The Asylum Backlog, Revisited (Ugh)

by Jason Dzubow on October 25, 2016

I haven’t written about the asylum backlog in awhile. Mostly, that’s because the subject is too depressing. Cases are taking years. Many of my clients are separated from their spouses and children. A number of my clients have given up, and left the U.S. for Canada or parts unknown. The backlog has also made the job of being an asylum attorney more difficult and less rewarding–both financially and emotionally. That said, I suppose an update on the backlog is overdue. But I warn you, the news is not good.

“Let’s talk about the asylum backlog… again.”

“Let’s talk about the asylum backlog… again.”

The most recent report from the USCIS Ombudsman—which I have been trying not to look at since it came out in June—indicates that the affirmative asylum backlog (the backlog with the Asylum Offices, as opposed to the Immigration Court backlog) has increased from 9,274 cases on September 30, 2011 to 128,303 cases as of December 31, 2015. This, despite significant efforts by the Asylum Division, and the U.S. government, to address the issue.

The Ombudsman’s report lists five main reasons for the dramatic increase in backlogged cases: (1) high volume of credible and reasonable fear interviews; (2) a rise in affirmative asylum filings; (3) increased numbers of filings with USCIS by unaccompanied minors in removal proceedings; (4) the diversion of Asylum Office resources to the Refugee Affairs Division; and (5) high turnover among asylum officers. Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on.

First, the number of credible and reasonable fear interviews at the border have increased significantly over the last several years (when an asylum seeker arrives at the border, she is subject to a credible or reasonable fear interview, which is an initial evaluation of asylum eligibility). The numbers for FY 2015 were slightly down from a high of about 50,000 interviews in FY 2014, but FY 2016 looks to be the busiest year yet in terms of credible and reasonable fear interviews. The reasons that people have been coming here in increased numbers has been much discussed (including by me), and I won’t re-hash that here. I do suspect that the upcoming election—and talk of building a wall—is causing more people to come here before the door closes. Maybe after the election, regardless of who wins, the situation will calm down a bit.

Second, the number of affirmative asylum applications has also increased. There were 83,197 applications in FY 2015—up 130% from FY 2011. There are probably many reasons for the increase, but I imagine the chaotic situation in the Middle East, violence in Central America and Mexico, and political persecution in China are important “push factors.” The relatively strong U.S. economy and the presence of ethnic communities already in the United States are a few factors “pulling” migrants to our country.

Third, an increased number of minors in removal proceedings have been filing their cases with the Asylum Division. Unaccompanied minors who have a case in Immigration Court are entitled to a non-confrontational asylum interview at the Asylum Office. The number of these children requesting an interview has increased from 718 in FY 2013 to 14,218 cases in FY 2015, and these cases have added to the Asylum Division’s case load.

Fourth, President Obama has increased the “refugee ceiling” from 70,000 to 85,000. In order to process these cases and bring the refugees from overseas, the Refugee Affairs Division has been borrowing asylum officers—about 200 such officers will be sent to the RAD for two months stints. And of course, if they are working on refugee cases, they cannot be working on asylum cases.

Finally, the Asylum Division’s efforts to reduce the backlog have been hampered by a high turnover rate among Asylum Officers. According to the Ombudsman’s report, the attrition rate for Asylum Officers was 43% (!) in FY 2015. Some of the “attrition” was actually the result of officers being promoted internally, but 43% seems shockingly high.

As a result of these factors, wait times have continued to grow in most offices. The slowest office remains Los Angeles, where the average wait time for an interview is 53 months. The long delays in LA are largely because that office has a high proportion of credible and reasonable fear interviews (“CFIs” and “RFIs”). New York, which is the only office where wait times have decreased, has an average wait time of just 19 months. The NY office does not have a detention facility within its jurisdiction, and so there are fewer CFIs and RFIs. As a result, the NY office is better able to focus on “regular” asylum cases and can move those cases along more quickly.

The Ombudsman report also discusses post-interview wait times, which stem from “pending security checks, Asylum division Headquarters review, or other circumstances.” The wait time between a recommended approval and a final approval has increased from 83 days in FY 2014 to 105 days for FY 2016. Also, the delay caused by Headquarters review has increased to 239 days in FY 2016 (I wrote about some reasons why a case might be subject to headquarters review here). In my office, we have been seeing delays much longer than these, primarily for our clients from Muslim countries.

The report discusses delays related to Employment Authorization Documents (“EADs”). Regulations provide for a 30-day processing time for EADs, but USCIS “regularly fails to meet” that deadline. Indeed, the processing time for EADs at the Vermont Service Center is “at least 110 days,” which—based on my calculations—is somewhat longer than the 30-day goal. One improvement in this realm is that EADs for asylum applicants will now be valid for two years instead of one (this change went into effect earlier this month). If EADs are valid for a longer time period, USCIS will have fewer EADs to renew, and hopefully this will improve the overall processing time.

The Asylum Division has responded to this mess by (1) hiring new officers; (2) establishing new sub-offices; (3) publishing the Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin (I discuss why the Bulletin is not a good predictor of wait times here); and (4) developing new EAD procedures.

The number of new Asylum Officers has increased from 203 in 2013 to over 400, as of February 2016, and USCIS was authorized to employ a total of 533 officers in FY 2016. USCIS has also been trying to mitigate the high level of turnover. They created the “Senior Asylum Officer” position, which, aside from offering a fancy title, may allow for a higher salary, and they have scaled up their training programs in order to get more officers “on line.”

In addition, USCIS has opened new sub-offices, including one in Crystal City, Virginia, which will (hopefully) employ 60 officers to conduct exclusively CFIs and RFIs by phone or video link. Supposedly, the Crystal City office will assist Los Angeles with its CFIs and RFIs in an effort to reduce the close-to-eternal backlog in that office.

Finally, USCIS is trying to improve the EAD process. One change is that applicants who move their case from one Asylum Office to another will no longer be penalized for causing delay. Previously, if an applicant caused delay, her Asylum Clock would be stopped and she could not get her EAD. USCIS has also proposed a rule change so that an applicant’s EAD will automatically be extended when she files for a new card. I wrote about this proposed (and much-needed) change almost one year ago, and it has yet to be implemented. Lastly, as mentioned, EADs are now valid for two years instead of one.

So there you have it. There is no doubt that USCIS and the Asylum Division are making efforts to improve the situation. But unless and until the crisis at the border subsides, it seems unlikely that we will see any major improvements in the way cases are progressing through the system. So for now, we will wait, and hope.

{ 147 comments… read them below or add one }

Lucy August 12, 2017 at 12:11 am

Hi Jason,

I was wondering if it’s ok that my case has been pending since April 2014? Could it be that it got lost? Though I have been able to buy EAD for 3 years already…

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Jason Dzubow August 14, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is at right. It will tell you which cases are being interviewed in your local asylum office. Take care, Jason

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Randy July 31, 2017 at 5:03 am

Hi Jason!
How can i check if the asylum office has the right address?
I applied Asylum in august 2015 at San Francisco office, but i got my work permit and ssn sent to my cousins’ address in los Angeles when i was visiting them( i spent 1 month at their place), you think my address changed? I heard that in los angeles it is hard to get an interview, and i don’t want my address to change

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Jason Dzubow July 31, 2017 at 11:32 am

You use a form AR-11 to change your address. If you did not file that with the asylum office (or on-line for the form I-589), your case would not have moved. You can try emailing the SF office to ask them if they have your current address, or just send them an AR-11 with your correct address if you are worried they have the wrong address. 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 March 8, 2017 at 1:17 am

Quick question. If I live in Seattle, do I need to file the application at a local USCIS office or can I choose whichever (like Los Angeles, New York, etc)? Thanks!

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Jason Dzubow March 8, 2017 at 11:27 pm

You must file based on where you live. The form I-589 instructions (at http://www.uscis.gov) tell you where to file. Take care, Jason

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nomthandazo ogbonna February 25, 2017 at 10:19 pm

hi joson. my question is can l renounce my citizenship before l attend the immigration court. because they said is the reason why l am referred to immigration court.so can l renounce it before the court date

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Jason Dzubow February 26, 2017 at 11:03 pm

It is not always easy or possible to renounce citizenship – you have to talk to your embassy and ask about the procedure. Also, I do not know how the immigration court would take this move. If they think you are deliberately doing it to win the asylum case, they may not like it. I recommend you talk to an attorney about the specifics of your case before you try this. Take care, Jason

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OL February 10, 2017 at 10:06 am

Hello Jason i just want to ask if my asylum case is pending can i petition to be the legal guardian of my younger brother who is in us with me so he can be able to qualify for Special immigrant juvenile status so he won’t have to go through the long wait i will go through through my asylum interview and also if my asylum case is pending can i qualify for instate tuiton

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Jason Dzubow February 10, 2017 at 1:48 pm

I do not know about this. You would need a lawyer with knowledge of guardianship and/or SIJ cases. Take care, Jason

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Asylee February 10, 2017 at 3:37 am

Hi Jason,

I applied for an asylum (LA) around Dec 2013 and have been interviewed 3 times so far (2, 4, 8 hrs respectively) and it’s still pending, maybe it’s in HQ hands by now or in Backlogistan…
However, my parents just got the US citizenship, so I was wondering if it’s possible to file the i-130 alongside my pending asylum just in case it’ll take another 6-7 yrs.

Also, would you know if an asylee do not qualify for Adjustment of Status through PERM i-140 because we are not considered non-immigrant?

Thank you for all the information and bulletin links you share on your page, it is very helpful and rewarding. I appreciate every minute you spent addressing our concerns!

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Jason Dzubow February 10, 2017 at 1:44 pm

Your parent can file for you, and there is a long waiting period. Unless you have some status other than asylum, you would probably need to leave the US and re-enter with a green card once the time comes. This may or may not be possible, and you should talk to a lawyer before you try it (the same is true for a GC through PERM). There should be no problem to file the I-130 at the same time as the asylum. Take care, Jason

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Asylee February 10, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Thank you for the quick response! After my 3rd interview and about 2 months ago, I was asked to submit biometrics again for the second time, does it give us any idea where they are with my asylum pending status? (It might not be worth it to apply for i-130 if I have to re-enter.)

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 11:18 am

Sometimes, we have seen people get a decision after biometrics, but not always. You might try the USCIS Ombudsman, a link is at right – they may be able to give you a better idea about when the decision is coming (maybe). Take care, Jason

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M J February 8, 2017 at 11:40 am

hello Jason will my asylum interview be scheduled faster due to me being 19 and under 21 and that of my brother too who is 16

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2017 at 5:24 pm

I think it is normally only faster if the person is under 18, and even then, it is not always faster. Take care, Jason

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M J February 7, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Hello Jason we fled our home country Nigeria after being falsely accused of killing our parents by the extended family and being branded witch child my mum was also accused of killing my dad before she had to go through some rituals which would vindicate her the rituals include being isolated in a room for 30 days without no food and water with the corpse of our dad and many more dangerous things she made it out alive but after after 3 weeks she died due to the starvation and now we are the next to undergo such rituals and we fear we might not come out of it alive like our mum we’re both 19 and 16 do we have a valid asylum claim with this story

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2017 at 7:21 am

If you are in the US, you should have a case for asylum based on the facts you describe. It is not a standard asylum case, and I do recommend you talk to a lawyer for help if you can (if you cannot afford a lawyer, I did a posting on September 22, 2016 that might help you). You might also ask the lawyer about Special Immigrant Juvenile status, as this might be a possibility for you two as well, especially the 16-year-old. Take care, Jason

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M J February 10, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Hello Jason what do you mean by not a standard asylum case does that mean that the possibility of being approved is low i can provide detailed evidence of everything that happened including the doctors report death certificates and also witnesses affidavit and i can also present articles which show how often orphans and widows or people whose family has encountered death or bad things are always abused, accused of being the cause of the deaths and labelled witches i really fear going back home after seeing what happened to my mum i want to know if Asylum is the best option for me

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M J February 11, 2017 at 9:29 am

and are there also people who have won asylum case based on stories like this if yes in what asylum office thank you for your kind heart jason

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 11:20 am

You need to talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your case to properly evaluate the strength of the case; I cannot do that here, as I do not have enough information. Even if you do not use a lawyer for the case, it may be worthwhile to get the case evaluated, so you will understand better the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Take care, Jason

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PP_F1` February 1, 2017 at 12:06 am

Hi Jason,

Thank you so much for keeping up with the website, god bless you for your kind heart! I filed for asylum back in early 2015, and still not had my interview. I have been on F1 visa all these time (applied for an EAD last year but never actually used it since I have CPT through my F1 visa). The advisor in the office of international student was an immigration lawyer and told me that I am still in legal F1 status since the EAD was never used. Now that I am graduating and going to grad school (on a full scholarship) 1. can I transfer my F1 to the new school? 2. Is it possible to apply OPT during summer for an internship (because I intend to keep up with my legal status, especially with the immigration policy is changing a lot with the new presidency)? 3. I applied asylum based on my religion(I am a Muslim minority, not from one of those 7 countries though), with the new presidency, should I withdraw my asylum case after getting into the new school and maintain my F1 status ( I can apply for H1B after graduation or go to another country)? I am just really worried that if trump is reforming the immigration policy, I will be rejected and won’t be able to finish my school. Thank you in advance!

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Jason Dzubow February 2, 2017 at 7:24 am

1 – You should be able to – talk to the new school to be sure; 2 – You should be able to. My understanding is that you are not violating your F-1 status even if you work using the asylum EAD. Maybe double check with the person who told you that to make sure they understood your question. But I think it does not violate your F-1 status. That only happens if you work without an EAD. Anyway, I am not sure, so you might want to double check before working using the asylum EAD; 3 – You can pursue asylum and H1b, they are not in conflict, and then you will have two possible paths to residency. For now at least, unless you are from one of the banned countries, Trump’s orders have no effect on you. Take care, Jason

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khalid haider January 26, 2017 at 3:01 pm

I am khalid haider ,i applied for affirmative asylum and after processing i appeared in interview on dated 7-11-206,but i did not still receive my case decision. So.what should i do to receive my case decision as soon as possible?

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nabil January 27, 2017 at 3:53 pm

I did the interview in March-15

And I’m still waiting 😁😭

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 11:41 am

There are many delays, and it is worse now if you are from a Muslim-majority country. You can contact the local asylum office to inquire about your case. 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. Take care, Jason

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Anton January 20, 2017 at 2:14 am

Hello, Jason. I just want to thank you for doing this blog, keeping it updated and answering the questions. It is so reassuring for me (and for thousands of people I think) and shines like one of a few of silver linings in the clouds of years of stress and uncertainty. Knowing that you are not alone facing this trial gives me hope and motivation.

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Jason Dzubow January 20, 2017 at 10:03 am

I hope it is helpful. We will see what the new Administration does, and hopefully all get through it together. Take care, Jason

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prasan January 18, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Hi jason, first i would like to thank you for your sincere help. i had my interview date on may 2016 after waiting almost 2 years. but My interview was rescheduled 2 days before my actual interview date on may 2016, and i have not still got the interview notice yet. The reason for rescheduling was, my mail got forwarded from my previous address to the current one despite of sending ar-11 form (certified mail). so i was late to submit the evidences and affidavit story.
my question is can i still apply for my ead (the current one is about to expire in few months, or my clock has been stopped? what happens if i apply anyway, do they take money out of my account or send back the application.

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Jason Dzubow January 20, 2017 at 8:45 am

You can apply for the EAD. Once you get the first EAD, there is no more issue with the clock. If the fee is too high, you can ask for a fee waiver using form I-912, available at http://www.uscis.gov. As for the interview, contact the asylum office in person or by email to ask about the new date. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Jesus January 14, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Hi Jason,
The company where I work offer me a transfer to N.Y. or Houston offices. I filed my I-589 on JUNE 2014 at Miami office. Since that office
Is proccesing cases from May, 2013 for the last six months, based in the queues for N.Y (processing September 2014)or Houston (May, 2014) is that possible for me to transfer my case? What happen N.Y.
They already pass my queue? Thank You for you support.

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Jason Dzubow January 17, 2017 at 7:52 am

If you transfer your case, you are supposed to keep your place in the queue. If the new office has already passed your filing date, they should interview you fairly quickly. To transfer your case, file an AR-11 form with your old local office. Then follow up by email or in person with the old and new offices to make sure your case was transferred and you keep your place in line. You can find contact info for the asylum offices if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Nona January 7, 2017 at 1:56 am

Is there is a difference between short list and expedite the case….i asked my lawer to expedite my case as i am a mother and my 10 years old son is in another country and suffering having psychological issue due to long separation he is staying with his dad there but the lawyer told me as to Houston uscis office new policy no expedite or short list until 1 year from filing application..can i trust my lawyer or should i consult another

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Jason Dzubow January 8, 2017 at 4:47 pm

I do not know about the Houston office. You can email them directly or go in person to ask. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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TJ December 6, 2016 at 6:53 pm

Thank you Jason. I really appreciate your support
One quick random question. I do have F1 visa. I filed for asylum 29 months ago. I haven’t received an interview notice yet. My wife is suffering alone in my home country. It’s going to be dangerous but I can’t let her alone there any more. What would be the consequences in my future visa requests or immigration petitions if I withdraw my asylum application right now and return back to home?

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Jason Dzubow December 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm

I think it will be more difficult for you to get certain types of visas – like a B or F visa, for example. Other visas, such as an H1b or an L should not be affected. If you have documentation of the reason for the asylum case and the reason for returning, that might be helpful to you later, if you try to return to the US. Also, you might want to get evidence of her troubles and give it to the asylum office and ask to expedite your case. If you win, you can bring her here (though even in the best case, this will take 6 to 12 months). Take care, Jason

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sara December 6, 2016 at 6:14 pm

Hi Jason
I am on F1 visa here in the united states currently working on my CPT. It’s almost two years since I filed for asylum. I really missed my husband and am kind of losing hope in the current working trend of the asylum offices. My company gives me a training opportunity oversees for about five months (which potentially have the chance to see my husband over there). Can I request expedited Advance Parole for such professional reason? How successful that request can be? If its successful, how long might it take to get the parole? If I go out without Advance Parole (I know my asylum petition will automatically be rejected), Is there a chance that I can renew my student visa in the third country and return back to the US?

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Jason Dzubow December 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm

I think if you go without AP, it is very unlikely that you can renew your student visa and return to the US. On the other hand, if you can get an H1b visa, you should be able to return, even if your asylum case is pending. As for whether you can get AP for 5 months, I am not sure, but maybe. Anyway, you can ask – the form is the I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

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Info December 6, 2016 at 2:45 am

Hi Jason,

I filed for asylum and got the letter for fingerprinting today (Nov 24 receipt date by USCIS).
1. Can I go ahead and apply for advance parole now or should I do that after fingerprinting this week?
2. Will it stop my clock for EAD?
3. Do I need to show humanitarian need?
Thanks!

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Jason Dzubow December 6, 2016 at 7:34 am

1 – You can apply now using form I131, available at http://www.uscis.gov. 2 – No. It has no effect on the clock. 3 – Yes, but this seems to be a formality these days. Just provide some reason (a doctor’s not from a sick relative you will visit, for example) and they should issue the Advance Parole. It usually take 4 to 6 months. Take care, Jason

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Haaa December 5, 2016 at 6:11 am

Hi Jason. I am a pending asylum and you mentioned about people giving up and going to canada? how is that possible or how is that process done?

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Jason Dzubow December 5, 2016 at 7:48 am

Not everyone is eligible to do that under Canadian law. Talk to a lawyer in Canada before you try to go there. Otherwise, you could get rejected at the border and end up detained in the US. Take care, Jason

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Vincent Nyathi December 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm

If you are able to apply for PR in Canada through federal skilled worker program you will solve many problems for your self..

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marija December 1, 2016 at 5:18 pm

Hi Jason !
I have couple of questions. I got married with the same sex and applied together for asylum in March 2015 in the Arlington office.We both came from Macedonia and its been a while how we have been together. Today is the second time we are applying for EAD and no words from the interview. The lawyer that we got was bona fide because at the time we applied we got into a program were the Law Firm doesn’t charge for submitting all the papers and even representing to court, so basically its for free. He doesn’t do anything or knows anything. We had to call once we didn’t get the EAD for such a long time ( 5 months after the app was submitted ). What is your advice ? what can I do regarding the waiting time ? My very good friend is getting married next year and we want to go for a week in Bulgaria on advance parole ( if possible ) the problem is that the lawyer had advised me that I cant apply for a renewal on my passport because I’m asylum applicant? I mean what should we do ? I just found out from your posts that there is a short list , can I call them to add us on there? Also we wanted to move to Chicago and he told us that we will be in the back of the line if we transfer the case to IL ? I will probably get a new lawyer too that actually knows what he is doing. Thank you !

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Jason Dzubow December 2, 2016 at 7:35 am

It’s nice that the lawyer is free, but strange that he does not seem to know much. If you transfer the case, you should keep your place in the queue. In general, it is better not to renew your passport, but my guess is that you do not fear your government; you probably fear people in the community who harm gay people, and the government will not protect you. If so, I think there is less danger in renewing the passport. Also, you should be able to travel using Advance Parole. Finally, if you have submitted all the evidence in your case, you can ask the asylum office to expedite – usually this is based on a health problem to you or a family member, or someone back home is in danger (usually a child or spouse). You can also put your name on the short list, but this probably won’t help too much. Of course, I am not so familiar with your case, and you might want to find a lawyer who is more familiar with asylum to go over the specifics. Take care, Jason

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marija December 2, 2016 at 4:50 pm

Thanks ! Do I need a passport in order for me to apply for the advance parole ? In my understanding I need to have the advance parole and the travel document to leave USA I’m not sure If the passport has to be up to date.
Thank you so much !!!

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Jason Dzubow December 4, 2016 at 8:51 pm

I do not know whether you need a passport to apply for Advance Parole, but without the passport, you will not be able to travel. The only purpose of AP is so you can re-enter the US after you leave. It does not substitute for a passport. Take care, Jason

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Daniel November 28, 2016 at 11:09 pm

Jason, how did you learn about changes of address to a new asylum office no longer stopping the EAD clock? It doesn’t seem to be in the Web’s news . . .

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2016 at 11:42 pm

It was announced at a meeting I attended with the Asylum Division, and I do think there are some memos about it, but it is not easy to find such memos on the internet. Anyway, if you are concerned, you can email the local asylum office to ask whether a change of address will affect your EAD clock. Hopefully, they can confirm this for you. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Daniel November 29, 2016 at 7:48 pm

Thanks! I did write Arlington Asylum Office, and they actually responded the same day (fastest work I’ve ever seen out of Arlington). In case you, (or any of this blog’s readers, are curious, this is the exchange:

Me: “Some asylum lawyers are saying that moving to another asylum office’s jurisdiction no longer stops the 180-day EAD clock. Can you confirm or deny this?”

Arlington: “Thank you for your email. As of April 2016, the automatic clock stoppages and transfer holds were discontinued; however, the clock is still automatically stopped where a future interview date exists at the time of the transfer, consistent with our existing reschedule procedures.”

Of course, if you already have an interview date within 180 days of filing your case, that’s a *very* nice problem to have.

Happy happy joy joy! We’ll be getting little enough good news for the next four years.

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Jason Dzubow November 30, 2016 at 7:32 am

Thanks for letting us know, Jason

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Leo November 24, 2016 at 2:59 pm

I applied three years ago and got interview ed recently. It sure takes a lot of patience and the lack of exact information could be very frustrating. Hang in there guys!

One thing I wish I knew before I went to my interview is this: the officer types as you speak and s/he wants you to speak slowly so that s/he can transcribe everything you say. It won’t be a natural conversation/dialogue. S/he will ask you to pace yourself and that could be strange. You wanna be able to tell your story in a natural way. It won’t happen. So get ready for that and good luck.

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Jason Dzubow November 25, 2016 at 9:41 am

This is a good point. Some officers are better than others about this, but all of them write down what you tell them, and this makes the conversation seem not very natural. Thank you for sharing your experience, Jason

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Asha November 23, 2016 at 5:41 am

Hi J
I entered with k1 visa since 2013 but it did not work out,I applied asylum
I am still waiting notice for interview, Now I have kids with different guy,
My question is can we marry?

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Jason Dzubow November 23, 2016 at 7:42 am

You can, but I think you are not eligible to get your green card based on the marriage. You may want to double check that with a lawyer, as I am not sure without researching the question. It might also be worthwhile to talk to a lawyer to see about other options for you (maybe leaving the US and re-entering based on the marriage). Take care, Jason

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Asha November 25, 2016 at 2:53 am

Thank you Jason and God bless you.

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rsv November 21, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Since in 2015 alone 14128 cases has been added to asylum offices caseload from unaccompanied minors, there is no surprised that any of the offices not moving forward in scheduling bulletin as these cases takes priority over the rest. And if the number for 2016 is close to 2015 the same trend will continue and we will continue to see the same scheduling bulletin every month. Is that correct sir.

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Jason Dzubow November 22, 2016 at 7:06 am

I doubt that things will remain the same under the new Administration. I also expect that people may be trying to get in before the wall is built. We will have to wait and see what happens. Take care, Jason

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Mir November 16, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Hi
if i live in WA where do i submit my asylum application ..is it Nebraska or California..

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Jason Dzubow November 17, 2016 at 7:10 am

You have to check the instructions on the form. Another way to do it is to go to the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is at right, find your local asylum office web page, and then scroll down. It shows you where to file. Take care, Jason

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Art November 15, 2016 at 8:59 pm

Thank you so much for all this information. This frustrates everybody but at least I can rest assured that my case isn’t “lost”. I filed for asylum in March of 2014. Still waiting for interview. After 2 EAD renewals and always sweating that the card will come in time before the old one expires to prevent any issues and reading about asylum regulations and Mr. Trump is causing me an unbearable amount of stress. I started dating US citizen, we have only been dating for 5 months but the thought of marrying has crossed my mind. I entered the border as F-1 Student. What would your recommend in my situation?

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Jason Dzubow November 16, 2016 at 7:32 am

If you want to get married you should, and then she can file for your green card. However, we do not know what Mr. Trump will do, or how it will affect the asylum system, so I think there is no emergency for you to get married. I would not do that just for the green card at this point. If the asylum system take a turn for the worse, maybe that would be something to consider. Also, of course, if you decide it is time to get married because you want to, then that is great and you can apply for the green card at that time. Take care, Jason

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Art November 20, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Thank you Jason. Your website is great because you provide a lot of information and keep us at ease.

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Ramish November 15, 2016 at 7:07 pm

I filed my case in New York in 2012, since then, I received and interview date in March 2015; then a re-interview in June of the same year. After that, I have had no response. Upon inquiry by going to the office, I was told that the case is still at the officer’s table. I haven’t seen my mother or brothers in 6 years. Is there any way to expedite my case? (should I get a new lawyer?)

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Jason Dzubow November 16, 2016 at 7:26 am

I am not sure that you can expedite at this stage. And I do not know that a lawyer can help too much. You might try contacting the USCIS Ombudsman – a link is at right. Also, you should be able to travel to meet your family in a third country (not your country of feared persecution) using Advance Parole, form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov. However, if you have criminal or immigration violations, you should talk to a lawyer before you travel to make sure it is ok. Take care, Jason

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Ade November 11, 2016 at 11:53 am

Thanks Jason for the insight, I have been clueless about this asylum interview since I came in to the U.S, I file an asylum application with the New Jersey asylum office February 2015, do you have an idea when my interview date might be? It’s just an endless wait

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Jason Dzubow November 11, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is at right. It will give you a very rough idea about the wait. If you have a health problem or separation from family, you can request that they expedite your case and that sometimes works. Take care, Jason

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Gulsara November 5, 2016 at 8:55 pm

Hi Jason,

I have filed for asylum about 3 years ago, and still was not called for initial interview. Is this normal if I applied later than 1 year (applied in 3rd year due to medical reasons)? How can I check what is going on?

thank you

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Jason Dzubow November 6, 2016 at 11:32 am

If you applied for asylum late, it should have no effect on when your interview is scheduled. You should check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin (a link is at right) and if your case was filed prior to the date listed for your asylum office, it means your case was skipped for some reason. If that happened, you should contact your asylum office to tell them. Hopefully, they can help. You can find contact info for the Asylum Office if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Nico November 4, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Hi Jason!
First of all thank you so much for the work that you have done helping us the asylum seekers with the information that you share. I have a specific question which I think you have already addressed but I couldn’t find it in archives.
So, here is the situation. I filed case in September 2014 at Chicago. In August 2015 I moved the case to Arlington. When you move the case to another office, does the waiting time starts over again?
The waiting time at Arlington is 4-5 months less than at Chicago according to bulletin, does that mean when you move your case to an office which is faster that will reduce the waiting time relatively to the one where you originally filed? And when approximately do you think I will get the interview with current pace?

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Jason Dzubow November 6, 2016 at 11:24 am

If you move your case, you should keep your place in the queue. In other words, it should be the same as if you originally filed the case in Arlington. You may want to contact Arlington to make sure your case has been transferred and is in the queue. You can find contact info for the Asylum Office if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Nico November 6, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Thank you so much one more time!

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Sal November 2, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Hi Jason!

Thank you for being always there to help.

My question is: What if I get divorced from the affirmative asylum applicant? We are not together for a couple months now, still married and just holding on for the case. We will apply soon for a second work permit but it costs $380 each, no interview date yet. Pending almost 2 years now…

I’m seeing someone who doesn’t like the fact I’m married but I’m afraid of consequences if I divorce. What’s going to be my status then? What if I marry a USC after being divorced from an asylum applicant?

It is also known that my previous marriage is same-sex but in good faith, was together for many years. We applied under the particular social group category, but things changed in life… now I’m dating the opposite sex.

Also what’s going to happen with the affirmative asylum applicant? (my spouse)
Will they ever get any other options to obtain status or there are heavy consequences? This situation is really confusing and hard to make a decision… whether stick to the case or choose what we want.

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Sal November 2, 2016 at 12:15 pm

I meant my current marriage, wrong word use.

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Sal November 2, 2016 at 12:55 pm

We have an attorney since the beginning…

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Sal November 2, 2016 at 1:22 pm

But I’m afraid to ask because we haven’t talked since the filing.

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Jason Dzubow November 3, 2016 at 6:04 am

You should ask. If you do not get an answer, you need a new lawyer.

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Jason Dzubow November 3, 2016 at 6:04 am

In your asylum case, one of you is the main applicant; the other is the dependent. If you get divorced, the case for the main applicant continues, but the dependent would need to file a new case. Potentially, the dependent could try to keep their place in the queue, but maybe the case would start over from the beginning (with a very long wait). If you get divorced and marry a US citizen, you can probably get your green card that way, assuming you are eligible (for example, people who entered the US without inspection are generally not eligible, and there are other situations where the person is not eligible too – talk to a lawyer about that to see if it applies to you). Of course, if you filed for asylum based on sexual orientation and now you are marrying a person of the opposite sex, it may raise issues about whether the case was fraudulent. I think you will need to be prepared to explain this, but if you can explain, it should not block you from getting a green card. Take care, Jason

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Sal November 3, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Thank you for your answers! It really did help a lot.
Keep up the good work!

I’ll talk to my attorney also.

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Hyme November 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Hello Jason,
I’m located in New York, Long Island and I will have my 150 days waiting for EAD application on November 25th, 2016. It will be my first application. How long it could take me before having the card? Will I have to do another fingerprints? Also, it is a problem if at this time my mother apply for a tourist visa? I really hope to see her a day. It’s painful to wait for an undetermined period of time.

Thank you for the answer.

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Jason Dzubow November 2, 2016 at 6:25 am

It can take up to 4 months to get the card. Most people are fingerprinted. Your mother can apply for a tourist visa, but the fact that you are seeking asylum may make it more difficult for her to get a visa. She should prepare as strong an application as possible, and maybe she wants to talk to a lawyer who helps with non-immigrant visas to make sure she submits a strong application. Take care, Jason

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Hyme November 3, 2016 at 12:50 am

Thank you Jason,

by the way does it possible that the same lawyer who working on my case could also help my mother on her tourist visa?

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Jason Dzubow November 3, 2016 at 6:26 am

Maybe. I usually do not do tourist visas, but some lawyers do all types of immigration cases. Also, sometimes, there is another lawyer in the same firm who can help, or maybe your lawyer can recommend someone. Take care, Jason

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Sara November 1, 2016 at 10:55 am

Hello Jason,
From your experience, if i apply for the short list in the Arlington Office, how many months approximately is the wait time?

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Jason Dzubow November 2, 2016 at 6:23 am

I do not remember, but it is quite a while. I do not think there is much difference between the short list and the regular queue, but there is no harm in applying for it – you may get an interview faster than if you do not put your name on the list. Take care, Jason

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Shando November 2, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Hi Sara,

I know people and closest friend of mine who applied for shortlist as of January 2016 and get interviewed in July 2016.

I have another friend who applied for shortlist in April 2016 and is still waiting for interview.

I encourage you to apply for shortlist for your benefit and also Asylum office can use its slot of opening to reduce one backlogged case.

Tks

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Mohamed Y saleh October 31, 2016 at 8:11 pm

My case pending since last interview at march 2014 . I tried a lot of time to ask about the update about my case with Arlington office.
The told me by email (Your case is still undergoing routine background checks. Once those checks are completed, we will issue your decision, which we will send you by mail.) every time they says background chack . But this time the routine is means that is everything going normal and it’s the last one ?

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Jason Dzubow November 1, 2016 at 6:21 am

We see this a lot, especially for people from primarily Muslim countries. It is not possible to predict the waiting time, and there is not much value in trying to interpret the wording of their statements, as these seem to be somewhat random. You might try making an inquiry with the USCIS Ombudsman (a link is at right). Maybe they can give you some more info about the status of the case. Good luck, Jason

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Nick October 31, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Hi Jason
I have filled asylum application with newyork asylum office in may 2016 now my 150 days r complete in Nov so can I apply for work permit after a 150 days or I have to apply after 180 days ND 2nd question is how long they vl take to send me the work permit ?they vl send me any letter frst that my work permit has been approved or they have recieved my application as u know newyork asylum office is the fastest one I hope that they send EAD fast to.

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Nick October 31, 2016 at 3:27 pm

This vl b my first EAD it vl b of 1 year or 2 year ??

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2016 at 4:45 pm

The EAD should be for 2 years. You can apply after 150 days. You should get a receipt in less than 4 weeks, then a fingerprint appointment, and then the EAD card. The first EAD application is free if it is based on asylum pending. Take care, Jason

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Nick November 1, 2016 at 12:07 am

ND how long they vl take to send the EAD 2 months ??

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Jason Dzubow November 1, 2016 at 6:23 am

We are seeing EADs take up to 4 months.

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SM October 31, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Hi Jason

Thankyou so much for the help to many people asking you questions. If a spouse derivative of an asylee worked without authorization before grant of asylum, could they have problem when adjusting status to permanent resident?

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2016 at 4:44 pm

We have never seen that. Sometimes, USCIS can cause trouble for minor infractions, but I do not think this would be an issue; at least I have never seen that. Take care, Jason

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Jane Tsyn October 31, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Hello, Jason!

My name is Evgenia. Could you please give me an advice on my case?
I filed for an asylum in 2013. Never got an interview there. While I was waiting, I got an EAD 2 times. Still no interview.
And then I moved to Chicago in 2015. I got an interview on June 1, 2016.
My questions are – How long do I have to wait to apply for a new EAD? Do I have to pay a fee to get a new EAD here in Chicago?
Thank you for your time, Jason!

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2016 at 4:36 pm

If your case is still pending, you have to pay the fee when you renew (or file for a fee waiver, form I-912, available at http://www.uscis.gov). I recommend you file 120 days before your old EAD expires. If you win your case, you should get a new EAD at no charge. Take care, Jason

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Rich October 31, 2016 at 12:15 am

Jason, does Arlington officd has one short-list? What about New jersey?

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2016 at 6:39 am

Arlington does. NJ, I think does, but I am not sure. You would have to contact them to ask. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Rich October 31, 2016 at 11:51 am

Jason, is it true rhat if u transfer your case from one office to another then they will put your case in the end of the line?can you just explain how to transfer the case?thank you!

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2016 at 4:33 pm

USCIS says that this is not true. Supposedly, if you move to a new office, you keep your place in the queue. If you move, I recommend that you follow up with the old and new asylum offices to make sure the case is transferred and you keep your place in line. Of course, you also have to file the change of address form, AR-11. Contact info for the asylum offices can be found if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Rich October 31, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Can you explain to us how do sub-offices work?
I know that they are conected to main office, but do they have they are own case load or line? Do you know something about boston sub office? I only know that it’s conected to NJ office.

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2016 at 4:42 pm

They are offices where the Asylum Officers go to do interviews. The purpose is to make it easier for applicants, so they do not have to travel so far. However, given the long delays, they do not make as much sense now as they did before the backlog. People would probably rather get a sooner interview, even if that means traveling some distance. If you live in the Boston area, you will likely be interviewed there. I do not think you have a choice about it, and it is probably slower thank the main office in NJ.

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Daniel October 29, 2016 at 9:08 pm

I think there has to be something more going on than credible fear interviews and asylum officer turnover. Both of those would explain why relatively few affirmative applications are being interviewed. But look at the statistics the asylum office is putting out. Supposedly, Arlington completed 367 cases in June 2016. (https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Outreach/Upcoming%20National%20Engagements/PED_AsylumStatsJune2016.pdf, page 5). In January, 2014, 364 cases were filed in Arlington. (https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Outreach/Notes%20from%20Previous%20Engagements/AffirmativeAsylum_JanuaryFebruaryMarch2014.pdf, on page 2). So even if every single one of the January 2014 applications had been put in the backlog, Arlington should have completed all 364 of them in June of this year. But they’ve been stuck on January 2014 through July, August and September too.

If I’m reading this right, CFIs aren’t included in the 367 cases “completed” in June 2016. For example, 128 cases are listed as “approved.” Of course the Arlington Asylum Office can’t approve a CFI interviewee’s asylum claim; only an immigration court can do that. Then 177 are listed as being “referred” after an interview. But CFI folks aren’t referred by the Asylum Office; ICE gives them their NTA.

I guess some of those 367 cases completed were affirmative cases recently filed by kids under 21; kids under 21 jump the line per USCIS policy. But are there enough of those kinds of cases to explain the office being stuck on January 2014 applications for four months?

Another possibility (just speculating here): in June Arlington jumped from October 2013 applications all the way to January 2014 applications. Maybe they had actually finished with the October applications long ago and just hadn’t got around to updating the scheduling bulletin. So possibly now Arlingotn may have worked its way well into February or March 2014 applications, but they again haven’t updated the scheduling bulletin.

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2016 at 6:33 am

This is a very interesting point. My guess (based on what I’ve seen in Arlington and my talks with others who practice there) is that there are a lot of unaccompanied minor cases and this is the reason the Scheduling Bulletin is not advancing. It may also be that they do not update it as frequently as they should, but we are not seeing interview notices issued for our cases beyond January 2014. This would be a great question to raise at the ZAR liaison meeting, and my guess is that they would be able to explain what is happening. If we go (a big “if” at this point, as we are too busy), we will ask. Take care, Jason

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Elena February 16, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Jason, based on your experience, do you see any interviews now for applications filed after February 2014?

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 7:26 am

In the Arlington, VA office, we are seeing only interviews for expedited cases and cases filed in January 2014. I do not think any of our client from February 2014 have been interviewed yet. Take care, Jason

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Elena February 17, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Thank you for the update, Jason. So, Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin is pretty much correct.

Kargay October 29, 2016 at 2:53 am

Hi Jason,
Do you have an idea about the practical wait time for first time EAD applicants in the Chicago office?

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Zac October 29, 2016 at 7:54 pm

4 months

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2016 at 6:23 am

I do not remember, but I think my clients have waited 3 to 4 months. Take care, Jason

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Anees October 28, 2016 at 2:43 pm

Hello Jason,

Thanks for all the helpful information! i have been granted asylum finally after 2 almost years after the interview, i have a wife and son overseas and i want to apply for i 730 petition to bring them, do you have any ideas about the time frame for the processing and is it possible to be expedite it? since they are living in dangerous zone and my son is growing up without me?

Best Regards

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2016 at 6:19 am

You can ask to expedite, but I do not know that they will. We have found the processing time to be very unpredictable, but generally fairly fast (at least when compared with asylum). The I-730 takes 1 to 4 months. The embassy processing takes another few months. We have done the whole process (I-730 and embassy) in as fast as 3 months, but usually it is not that fast. Take care, Jason

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Harmony October 27, 2016 at 10:33 pm

Mmmh,very interesting article Jason..The good part is EAD will be for 2yrs rather than a year.However,this wont change the fact that the backlog is piling up despite efforts to curb it by employing asylum officers.I applied for short list in July 2016,is there a way i can check when i am scheduled for an interview or check the status of my application?

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Jason Dzubow October 28, 2016 at 6:22 am

You can check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin (a link is at right) to see who is being interviewed in your local office now. As for the short list, probably you can contact the asylum office to ask where they are on the list. For example, maybe they will say “We are current interviewing people who put their names on the short list in June 2016.” This would mean your interview is coming up soon (hopefully). You can find contact info for the asylum office if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Harmony October 28, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Your assistance is greatly appreciated

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Izzac October 27, 2016 at 1:09 am

Hi jason
Thanks again and again for your information, i have grant adylun and i should apply for green card soon , am married and have 2 kids i apply for them i-730 my q is that i have ny mom she is 68 years old, all my brothers out side my country she is gonna be alone after my kids come here , is thefe any way to apply for her for green card or vist ?
Thanks for your concern

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Jason Dzubow October 27, 2016 at 6:36 am

She can apply for a visitor’s visa, though it is difficult to get. You cannot petition for her, if that is your question. Only a US citizen can petition for a parent. Maybe she has other ways to come to the US (other relatives, job, student visa, for example), but most likely, she will need to get Sa visitor’s visa. Take care, Jason

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L October 28, 2016 at 7:03 pm

Depending on her nationality, if she is outside her home country she might be eligible for P-3 refugee resettlement to the United States. That would require her son/daughter to initiate it via an Affidavit of Relationship filed through a resettlement agency in the United States: http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/us-family-reunification.html

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2016 at 4:24 pm

Great – Thank you, Jason

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rsv October 26, 2016 at 10:11 pm

Hello Sir, Nice article. As you have mentioned several times throughout your articles another thing asylum offices must do is to start considering the requests for expedite interviews for those who have been separated from their families for so long now.

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Jason Dzubow October 27, 2016 at 6:33 am

It would be nice if they did that. You can ask to expedite based on family separation. Sometimes it works; sometimes, it does not. Take care, Jason

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Tareq October 26, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Hi Jason,

The problem is not only the slow process, the problem is mainly in the lack of clear and strict to assign interview scheduling for category 3 (All other pending affirmative asylum applications in the order they were received, with oldest cases scheduled first). I know people applied at the same time as me or even after me and to the same asylum office and yet they got their interview before me. This is not fair! Either treat every one fairly or find another way to handle the applications! I even sent a request for urgent interview scheduling more than three weeks ago and I didn’t even got a response yet!

Thanks for your efforts in this post.

Tareq

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Jason Dzubow October 27, 2016 at 11:11 am

The system changed in December 2014, and since then, the Asylum Office (supposedly) interviews category 3 cases in the order received. As for your expedite request, at least at my local asylum office (Virginia), they usually respond in a month or so. If not, you can contact them to follow up. Take care, Jason

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Tareq October 27, 2016 at 11:42 am

I applied in July 2015, after the system changed, and I was aware of the change. But what is driving me crazy is that some people applied in July 2015, and one person in October 2015, and they were interviewed couple of months ago! And they all fall under category 3! This is totally unfair and unprofessional! I do understand the pressure on them, but I expect fairness in return, not random interviewing process.
Regarding the expedite request, I will wait for another week and then I will call them.
Thanks Jason!

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Tom October 27, 2016 at 12:17 pm

I’ve seen that happen too. But the thing is some people were put on the short list or requested to expedite their cases. Or just bad luck. It really helps just not think about it and let it go…

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Tareq October 27, 2016 at 12:59 pm

If they have a solid and clear criteria, why they make a shortlist? The people I am talking about did not request any expedite. But as you said, there is a short list, or “the good luck list”! This is just not professional! I really wish if I can’t think about it, but I am loosing a lot of opportunities because I am a pending asylum! I am going through a serious hardship! Work permit is not always enough to advance in your education or career, especially if you have a family, and your spouse go to school!

Jason Dzubow October 28, 2016 at 6:00 am

I have not seen that except in cases where people expedited or where there was some other reason (like the person got into some trouble with USCIS somehow). My guess is that something happened to cause those cases to get interviewed sooner, but who knows? The system is a mess, and so unpredictable things can happen. Take care, Jason

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Ray October 27, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Same with me, We are 3 families lived at same house in our home country, with same story…even we are living now at same address in California. we all filed on Jan 2014. My brother got his Asylum interview on 08/30/2016, and we are still waiting, even i know people filed on Feb and May 2014 also got their interviews on October 2016.
when i call them “the LA office”, they saying that they are working on 2011/2012 cases!!!!
Strange…ha??? i couldnt understand how they work, because when they say each case has its own conditions that which make them choose it… i know very well its away from truth… because our 3-cases are all the same and i have a family and 2 kids just like my bro, we both work, we both pay taxes..etc
So, if they were picked my dad’s case instead of mine and my bro, then I can understand that because my dad is almost 85 y.o and lost his left eye due to diabetes and the other eye is only 40% active (according to medical report that I already sent to them one year ago to expedite his interview)…..

Can anyone explain what is happening??????????

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Jason Dzubow October 28, 2016 at 6:08 am

The process changed at the end of 2014, and after that, USCIS should be interviewing cases in the order received. Before that, it was random luck whether a case was interviewed or sent to the “backlog”. You can check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin (a link is at right) to see who is being interviewed in your local office. If they have passed your filing date on that chart, you should contact them and tell them. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Ray October 28, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Jason,
i think u didnt recognized the dates of interviews I mentioned… they all after the process is changed (2016)…thats what makes me confused…..
Thank you

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2016 at 6:17 am

Then I am not sure of the explanation – other than what I wrote. Maybe contact the asylum office to inquire about your case. Take care, Jason

Ray October 31, 2016 at 2:02 pm

i already did many times and they answered that they are working on cases filed on 2011/2012!!!!
You know, there is no chance to discuss any thing with them ….its just like “question?” and “this is the answer” …thats it.

Lack of transparency and completely unfair…
Anyway, thanks for your explanation..

LC October 26, 2016 at 8:56 am

I applied for asylum and made sure to keep my F 1 status for 2 years ! Took ASVAB, OPI ( French) interview, intensive health and physical tests. The Program closed after I swore !! No date known for reopen the program

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Dinberu October 26, 2016 at 5:33 am

Thank you Jaso. We will translate this to Amharic and share it among Amharic speaking asylum applicants.

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Jason Dzubow October 26, 2016 at 6:37 am

Amasagenalu! Jason

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Fedel October 25, 2016 at 9:32 pm

Hi Jason.
I had my interview on may 2016. I got a notice to have my second finger print. From your experience, do you what is that for? I know people who got their cases now delayed for 2 years or more but still haven’t done any second finger printing.
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow October 26, 2016 at 6:33 am

Many of our clients get a second FP notice. Sometimes, a decision follows this; other times, it does not. The FP expire after a certain period of time, and for this reason, they require a new appointment. The rules related to this keep changing, and so that may explain why you received a notice and another person did not. In any case, I think it is nothing to worry about. You just have to get them done. Take care, Jason

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Tyrone October 25, 2016 at 7:52 pm

I applied for asylum but have not sent any supporting evidence only mailed in the I-589 form. My 150 days since I submitted it is now here. Am I apply for the EAD even though I have not submitted evidence and submit the evidence after or Do I have to submit the evidence first

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Jason Dzubow October 26, 2016 at 6:31 am

You can apply for the EAD. It is not related to evidence. You have to submit the evidence before your interview. In my local office (Virginia), the evidence must be submitted at least a week before the interview, but different offices may have different rules. You can always contact your local 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

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LC October 25, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Great Article ! Hey Jason ! 2 weeks before my asylum interview I joined the Army Mavni program ! So I went to the asylum interview after signing with Army and I think the Army already started my background check before send me to he basic training but it may take a year from now to finish ! My interview asylum interview was 8/24/2016 but I still waiting for the decision . Do you think my asylum decision will take a long time because of Army ? I applied for renew of EAD and got a receipt yesterday ?

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alex October 25, 2016 at 3:33 pm

This is interesting, can you tell us more about joining the Mavni program? How did you hear about it? and is it hard to qualify?

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Jason Dzubow October 26, 2016 at 6:26 am

I do not know, but I suspect that the two checks are independent and one will not affect the other. Take care, Jason

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Asylum seeker October 26, 2016 at 6:28 am

LC,

How did you qualify for MAVNI in terms of legal status in the US? Was pending asylum for 2+ years enough to qualify or did you have non-immigrant status as well for 2+ years? I am talking about E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TC, TD, TN, U or V visas.

Thanks.

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LC October 26, 2016 at 8:57 am

I applied for asylum and made sure to keep my F 1 status for 2 years ! Took ASVAB, OPI ( French) interview, intensive health and physical tests. The Program closed after I swore !! No date known for reopen the program

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Jason Dzubow October 28, 2016 at 6:04 am

The “short list” does exist – not all offices have it, and sometimes it is closed. But if you contact the office and ask to be put on the list, then – if a case is canceled – they will fill that slot with a case from the short list. Part of the problem is that the short list was not really advertised, so many people did not know about it. Anyway, you could ask to put your name on the short list by contacting the asylum office.

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 5:55 pm

At least for Arlington, it is basically correct. Take care, Jason

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