DHS Is Your Friend on Facebook, Whether You “Like” It or Not

by Jason Dzubow on March 15, 2017

Following the December 2, 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, where the husband-and-wife perpetrators had purportedly become radicalized via the internet, Congress requested that the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) take steps to better investigate the social media accounts of immigrant applicants (the husband was an American-born U.S. citizen of Pakistani decent; his wife was a lawful permanent resident from Pakistan). In response, DHS established a task force and several pilot programs to expand social media screening of people seeking immigration benefits and U.S. visas. DHS also approved creation of a Social Media Center of Excellence, which would conduct social media background checks for the various DHS departments. The Center of Excellence would “set standards for social media use in relevant DHS operations while ensuring privacy and civil rights and civil liberties protections.”

The director of the Center of Excellence, Bill S. Preston, Esquire.

Last month, the DHS Office of Inspector General released a (clumsily) redacted report detailing the efficacy of DHS’s efforts and making suggestions. Due to the incomplete redaction job, it seems likely that the pilot program focused on refugees and perhaps asylum seekers, but the plan is to expand the program to cover all types of immigration benefits.

The goal of the pilot program was to help develop policies and processes for the standardized use of social media department-wide. “USCIS had previously used social media in a limited capacity, but had no experience using it as a large-scale screening tool.” The pilot program relied on manual and automated searches of social media accounts to “determine whether useful information for adjudicating refugee applications could be obtained.” It seems that the ability of DHS to investigate social media accounts was limited by technology: At the time the pilot program was launched in 2016, “neither the private sector nor the U.S. Government possessed the capabilities for large-scale social media screening.”

In one portion of the pilot program, applicants were asked to “voluntarily” give their social media user names. USCIS then “assessed identified accounts to determine whether the refugees were linked to derogatory social media information that could impact their eligibility for immigration benefits or admissibility into the United States.”

DHS has also been looking into social media, email, and other computer files of people entering or leaving the United States, including U.S. citizens, and this inquiry is far from voluntary. There have been numerous recent reports of DHS Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) agents demanding passwords for cell phones and computers. The number of people subject to such searches increased significantly at the end of the Obama Administration, and seems to be further increasing under President Trump. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the large majority of people targeted for these searches are Muslim.

All this means that DHS may be looking at your accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. to determine whether you pose a threat and (possibly) to assess your credibility. They might also gain access to your email and other information stored on your computer or your cell phone. This data could then be used to evaluate your eligibility for immigration benefits, including asylum.

On the one hand, it seems reasonable that DHS would want to look into social media and other on-line material. After all, it is well-known that terrorists rely on the internet to spread their messages, and as DHS notes, “As the threat landscape changes, so does CBP.” Also, most immigration benefits are discretionary, meaning that even if you qualify for them, the U.S. government can deny them in the exercise of discretion. Therefore, if DHS “requests” certain information as part of the application process, and the applicant fails to provide it, DHS can deny the benefit as a matter of discretion.

On the other hand, the inter-connectivity of the on-line world could yield evidence of relationships that do not actually exists. For example, one study estimates that Facebook users (all 1.6 billion of them) are connected to each other by 3.57 degrees of separation. That means there are–on average–only 3.57 people between you and Osama bin Laden (assuming he still maintains his Facebook page). But of course, it is worse than that, since there are many terrorist suspects on Facebook, not just one (Osama bin Laden). So if you are from a terrorist-producing country, it’s likely that suspected terrorists are separated from you by less than 3.57 degrees of separation. Presumably, DHS would take these metrics into account when reviewing on-line data, but you can see the problem–your on-line profile may indicate you have a relationship with someone with whom you have no relationship at all.

So what can you do to protect yourself?

First, don’t be paranoid. It’s nothing new for DHS or other government agencies to search your on-line profile. Since everything posted on-line is, at least in a sense, public, you should be discrete about what you post, and you should be aware that anyone–including the U.S. government–could be reading it.

What’s more problematic is when CBP seizes electronic devices at the border and then reviews emails and other confidential information. This is extremely intrusive and an invasion of privacy. There is also an argument that it violates the Fourth Amendment right to be free of unlawful searches, but generally, people coming and gong from the U.S. have less protection than people in the interior (though I imagine that as CBP steps up the practice, we will see lawsuits that further define Fourth Amendment rights at the border). Knowing that you could be subject to such a search at least enables you to prepare yourself. Don’t travel with devices if you don’t want them searched. Be careful what you store on your devices and in the cloud.

Also, if you think you have problematic on-line relationships or derogatory on-line information, be prepared to explain yourself and present evidence if the issue comes up.

On-line information can affect an asylum or immigration case in more subtle ways. For example, if you state in your application that you attended a protest on a particular date, make sure you got the date correct–DHS may be able to find out the date of the protest, and if your account of events does not match the on-line information, it could affect your credibility. The same is true for more personal information. For instance, if your asylum application indicates you attended high school from 1984 to 1987, that should match any available information on the internet. Mostly, this simply requires that you take care to accurately complete your immigration forms, so that there are no inconsistencies with data available on-line.

Again, it’s not really news that DHS is reviewing social media and other on-line information. It does appear that such practices will become more common, but as long as applicants are aware of what is happening, they can prepare for it.

{ 164 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam June 28, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Hello Jason,
I had my interview last week. Do you have an idea about how long usually it takes to get the decision.
Thanks.

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Helen June 12, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Hi Jason. I appreciate what you are doing. My question is I had an interview 2 months ago and the AO asked me how frequently I contact my wife and I was nervous and I said every 2 months but on Facebook I contacted her 4 days ago. Do you think that will create a problem? My other question is why does the officer told me to get my results by mail rather than in person. I think my interview was good but I didn’t get any response yet. Thank you

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Jason Dzubow June 12, 2017 at 10:11 pm

I doubt the AO knows how often you contact your wife, and it seems to me that if this was an issue, the officer would have asked you some follow-up questions. As for the mail out, it is very normal – we see it in the majority of our cases, and I think it does not mean anything good or bad about the outcome of the case. Good luck, Jason

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Helen June 13, 2017 at 10:29 am

Thank you Jason. God bless you!

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J.D. April 1, 2017 at 9:19 am

Jason I read that the government is looking into abandoning privacy protections for asylum seekers, supposedly because it only applies to citizens and permanent residents. What does this mean? Have you heard about it? And can you maybe do a blog post about it?

Thanks and keep up the good work!

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Jason Dzubow April 4, 2017 at 6:10 am

I have not heard about that, and I doubt it is true. I believe the confidentiality aspect of asylum is part of the law (or at least part of the regulations). Anyway, if that happens, I will certainly try to write about it, but I do not think it is on the agenda. Take care, Jason

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J.D. April 28, 2017 at 9:28 pm
Jason Dzubow April 30, 2017 at 10:34 am

It is an example of DHS violating confidentiality of detained immigrants in order to support the Administration’s claim that immigrants are dangerous. It does not specifically identify asylum seekers, but nevertheless, this is another concern about this Administration’s recklessness and incompetence. Take care, Jason

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Adnan March 27, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Hi Jason thanks for ur good blogs. My question is that can I do business here in USA. I have a pending asylum case before the immigration judge. I have work permit and social security. So can I do business on my pending status thanks.

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Jason Dzubow March 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm

You should be able to start a business. You have a work permit and are allowed to work legally, and you should be able to get a business license from your state. I do not think there would be a problem. Take care, Jason

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MND March 26, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Hi Jason. Could my wife expedite her asylum case if she is single Mom with 3 kids in the US, could this reason make her interview faster.

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Jason Dzubow March 27, 2017 at 10:49 am

She can try, but typical reasons to expedite are because of health problems or family separation. If she has such reasons, she can include those in her expedite request as well. Take care, Jason

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Raj March 26, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Hi Jason,
Glad to see your prompt reply to all the query posted to you. I received my EAD recently and wanted to apply for DL. Can I apply for DL from the state where I submitted my asylum application or from any state?
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow March 27, 2017 at 10:40 am

Normally, you need to be a resident of the place where you apply for your DL. It is best for your asylum case if you use the same address for your EAD, DL, and asylum case. Take care, Jason

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Brad March 22, 2017 at 10:57 pm

Dear jason
Greetings..
can you please tell when i can apply for my EAD first time from new york city. What are the basic requirements and government fee or lawers fee..

God bless you abundantly

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Jason Dzubow March 23, 2017 at 6:34 am

If it is an EAD based on asylum pending, you can apply 150 days after the asylum application was received (this date is on your asylum receipt). The first application for EAD is free, and you can find the info you need if you look at the instructions to the form I-765, available at http://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

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Brad March 24, 2017 at 12:38 am

Thanks.. Jason blessings to you

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helen March 22, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Hi Jason,

If one is granted asylum and then gets married to a non-resident, can he apply for his spouse before he gets his green card? Thanks.

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Jason Dzubow March 23, 2017 at 6:28 am

If you are married before you win asylum, you can apply for the spouse. But if you are married after you’ve won asylum, you have to wait until you have a green card to file for your spouse, and them there is a waiting period of about 1.5 years. Take care, Jason

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JN March 22, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Hi Jason,
Thank you for all your help to so many people!
I would like to ask for your advise. I’ve been waiting form my decision for a long time and wanted to make an inquiry about my case status. I’ve sent several email messages withing several weeks to the official email address of my Asylum office and my requests were ignored – no answer except an automated messages that they will respond me later. I called them – they do not pick up the phone and never give an option to leave a message. I understand that we have a zero priority as asylum applicants, so my question should I continue sending my email requests? Are there any other methods to reach them remotely?

Thank you!

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Jason Dzubow March 23, 2017 at 6:23 am

They should get back to you by email, but it sometimes takes several week. You can find their email address if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. If not, you can go in person to inquire. If nothing is working, you can also contact the USCIS Ombudsman, a link is at right, and maybe get some info from them that way. Take care, Jason

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JN March 23, 2017 at 9:56 am

Thank you so much, Jason!

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XY March 22, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Hi Jason
Hope u fine and doing well.
Today was my interview on 8:30 Am, after 772 days delay (waiting period) . I left home at 5:30 that I can arrive one and half hour earlier and find a parking spot and etc… I really was serious about it since it was my life’s important event.
Look at my bad luck, I got stuck on traffic on Bay-bridge for 1 hour and 40 minutes😢. This traffic jam was harder than the 2 years wait for the interview.
When I arrived to the asylum office, it was 8:50, 20 minutes late.
They gave me a form signed “reschedule authorized” by USCIS officer , I also signed that form. They gave me and my lawyer one one copy of it. And told me that I will receive the date for the interview by mail.
Now I am very much worried. How long it takes to receive the date for the next interview? Or they would put me on backlog for some more years? 🤒😢
It s mentionable that the form contains:
USCIS rescheduled the interview, Applicant arrived late
And
Reschedule authorized by ( USCIS officer signature).
Thanks

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XY March 22, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Interview was in San Francisco asylum office.

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JN March 22, 2017 at 2:44 pm

I would advise you to hire a different attorney (additional $1000) but never miss the chance to get your interview.

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JN March 22, 2017 at 2:46 pm

sorry, it was not for you…

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XY March 22, 2017 at 2:50 pm

I appeared to the interview late. It was my fault, my attorney was waiting for me in asylum office, he was on time.
Anyway, asylum office gave me an interview reschedule form signed or authorized by a USCIS officer. And told me that I will get the notice on mail, but didn’t tell me when?
Now I am just very much worried that normally how long it would take to receive the notice or they simply put me on a backlog for some more years😢
Have u and other guys any solid idea.

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Jason Dzubow March 23, 2017 at 6:25 am

I really do not think you should worry too much. Most asylum offices reschedule interviews pretty quickly. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow March 23, 2017 at 6:21 am

I am a little surprised that they rescheduled if you were only 20 minutes late. Anyway, they should reschedule you in a few weeks. Maybe next time, you can stay in a hotel closer to the asylum office. Hopefully, you will have your new interview soon. Good luck, Jason

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XY March 23, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Thank you, Jason

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YL March 25, 2017 at 1:41 am

Hello everybody, Mr XY i had a similar scenario to what happened to you. I waited 27 mounths to receive an interview letter, i got well prepared since i had to travel to the city where the asylum office is located. But i received another letter cancelling the interview ( i’m now sur it was due to a severe weather in that area at that time). I was going insane about it but guess what, 5 days later receive a third letter rescheduiling my interview to only 20 days after the initial one and i got approved and i have GC now, going to school (i’m actually practicing my writing class in this comment..lol). So just seat back and relax you will get it soon. Take care

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XY March 25, 2017 at 2:02 am

Thank u, Mr YL, happy to hear your story. I hope to get the notice this week and approval next month after the interview🙌. This blog is a unique platform not just to practice English but to practice immigration law, we are almost half of a lawyer. Lol
And yh, this spring I also started going to school, luckily I was approved for the instate tuition and later on got the fee waiver too. Things going well, but still having pending asylum somehow disturb the process to better settle and focus on other goals.
Good luck

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Ricky March 22, 2017 at 2:39 pm

i have pending asylum here from last one
and half year my parents want to visit here in usa to meet me if they apply tourist visa from my home country can they get visa just want to can embassy denied them visa because i m seeking asylum in usa ..

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Jason Dzubow March 23, 2017 at 6:19 am

The fact that you are seeking asylum may make it more difficult for your parents to get a US visa, but they can try, and hopefully, they will get it. Take care, Jason

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Ricky March 23, 2017 at 10:03 pm

does embassy knows that i m illegally staying in USA. i want to know jason if my parents apply for tourist visa .. thanks waiting for ur reply

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Jason Dzubow March 24, 2017 at 6:41 am

I would not be surprised if they know, and I recommend that visa applicants do not try to hide the fact that their relative is in the US. If they try to hide it and the embassy knows, which is likely, they will most likely be denied the visa for lying. Take care, Jason

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Jimi March 22, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Hi dear Jason,

Hope you are doing great, I really appreciate your help through think and thin, I have a question , I have interview on 3/28/2017, my attorney went to vacation and came today, she call me that I should reschedule my interview because she has other clients in who has interview at the time frame, she was trying to convince me that I will get my interview again in 6 weeks, I talk to my few friends they had same situation like I am experiencing for rescheduling they inform me they had to wait for 3 years after rescheduling interview, I call again my attorney that I want to go for interview and she told me that I am doing mistake and she won’t be available to prepare me for interview. I am really worried about now, what should I do beside rescheduling my interview?
I am in touch situation I gave her money which she asked me to give, now before few days she is trying to reschedule my interview why not others? Why should I do please help me…

thanks

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Jason Dzubow March 23, 2017 at 6:18 am

Lawyers do not have control over when an interview is scheduled, so that part is not her fault. And I would expect that if the interview is rescheduled, you will only wait a few weeks. However, I understand why you want to go forward. Is there no other lawyer in her office to go with you? Does she have a lawyer friend who can cover the interview for her? The most important part of the Lawyer’s job is preparing all the documents and practicing with you for the interview. If she can do that for you, you can attend the interview with a different lawyer and it won’t make much difference since the lawyer does very little at an asylum interview. So as long as she can get you ready, maybe you can attend the interview with a different lawyer. Good luck, Jason

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Elyas March 22, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Hi dea jason

Appreciate your answer as always

Im an a pending asylum in USA based in virginia

I have few questions

1- can I buy house with my current status i have driving license and workpermit and social security

2- its been 14 month since i applied how to put my case in expedition process – does it has any special form to fill or i should go to arlington office in person and what are other procedure to follow? I don Have lawyer that’s why if you could guide me

3- my work permit will expire in August and my driving license expire in june and i have read somewhere that dmv will not issues n re new ur license until u dont provide them the original one! And you know it take 4 month until you receive the second workpermit- can the reciept work if i dont have d original workpermit in hand in June while going for renewing for my driving license

Thanks you soo mucg

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Jason Dzubow March 23, 2017 at 6:11 am

1 – yes; 2 – Contact the asylum office and ask them the process. They should be able to send you the form and instructions. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator; 3 – The receipt should now work to help you renew the license. Take care, Jason

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Tanvir Uddin March 22, 2017 at 1:14 am

Hi Jason, Just a small and very crucial question:

After sending i-589 application, I heard that some applicant are being called within 3 or 6 months for hearing. But in the Bulletin the backlog for New York is about 2 years.

1. Is this the reason that the application is too weak so that the Asylum office wants to dismiss that application quickly without keeping that into backlog?

2. Shall someone need to send i-589 application and his full declaration/statement at the same time? or he can send it before hearing?

Thank you and will appreciate your answer.

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Jason Dzubow March 22, 2017 at 6:26 am

1 – I have not heard of such a thing; how could the asylum office know a particular case is weak without closely reviewing it? I just don’t think it is possible to do such a review. 2 – We send the I-589 in the beginning, and closer to the interview date, we submit the evidence and the declaration. Finally, I have not heard of cases being interviewed in 3 to 6 months, unless they are special priority cases like unaccompanied minors. Take care, Jason

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Tanvir Uddin March 23, 2017 at 12:30 am

Thank you and God Bless you.

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Helen June 12, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Jason my case was interviewed in 3 months but I am not minor

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Jason Dzubow June 12, 2017 at 10:13 pm

Maybe there is some other reason that USCIS gave your case priority – it is high profile, they want to keep closer track of you, you have Interpol alert on your name, etc. Or maybe there is no reason at all and it is just a random (but rare) event. I do not know. Take care, Jason

Asylee March 22, 2017 at 12:33 am

Hi –

The asylee green card is similar to normal green card or there is anything written on it like asylee etc?

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Jason Dzubow March 22, 2017 at 6:22 am

There is a code on the green card that indicates it was based on asylum. You would have to know the code, but it is easy enough to figure out if you look at the USCIS website. Take care, Jason

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Eggward March 21, 2017 at 10:22 am

Jason,

Thank you so much for your articles!
Do you know if unauthorized employment has any effect on Adjustment of Status of a granted asylee?
The asylee was a minor at the time of unauthorized employment (if that makes any difference).

Appreciate your help! Thank you 🙂

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Jason Dzubow March 21, 2017 at 3:56 pm

We have never had one of our clients face a problem due to unauthorized employment under those circumstances, and I have not heard about that ever being an issue. Take care, Jason

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Eggward March 23, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Jason,

Thank you for your response!
The reason I am asking is because I worked for over 180 days and from what I read in the ‘Chapter 6 – Unauthorized Employment – INA 245(c)(2) and INA 245(c)(8)’ it says that an alien is not eligible if they have worked without authorization.
I am really scared and I keep doing looking around documents so see if there’s any exception.

Thank you so much!!

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Jason Dzubow March 24, 2017 at 6:19 am

You will just have to see what happens when you apply, but like I say, I have never seen that to be a problem. Take care, Jason

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Eggward March 24, 2017 at 10:13 am

*Fingers crossed*
Thank you, Jason! Hope there will be no problem like you said 🙂

MAZ March 21, 2017 at 12:56 am

My case is pending at NY office for 30 months

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MAZ March 21, 2017 at 12:48 am

Hi, JK

Congratulation on your Asylum win, can you please share your case time line and which office did you applied to, thanks

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Jk March 22, 2017 at 12:53 am

Filed my Application in Augustin 2015 Houston TX
interview 8/25/2016 in New Orleans Louisina
final Approval was 2/22/17
Letter of approval with I 94 at 3/11/2017

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MAZ March 22, 2017 at 1:16 am

Thanks and wish you a happy life

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Jk March 20, 2017 at 10:43 pm

Got my asylum approved letter 3/11/2017 then got my unrestricted social security today !! Don’t give up you will hear good news soon !!

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Jk March 20, 2017 at 10:48 pm

Catholic charity wanted to offer me food stamp, monthly salary and medical benefit but i have arleady been working 2 jobs i don’t really those ! The only thing that i would accept would be a school help !! Praying for y’all !!

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Therese March 21, 2017 at 12:37 am

May i ask when you applied and did you have you case expedited? Thanks and congrats!

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Jk March 22, 2017 at 12:51 am

Filed my Application in Augustin 2015 Houston TX
interview 8/25/2016 in New Orleans Louisina
final Approval was 2/22/17
Letter of approval with I 94 at 3/11/2017

On 2/10/2017 i sent a letter to the office just to check my case status !!

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Jason Dzubow March 21, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Congratulations! Jason

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Jk March 22, 2017 at 12:53 am

Thank you Jason ! You have been doing a great job of helping all of us ! We really appreciate your help !!

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alex March 22, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Can u say what country u r from? I waited years after the interview and it was eventually denied. (I’m Syrian)

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Jk March 23, 2017 at 12:01 am

I am from Eastern African Countries !!

A March 20, 2017 at 9:21 am

Thank you for you help us.
Please I have question, I applied for a work permit, in the first week of March, after he completed six months from the date of applying for asylum in September. Two days ago received Form I 797, stating that my order was received in the processing mode, do I need to do something? Are there any other steps that are required of me? Or they will be sent to Work Permit me then? And if so, when it is expects i receive it?
Thank you very much

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Jason Dzubow March 20, 2017 at 12:36 pm

USCIS will contact you if they need more info, or if everything is fine, they will send you the card. It normally takes 2 to 4 months. Take care, Jason

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Suburban March 20, 2017 at 5:26 am

Hello Jason

I noticed that I filed i589 without indicating my brother in the form. Is it critical if such info is missing in the form? and how can I rectify this problem later? I thought I could send a letter saying that I made a mistake. Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow March 20, 2017 at 12:34 pm

You can submit a letter explaining the mistake. Also, at the asylum interview, you can correct the error, though it would not hurt to tell them in advance about the mistake by letter. Take care, Jason

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增达网QQ-33092290 March 20, 2017 at 4:31 am

真是时光荏苒!

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Jason Dzubow March 20, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Time stays. We go…

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Tigger March 24, 2017 at 12:36 am

时间停留 我们去…

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Al March 20, 2017 at 2:11 am

Hi Jason and my fellow asylum seekers,

I want to share my timeline, maybe it would be helpful here to somebody. I applied for asylum in November 2014 in Miami office. In the summer 2015, I made a request to expedite my case and to add me in the short list. I received the answer that my reasons for expedition of the case is not sufficient enough and Miami office do not have a “short list”. But then miracle happened and in October 2016 I received a call from Miami office with question if I would be able to make an interview at the end of October, of course I sad yes. In November 8 (election day with sad results) I received recommended approval. At the same time I applied for college and the amount of tuition depends on asylum decision, which I wrote about in the new letter to Miami asylum office. I also came and talk with people in Miami office three times in November and December 2016. Each time I was really nice and secretaries always talked with officers about my case. Finally, at the end of December I received my letter with asylum granted.

In conclusion, I would say to people who want to get their asylum case faster – do not give up. Write to the asylum offices about why you case is different than others, be extremely polite and nice to the people who work there, but also be persistent in the goal that you are trying to achieve. Good luck!

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Jason Dzubow March 20, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Thank you for sharing – and congratulations on winning your case, Jason

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Sarah March 19, 2017 at 8:46 pm

Hello!

I’m from an Eastern European country. Does anyone here know what is the approximate time of waiting for the decision after interview? My case is pending decision perhaps because of background check so I’m wondering what is the typical/approximate time that I will be waiting.

Thank you!

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HA March 20, 2017 at 1:19 am

What asylum office is your?
I waited 22 month in LA after the interview,
I know people had to wait few weeks only.

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Sarah March 20, 2017 at 9:34 am

San Francisco. I hope this one will work faster? I’m waiting for about 6 weeks by now…..

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HA March 21, 2017 at 3:46 am

Good luck, San Francisco processing cases faster than all other offices, hopefully you’ve I’ll hear a good news soon, are you Ukrainian?

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Jason Dzubow March 20, 2017 at 12:16 pm

There is no typical waiting period. However, usually for people from non-Muslim countries, it is faster. And usually for women, it is faster. Take care, Jason

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Sarah March 20, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Thank you so much, Jason!

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Sadu Sado March 19, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Hi Jason!
Thanks for all your efforts.
I have a pending asylum case. I have had an interview and waiting for a decision from USCIS. I want to know whether traveling to other States to visit friends(short period) is considered as changing an address or not. Am I supposed to inform the USCIS about my travel?

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Jason Dzubow March 20, 2017 at 6:44 am

Short visits to other states do not change your address, assuming you keep your permanent address and have your driver’s license, bills, and other documents attached to the permanent address. So you would not need to file a change of address form in that case. Take care, Jason

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Thomas March 19, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Hi Jason,
I hope you’re doing well.
One of my friends who has a pending asylum case and legal work permit in the US got detained by ICE due to his visa overstay traveling domestically by plane. The guy has had no criminal records whatsoever and applied for asylum within a one-year period. He was put into a ICE jail…

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Jason Dzubow March 20, 2017 at 6:41 am

That is bad news – Does he have a lawyer? If not, there may be organizations that can take this case without a fee. Let me know and I might be able to put his family in touch with such a group, as that is a very bad development – So far, I had expected ICE to leave asylum seekers alone, but maybe this is a bad sign. Anyway, let me know if he needs a referral to a lawyer. Thank you, Jason

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Thomas March 20, 2017 at 11:59 am

Thank you very much Jason for your help and reply.
His attorney is working on his case now, including one organization. But we do not know what to expect. It seems like he was put into a immigration jail, where people are waiting to get deported. Are they going to deport him? What should we expect?

Take care,

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Jason Dzubow March 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm

I would highly encourage his attorney to contact AILA about this (American Immigration Lawyer’s Association). We need to learn what happened and why. The person himself cannot simply be deported. He must be given a chance to present his asylum case, but it is of great concern when the government detains asylum seekers for no reason. I hope his lawyer will report it to AILA. Take care, Jason

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HA March 21, 2017 at 3:49 am

Keep us updated, hopefully they release him soon.

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James March 20, 2017 at 9:46 pm

I have legally filed my asylum and recently got EAD and SSN. And I was getting ready to fly to attend interviews in different states, as per Mr. Jason’s positive response on my request one week back.

But, after reading Mr. Thomas’s friend’s experience, I lost my confidence !!!

And I don’t know now how to attend such face to face job interview calls from other states.

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Jason Dzubow March 21, 2017 at 3:44 pm

I have inquired with other lawyers about this issue, and no one has informed me that their clients have faced similar problems. There are many rumors going around, and it is difficult to know what is true. I am still advising my clients that it is safe to travel domestically, as long as they have their asylum receipts. For all we know, the person in that example had a criminal issue or a prior immigration violation. Until I get more credible, verified info, I will continue to tell people that they can travel domestically. But of course, each person must make his or her own decision in this regard. Good luck, Jason

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James March 30, 2017 at 6:14 am

Thank you Mr. Jason,

I arrived in Houston on 2nd Dec 2015.
I signed the contract with my lawyer in May 2016. My I-94 in Passport shows 2 June 2016.
However, due to busy schedule my lawyer filed my Asylum on 1st of August 2016 and the receipt shows USCIS received the same on 8th of August 2016. Later I got my EAD and SSN.

Here, it shows my lawyer filed my Asylum after my I-94 ( 2nd June 2016 ). Ie., 1 st of August 2016.

My Question : Is it considerable as a ‘Prior Immigration Violation’ as you mentioned above ?

Your reply would be very much helpful for my future plans.

Looking forward to hear from you.

With Thanks, Regards
James

Thomas April 25, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Hi Jason,
I’d just like to update on the situation with this guy.
He was coming back from the US Virgin Islands, which is not a US state and not treated as such by law, the entry was considered him leaving the US. So sad…

SCOPA March 20, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Dear Thomas,
It is very disturbing. If USCIS gives work permit, it mean this person at least has a freedom to travel around and look for job.
Would you please followup the case and let us know what happen to this gentleman protecting his privacy.
I am very glad if anyone in this forum share his experience or expertise on this issue as it is critical for all of us on pending asylum.

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Mano April 12, 2017 at 11:28 pm

I am also travelling within the States on a regular basis, however can you please tell us what happened on this case? Many of us are going to have trouble: How did it happen? where did it happen? What kind of document did this asylum seeker show? I have been flying to other states with my state Id, work permit together with the immigration letter and a COPY of my PASSPORT(not the whole passport) and I have never got any trouble. I am afraid he/she probably didn’t have these documents(State ID, work permit)with him/her. Could it be because he might have had his passport only with an overstayed visa, which for me makes sense?We have to try not to expose ourselves, guys. Time has changed. Please try to tell us more about what happened here. It is not clear.

REPLY

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Suraz March 19, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Hi Jason,
You’ve already helped me thrice before and i used to put my name as anonymous thinking it would be odd to put in my real name. But now this blog seems so familiar since i subscribed for notifications and i dont wanna hide my identity anymore.

So as this is the page of the DHS’s full access over our social media and emails, I would like to know that, I had deactivated my social media account( Mark Zuckerberg owned Social media) the day i mailed my I-589 to the USCIS. Do these deactivations still have access to our deactivated accounts. I am just trying to know about it because not I have any suspicious activity but whether there is any use of deactivating it or not if they still have access to our closed accounts as u know deactivated accounts can be activated with only a single sign in. I was told not to contact many people back to the home country where you fear persecution or fear.

And lastly, who in the world gives time to answer 100’s of queries and questions to anonymous people every single day? You are one BIG HEARTED human being anyone would really ever see almost anywhere in this world. You are really doing a lot JASON. Once I apply for my EAD as you stated to me before and I receive it , I am not lying but I really wanna see the real person behind that name JASON DZUBOW and I will surely meet you. Thankyou and take care.

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Jason Dzubow March 20, 2017 at 6:37 am

I doubt DHS will access de-activated social media pages, but I do not know. I think it is always safer to assume that they will see anything that was posted about you (whether you took it down or not) and be prepared to explain anything that is problematic if they ask about it. As for the questions, it is far less than 100 per day. If we reach that point, I will probably retire. Take care, Jason

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alex March 22, 2017 at 6:58 pm

Following up do u think DHS or other agencies have full access to these accounts? Or only public posts without access to private data?

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Jason Dzubow March 23, 2017 at 6:30 am

If they request your password, then they have more access, but otherwise, I suspect they just have access to public posts. However, I am not sure, and I would operate under the assumption that DHS has access to everything (which they might, since the might gain access from the account of Facebook “friends”, for example. I think it is better to assume they know everything and act accordingly, just to be on the safe side. Take care, Jason

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Therese March 19, 2017 at 1:51 am

Hi Jason,

I got my first EAD approved. Is there any problem if I apply for jobs outside the state where I’m residing without changing my address (i.e working out of town) as I don’t want to cause any interruption to my case? Will USCIS think that I move but not let them know if they see on the record that I work in another state? Thank you for your response!

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Jason Dzubow March 19, 2017 at 11:12 am

If your job and home are in another state, you will have a difficult time arguing that you are still living in your old address. And if USCIS thinks you are lying about your address, they may think you are lying about your case. I think you need to be careful about this, and if you move permanently and give up your old address, you will need to change your address with the asylum office. In fact, moving a case should not cause a huge disruption – you are supposed to keep your place in the queue after you move. Take care, Jason

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Therese March 19, 2017 at 11:35 am

Thank you so much, Jason! I really appreciate your help.

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amandeep March 19, 2017 at 1:29 am

Dear Sir

Thanks for your kind help

i have some question
1 i am an asylum seeker indian planed to seek asylum in next month with family what documents i have to carry before leave my country.
2 which state is best for asylum seeker as i have no friend or relative in USA.

I highly obliged if you and my questions.

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Aman1 March 19, 2017 at 2:25 am
Ryan March 19, 2017 at 5:58 am

You cannot change your city and then apply for asylum. otherwise it might badly affect your credibility. Especially you are Indian and everyone knows fakeness is in your blood. (no offence)

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Jason Dzubow March 19, 2017 at 11:09 am

1 – This totally depends on your case, but if the US government looks in your luggage and sees that you have a lot of documents, they may assume you plan to seek asylum and they may detain you. It is probably safer to scan and email the documents to yourself (or given that DHS might look at your email, maybe have someone send the documents after you are already here). 2 – I did a posting on February 25, 2016 that might help with your second question. Take care, Jason

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Mashal March 19, 2017 at 1:58 pm
Nick March 18, 2017 at 10:46 pm

Hi Jason, thanks for your help here! It is greatly appreciated.
Let me ask you one question, and I know it is not an easy one.

A year ago my friend applied for a US B1/B2 visa and got his visa approved. A couple of weeks after, his girlfriend (they were not married) also applied for a B1/B2 visa and was rejected. On her DS-160 she indicated that she was going to travel to the US with her boyfriend who already had a visa, and she also listed his name (and that was it, his ID or other data except for name wasn’t required by the application). Because of a tough persecution in his home country, he then immediately had to travel to the US even though his girlfriend failed to get a visa. Half year passed and he filed for asylum in the US. It’s been a year since his girlfriend got visa refusal. She now wants to try to apply for a visa again as she’s much improved her background and what is called “ties to home country” since then. But this is a great concern to them if USCIS or the Embassy can somehow track her boyfriend as an asylum seeker in the US by only his name that was listed on her first DS-160.. and therefore deny her visa application because of this fact. What do you think about this issue? I would greatly appreciate your reply! Take care, Nick

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Jason Dzubow March 19, 2017 at 11:06 am

I think they will know that the boyfriend has filed for asylum, but they might not care since the couple is not legally married. All she can do is present the best possible case for a visa and hope for the best. If he is not longer her boyfriend, maybe that would help, but I do not know the facts of the case. Take care, Jason

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Nick March 19, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Thank you very much for your reply. You’re doing great job here. Take care.

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XY March 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Hi Jason
I have applied for initial EAD on Dec 05/16.then I got additional evidence letter from that side on jan13/17 I replied to it instantly.I call to the USCIS helpline on 25 feb/17 after 45 days ND asked about my case status bcoz it was to late.he say he can forward my request to that department they vl let me know by mail that’s wat is happening with case on Mar 17/17 I received a letter from uscis that they didn’t recieve the evidence they requested from me thats y they r not working on my case.ND the deadline for submitting the evidence is April 16/17.Before in January They send me an enclosed envelope with the written address on it inside with additional evidence letter ND state that u have to send the additional evidence in this enclosed envelope to us but my question is my lawyer send additional evidence(copy of color passport ND US visa) in normal usps envelope to them do u think this was the mistake done by us that’s y they didn’t recieve any thing from our side?? Now after my inquiry they uscis again send me the additional evidence same letter with enclosed envelope inside stated that u have to send us additional evidence in this envelope.
2-My second question is can v send the additional evidences obviously in there own enclosed envelope given by uscis from any urgent mail service so they get it ASAP bcoz it’s already to late my deadline is April 16 next Month for submitting my evidences for EAD.

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Allen March 18, 2017 at 6:50 pm

I think you can send it personally by and expensive mail service and track it yourself. It is strange that they ask about your US visa. Are you from the 7 countries listed in Trump’s 1st EO?

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XY March 19, 2017 at 9:33 am

Not from that 7 countries they don’t ask for US visa they ask for any identity given by the government agency with the photo that can show my facial expressions etc it can b passport US visa or any thing.

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Allen March 19, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Ok. Then it is quite normal these days. Many people are saying that they were requested for additional evidence that exactly same as yours. I just filed for my first EAD and put a copy of passport page and also my driving licence inside the application, just in case they need it.

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Jason Dzubow March 19, 2017 at 10:52 am

The envelope you use should not make any difference, as long as you sent it to the correct address and you included the request for evidence cover sheet. If you want to send it in their envelope and put that inside an express mailer, I suppose you can do that, but I do not see why it would make any difference. Take care, Jason

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Das March 18, 2017 at 12:03 pm

hi Jason,
Appreciate your efforts on this blog again.
You have already helped me with some queries I had previously as well. I am in L1B and planning to apply for asylum.
1. Once I applied for asylum, will my employer who granted me the L1B status get notified that I applied for an asylum
2. Any impact on the company / employer for future requests for L1B visas

Thanks in advance.

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Jason Dzubow March 19, 2017 at 10:49 am

1 – No, it is confidential. 2 – I do not know about that. I have heard about such impact for certain J-visa sponsors, but never for L visas, and so I do not know. Take care, Jason

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Haweken March 18, 2017 at 8:10 am

Hi Jason,
I have two questions and my appreciation to you as always!
I have my wife included in my asylum application(we are living here together). She barely understand English. So I want to know if she will be asked during my interview time(or it is only me who has to be asked and answer). And if so, shall I hire an interpreter for her or I can help her. I asked the supervisor in the asylum office and she explained to me that I can help her. Hopefully you had experience with clients of this type.
2. Do you think a small surgery due to internal infection(appendix) can help in expediting the interview.

Thank you,

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Jason Dzubow March 19, 2017 at 10:42 am

She will be questioned if she is a dependent on your case, and you will need to have an interpreter for her. In general, the applicant cannot serve as the interpreter. You can try to expedite based on a small surgery, but this seems like a pretty weak reason to me. Take care, Jason

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Haweken March 20, 2017 at 5:11 am

Thank you so much Jason.

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Adam March 17, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Hi Jason,
I am Asylum pending. I heard now we have to carry with us some identification like GC or I94. For as a Asylum pending what we should catty with us? It’s okay to carry oblay copy of EDT ? Or we have to have the original version. I put the link below for on USCIS
https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-29/0-0-0-8289.html

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Jason Dzubow March 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm

I am not sure what an EDT is, but you can carry your asylum receipt, that should be good enough. Once you have the work permit, you can carry that. Take care, Jason

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Adam March 18, 2017 at 8:45 am

Thank you Jason. Sorry I meant EDA

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rsv March 18, 2017 at 12:02 pm

EAD

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June March 17, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Hellow Jason, Can you please answer my two questions
1) I was given my asylum decision as recommended approval and asked to come back if I don’t get my final decision in 3 months. Does that mean that I would surely get my final decision?
2) Does my file moves If I change my address if the final decision is not made within the given 3 months?

Thanks for your time

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Jason Dzubow March 17, 2017 at 12:53 pm

1 – No, but hopefully you will get it in the time frame they told you. However, this does not always happen. 2 – If you have been interviewed, your file should stay where it is for the decision. I do think it would be better if you could wait to move until after you get the final decision, but if not, make sure to give the asylum office (where you were interviewed) your new address, using form AR-11, available at http://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

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Jos March 17, 2017 at 6:47 am

Hi thanks for your time to help people!!. Really something greatful. My wife’s employer applied for L1A visa for her, and got rejected, 1 month later I (Husband) applied for asylum 2 weeks ago, after 3 months in usa, me included my wife and 2 sons in the petition, currently we are waiting for the receipt. Could be something in the L1A visa rejected that can stop the asylum request?

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow March 17, 2017 at 12:51 pm

I do not understand your time line, but there is no reason a person with an L visa cannot apply for asylum. If you think the receipts are late, contact your local asylum office to ask about that. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right for Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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David March 16, 2017 at 9:51 pm

Hello,

I’ll be applying for Initial work permit pretty soon. I have my receipt, my fingerprints notification, passport, and passport pictures. Is there anything I am missing?

Best Regards,

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Jason Dzubow March 17, 2017 at 12:37 pm

I am not familiar with your case and so I cannot answer specific questions like this; sorry. Look at the instructions for the I-765; it tells you what documents are needed. Take care, Jason

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Haweken March 17, 2017 at 8:22 pm

If you are pending asylum (applying under the category c8), you also need application form completely filled and signed(be aware to use the most recent form) and 2 photos. Also make sure where to send your application.
Good luck.

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XY March 16, 2017 at 4:37 pm

First thank you very much for all the help you offer for us. I really can’t find words to explain how much your blog help us.
My lawyer is good guy but unfortunately not experienced enough. He could not helped me good enough and made some mistakes happen.
Here I have two more question.
1.
My big brother and his family came to US by SIV(special immigrant visa). he worked with US gov in Afghanistan, so he got that visa.
Me and my brother were both there when we filling Asylum application in my attorney office back in 2015. My brother’s name and US residence was marked in the part of the form which asks to name and specify the residence of all the family members.
But later on there is another question that ask did any of your family member applied for refugee, asylum status in the united states? The form answer NO.
I did not notice the mistake at that time most likely because there was no mention of immigrant word in the question and I confused the refugee and immigration word.
2.
I have one threat later and 2 pages other non-english documents shows the reasons or my activities that I was threatened for. We translated and attached the affidavit of the translator to it. All is well with the translation, translation is complete and everything is good.
But there is one other document from a NEWS website article, describing the person connection with Taliban who threatened me. I generally translated this article by myself, I just quoted the very important paragraphs of the article which describe the connection of the person with thr Taliban but skipped two paragraphs that I thought were not useful.I provided this document to my lawyer because he was asking to provide something that proves the connection between the person who threatened me and the Taliban. My lawyer attached this article to other translated documents and the Affidavit of the translator and had sent it to the Asylum office last monday. Now when I was reviewing the documents I found out that that NEWS article was not complete translation.
The only affidavit of translation which my lawyer sent to asylum office is very specific about the other translated documents (Which are ok-complete translation) and the translator specifically named those documents in his affidavit.
The NEWS article which is sent to asylum office is not mentioned in affidavit of translator, nor the Article’s translation is a complete translation, as I said earlier, it was a general translation by me.
Now would it be a problem that I describe the confusion in a paper and provide the complete translation along with an affidivate of the translator and give it to the asylum office receptionist before the interview that asylum officer look at it?
And also correct the errors in Asylum application about my brother residence?
Thank u

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Jason Dzubow March 17, 2017 at 12:25 pm

1 – You can correct this at the interview, or before hand by sending evidence about your brother’s status. I doubt it will be a problem 2 – I think you should have the translation corrected and resubmitted. It is better to translate the whole article, name of newspaper, and date. But if that is too much, you should make it very clear which parts of the article are translated (maybe highlight those parts on the Dari version). Take care, Jason

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XY March 19, 2017 at 2:50 am

Thank u very much, Jason

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Asylum seeker March 16, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Hello Jason –

How soon one can apply for green card after grant of asylum? Is there any possibility they can do it 6 months earlier med school needs PR status at the time of application. Any exception to save a year?

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Jason Dzubow March 17, 2017 at 12:16 pm

I know of no exceptions – as far as I know, you have to wait one year after asylum is granted and then you can apply. But double check your letter – sometimes the approval is issued and the letter is not mailed for months, so maybe you actually had the case approved earlier than you think. Take care, Jason

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XY March 16, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Thank You, Jason

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KM March 16, 2017 at 2:52 am

Hello jason, you really doing a great job.
I applied for asylum 27 Feb 2017 in Los Angeles, received notice of receipt on 3 Mar 2017, still no fingerprint appointment received.
My question is how I can use the method you mentioned to ask the church to help me expedite my interview through congressman and senate? Some steps would be grateful.

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Jason Dzubow March 16, 2017 at 6:28 am

Normally, you need a health reason or family separation to expedite a case, and since LA is so slow, I do not know how easy it is to expedite there. Contact the asylum office to ask about the expedite procedure, and then put together an expedite request with supporting documents showing why you need to expedite. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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jr March 15, 2017 at 10:42 pm

Hi Jason,

A blessed day. We filed our asylum here in Guam and we wanted to visit our relatives in Los Angeles. Do we still need to apply for an advance parole if we travel to mainland?
Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow March 16, 2017 at 6:25 am

I am really not sure about that, sorry. Some of the US territories have different rules, and so you should talk to an immigration lawyer in Guam before you travel. Take care, Jason

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John W Boushka March 15, 2017 at 10:25 pm

Could an asylum seeker’s social media posts once in the U.S. have a bearing on his/her “credible fear” or “particular social group” status? Suppose someone overstated a visa but had applied for asylum status out of fear of LGBTQ persecution for certain countries (Russia, many countries in Africa, and Islamic countries) within the one year limit, but had “outed” himself or herself on social media while in the U.S., easily discoverable in the home country.

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Jason Dzubow March 16, 2017 at 6:36 am

It could have a bearing. In the example you give, the social media page helps the asylum case, so the applicant would probably want to print relevant pages from social media and include them in the asylum case. Take care, Jason

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John W Boushka March 20, 2017 at 2:39 pm

I would wonder if it would be more likely if the application for asylum would be denied on the basis of the notion that the applicant could return and go back in the “closet” if he deleted everything. It sounds offensive, but in this political climate (with Sessions as AG) I wonder if it could go this way.

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Pkboy March 15, 2017 at 8:48 pm

Hi Jason blessings to you for such a great article on social media.. I’m religious leaders from Christian community and i have lots of social media accounts. Should i close them.
Secondly from which date our asylum clock start.etc notice dated, receiving date,or biometric date.

Bless you

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Jason Dzubow March 16, 2017 at 6:32 am

The clock starts on the day your application was received. This date is listed on your receipt. As for the social media accounts, I do not think you should close them (assuming they are not saying bad things), but I do think you should be aware that the government could access them, and might know what is posted there. Information there should be consistent with the asylum application and evidence. If it is different, you will need to explain. Also, if there is derogatory information on the social media accounts, you should be prepared to explain this as well, if they ask you about it. Take care, Jason

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Wali dad March 15, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Hi.i changed my address today calling on uscis customer services on 18003755283 and changed my address.they gave me a confirmation number. My question is that is it enough for changing address for a pending asylee? Or have to fill AR 11 form and main it to: us deptt of home land security citizenship anf immigration services 1344 pleasants drive Harrisonburg VA 22801, too?

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Jason Dzubow March 16, 2017 at 6:19 am

You should also file the AR-11 directly with the asylum office, either by mail, in person, or by email. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Wali dad March 16, 2017 at 11:45 am

Which Asylum office i contact? New York Asylum office? Plz guide me.Thanks.

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Jason Dzubow March 17, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Whichever office has your case. Take care, Jason

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Aman March 15, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Hi Jason. My husband applied for the renewal of his EAD in jan before 90days of the expiration but he still don’t receive his EAD and the old one is going to expire soon,he is working as a truck driver and we receive the notice about 180 day extension of EAD,but when he went to dmv and show them the notice for the renewal of his DL they denied for the same and ask to get some approval from the USCIS office,so he went to the nearest USCIS office but they also denied for the same,as per them the extension is only for the work authorization not for the renewal of DL,and told that DL can only be extended on the arrival of EAD card,so i just want to know from you like whether we can get some help from the ombudsman office of USCIS becauce i think it will take time for the arrival of new EAD card,and that means no renewal of DL,so no job,we are very much worried what to do now if there is any solution for this because it is not our fault we filed the application on time,pls provide us any solution if any body knows,thank u

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Jason Dzubow March 16, 2017 at 6:18 am

You should go back to the DMV and ask to speak to a supervisor. The change to the EAD process is new, and you may need to educate the DMV about it. Here is a website that might help: https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/automatic-employment-authorization-document-ead-extension. Good luck, Jason

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Aman March 16, 2017 at 11:23 am

Hi,jason my husband speak to the supervisor but he also denied and he ask to bring approval from local USCIS office but USCIS also denied,they told extension is only for work authorization not for the renewal of DL,and we need to wait for the new EAD card and it will take time so we are very much worried as my husband is the only earning member and me and my chid is dependent on him so dnt knw how long he have to stay at home,thank you for ur advice

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Jason Dzubow March 17, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Maybe different states have different laws about the DL, but he should be eligible to renew it. Maybe see whether there is any other office you can talk to at the DMV about this, or maybe you can hire a local lawyer to help with the problem at the DMV. Good luck, Jason

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John March 15, 2017 at 5:37 pm

What if one of my friends share something out of normalcy on Facebook, Whatsapp, etc? does that affect me?

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Jason Dzubow March 16, 2017 at 6:13 am

This is potentially another problem that I did not discuss. What if someone talks about you on-line? I imagine DHS could find that as well, so if there are problematic statement on-line about you, you should be prepared to explain what happened when you apply for asylum or another immigration benefit. This is particularly troubling because it is totally beyond your control. For instance, what if your home government posts a list of “terrorists” and includes you in order to retaliate against you for legitimate political activity. If something like this happened, the applicant should be prepared to explain it with evidence. Take care, Jason

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May March 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm

I know Whatsup and FB should be different. Whatsup conversations are encrypted and they wouldn’t turn over your conversations even to the government. I remember there was even a case where they refused to disclose them in a trial. I’ve heard FB is different and you private info can be seen by authorities.

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Thell March 15, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Dear Jason

Thank you for your time to help us navigate the US immigration system especially asylum.

I have a question regarding change of address. I send the AR 11 by mail because I could not do it online since the website did not recognize my case receipt number. How do we know that DHS and asylum office receive the AR 11 and they have changed it ?

Thanks and God bless you

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Aman March 15, 2017 at 9:14 pm

Hi,if posdible you can enquire about it by going personally to your local asylumn office that may help

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Jason Dzubow March 16, 2017 at 6:10 am

The asylum office will not acknowledge receiving the AR-11. You can email them and double check. Maybe attached a scanned copy of the AR-11 to the email as well. You can find their contact info and email if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Alex March 15, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Thanks for that info Jason,

Now the questions is can the government access someone’s private messages? I’ve heard that even when you delete a message, it’s still saved on some server and can be accessed. Can they get a hold of those?

We live in this digital era and must be careful what and who we talk about.

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Jason Dzubow March 16, 2017 at 6:07 am

I do not know, but it is safer to assume that the government can access anything you post on line or in any sort of message, an act accordingly. Take care, Jason

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XY March 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Hi Jason,
My interview is coming next week in San Francisco. Last week I worked with my asylum lawyer on writing my declaration. First my lawyer wrote what I told him, then he shared the declaration with me and ask me to look at it and give him the final script. I came home looked at the declaration, I brought some changes to it, to the margins of my declaration, not to the center of my case, nor to any evidence in my case. Before my lawer wrote the declaration, my story was not organized. He helped me organized it and the very short margin changes I brought was after that organization. when I looked at my declaration I remembered skme other things and added them to my declaration. I add some baby parts to support my original claim and erased a small part that was somehow I miss represented.
My lawyer submitted the final script of the declaration.
Now my question is that did the baby changes on my declaration can effect my case, as it was not submitted to the asylum office at the time.
As a note, I did not changed any thing regarding my original claim, I just added a small piece that I had forgot to mention while my lawyer was writing the declaration and erased a small part that I was not sure about and I had not represented it clearly, since I did not know where to start, what to say, what to add, where to end.
You can understand all the frustration we asylums go through.
Thank u

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Jason Dzubow March 16, 2017 at 6:01 am

Without knowing the details, it is difficult to say, but it sounds like the story was not submitted until it was finalized. In that case, USCIS does not have an older, different version of the story and you should be fine. It is very common to make small changes to declarations and I have never had that affect a case. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow March 30, 2017 at 6:38 am

You did go out of status for a few months (from June 1 to August 8), but that should have no effect on anything; it only affects if you were out of status for at least 6 months. So you should be fine. Take care, Jason

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James March 30, 2017 at 6:44 am

Thank you Once Again.

Yes, actually my lawyer told me, you can apply with in One Year of your date of Entry in USA.

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Jason Dzubow April 28, 2017 at 3:41 pm

I am not sure what person you mean, sorry, Jason

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