint notice, then that is a problem, and you may want a lawyer to help with that. Take care, Jason

Reply

Jason Dzubow October 13, 2016 at 6:30 am

Sorry – I cannot answer specific questions like that. If you look at the USCIS webpage for the form, it should tell you where to file. Take care, Jason

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: