I Don’t Know, I Don’t Know, I Don’t Know

by Jason Dzubow on June 1, 2017

If you are an asylum seeker waiting for your interview, repeat these words: I don’t know. Again: I don’t know. Say them out loud: I don’t know. One more time: I don’t know. These three words may mark the difference between an asylum grant and a denial, but too few asylum seekers ever utter them.

“I appear wise because I do not think I know what I do not know” – Socrates. #BeLikeSocrates

I have previously written about how it is important for lawyers to use these same words, and I might even go as far as saying that if you visit a lawyer and he or she never says “I don’t know,” you might be better off finding a different lawyer. When we do not know or acknowledge the limits of our own ignorance, we risk giving bad advice.

Asylum seekers also need to practice their I-don’t-knows. If you can learn to master these three little words, you might save yourself a whole lot of trouble. Why? Because too many applicants answer questions where (1) They do not understand the question, (2) They do not know the answer, or (3) They do not remember the answer. And if asylum applicants give an answer when, in fact, they do not know, it starts them on a path that could easily end in a denial.

Here’s an example from a recent case I worked on. The asylum applicant’s father was prominent in his country’s government, but the applicant did not know much about his father’s position. The Asylum Officer asked for some details about the father’s job, and the applicant answered. But the applicant really did not know the answer. He just made a series of assumptions based on the limited information he did know. It turns out, the assumptions were wrong, and the applicant’s testimony ended up being inconsistent with the testimony of other family members. Fortunately, we had a good Asylum Officer whose questions brought my client’s assumptions to light, and so I think the applicant’s credibility was not damaged. Nevertheless, had the applicant just said, “I don’t know” instead of assuming, he would have avoided a potential pitfall (and—more importantly from my point of view—he would have saved his attorney a few unwelcome heart palpitations).

Having observed many such interactions, I always advise my clients to say that they do not know or do not remember, if that is the case. But most people don’t fully grasp the importance of only answering when they know the answer. If you guess—about a date or an event—and you are wrong, you risk creating an inconsistency, meaning that your spoken testimony may end up being different from your written statement or evidence, or different from information that the U.S. government already has about you (from your visa application, for example). The Asylum Officer or Immigration Judge may view inconsistencies as an indicator that you are not telling the truth. The theory (flawed, in my opinion) is that people who tell the truth will present consistent testimony in their oral and written statements, and in all the interviews with the U.S. government. The bottom line is this: If your testimony is inconsistent, the adjudicator may view you as a liar and deny your case on this basis.

I get that it is not always easy to say that you don’t know. Most applicants understand that it is important to answer the questions; after all, that is why they are at the interview or in court in the first place. And of course, not answering can create other issues (it is common to hear adjudicators ask, “Why can’t you remember?” to applicants trying to recall relatively obscure events from many years in the past). Plus, in the stressful environment of the Asylum Office or Immigration Court, many applicants feel they need to give an answer, even if they are not sure what the answer is.

Indeed, there are times when saying “I don’t know” can be a real problem for a case. One of my clients was recently asked about his prior political activity. He had no evidence showing his political involvement, and so his testimony took on added importance. In that case, if he were asked about the philosophy of his party or the party’s leadership, the inability to answer might be viewed as evidence that he was not active in the party. Fortunately, in our case, the client knew the basic beliefs of the party and the names of its leaders. He was also able to describe in detail his political activities. His involvement in the party was years ago, but I suspect that if he had told the Judge that he did not remember or did not know, it would have negatively affected his case (maybe it’s a topic for another day, but the fact is, many political activists do not know much about their parties—they have joined because a parent or sibling was a member, or due to ethnic or regional loyalty; the party’s supposed philosophy, its activities, and its leaders are of little concern to them).

It is preferable to know your case and answer the questions that are asked. So review your affidavit and evidence before your hearing. Practice answering questions with your lawyer or with a friend. Try to remember the dates (at least more or less) of events. Know the names of relevant people and places, and about your political party or religion, or whatever forms the basis of your asylum claim. Try to remember all this, but if you can’t, don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” As we have seen, not knowing can be a problem. But not knowing and guessing can be a disaster.


{ 156 comments… read them below or add one }

Babila Jr. December 7, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Hi Jason,

First of all, I love your blog. I’m a first year associate in a boutique immigration law firm. My question is related to the case you say you worked on where your client did not know of his father’s employment within his country’s government. I have a new client (16 year old) who was found not credible and thus ineligible for asylum because he didn’t know of his father’s job within the government. Do you know of any case law which speaks directly on this issue?

Best regards,

Babila Jr.


Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:37 am

Thank you – Unfortunately, I do not know of case law on that point. Logic (which is always dangerous to employ in an immigration case) would suggest that a 16-year old may have very limited info about what his parent does for a job. It seems to me that it is an issue of evidence, and so maybe you could get evidence from relatives or friends that the son did not know about his father’s job. Take care, Jason


Falonne September 18, 2017 at 8:31 pm

Hi Jason, after 8 months of waiting for my asylum decision . I have been called for a second interview at the asylum office. What does this mean? I am so frustrated…


Jason Dzubow September 19, 2017 at 6:36 am

It happens sometimes. Maybe they just have a few more questions or maybe they want to do the whole interview again. You should be prepared for the entire interview. In many cases, after a second interview, a decision comes relatively quickly, so hopefully you will get a good decision soon. Take care, Jason


Homayoun September 18, 2017 at 8:08 pm

Hi dear Jason,
I’m preparing the asylum application myself without any assistance from a lawyer or catholic charities. There is a question in part D of I-589 form asking that “asylum applicants may be represented by a counsel. Have you been provided with a list of persons who may be available to assist you,at little or no cost, with your asylum claim?”.
1-What should I answer to it? “Yes” or “no”?
2-What is the purpose of this question?
3-could you please advise me on important points that I must consider while preparing the application package?
4-Shall I make two seperate copies of the application for uscis?


Jason Dzubow September 19, 2017 at 6:35 am

I cannot give specific advice like this, as I am not familiar with the case. You should just answer the questions truthfully, including the question you mention. I suppose the purpose of it is to know whether people are aware of the resources available to asylum seekers. As for copies, it depends on whether you have dependents or not, but if there are no dependents, we submit an original and a copy to the asylum office. You should look at the instructions for the I-589 regarding format and what documents are needed. Take care, Jason


Sana August 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Dear jason
How are you.
I want to ask a question,
I filed my asylum in last year September 2016. And my case in pending approval.I have applied for work permit. But in the mean time my father was severely sick that made me seriously sad and I just came back to see my dad and for two months I’m in my home country but secretly. No body knows that.
Can I go back to US on my valid visa while I was overstayed.
I notify to USCIS that I’m going back to see my dad.
I still have a valid visa but I’m curious about to go back to usa.
Please help


Jason Dzubow August 3, 2017 at 11:27 am

Probably, you will be able to board the plane to return here. Once here, I do not know whether you will get past customs. You could be sent back, or you could apply for asylum at the airport. If you apply for asylum at the airport, you may very well be detained until your case is decided. On the other hand, you may get lucky and just get back into the country. In either case, if you wish to continue your asylum case here, you will need to explain why you return (and get evidence, such as doctors’ letters) and why it is unsafe for you in your country. Take care, Jason


Falonne July 4, 2017 at 1:41 pm

Hi Jason, I have some more questions for you. My boyfriend kids came in the US 2 years ago and where living with their big sister who got married and don’t want to deal with them anymore. They can’t go back in my country due to the political situation there and my boyfriend can’t get a visa to come here because he left the kids here on a tourist visa and they are now out of status . Can they apply for seij now? (Age:16&18) ? Can I be their guardian with my pending asylum case? Will it interfere with my case in NY while their application will be file in NJ? Please advise.


Jason Dzubow July 4, 2017 at 10:34 pm

I cannot assist with SIJ cases, as I do not know much about that – I did a posting on September 22, 2016 where I provide lists of free lawyers, and some of those probably can assist with an SIJ case. As for your own case, I see no reason why their case would interfere with yours, unless the stories between you and them are inconsistent. Also, if they want to apply for asylum, they should do it as soon as possible, since they have been here more than a year, and could be barred from seeking asylum. The 16 year old should be alright (due to an exception to the filing deadline for minors), but the 18 year old may have trouble, and so if that person wants asylum, he/she should apply as soon as possible. Maybe one of the free lawyers could provide advice about that as well. Take care, Jason


Falonne July 5, 2017 at 12:27 am

Thank you so much ! We did not experience the same thing so our stories are different. I was wondering if I can be they “legal guardian ” and if that will affect my case. In case they apply for asylum can you be their lawyer or is there any body you recommend in NY or NJ area.


Jason Dzubow July 5, 2017 at 6:00 am

I do not know why they need a legal guardian for an asylum case. They should be able to file on their own. Of course, you can help them with the case. I do cases in NY and NJ, but I will not be available for a consult until next week at the earliest. If you want to arrange that, you can email me at Jdzubow@Dzubowlaw.com. Take care, Jason


Falonne July 5, 2017 at 9:46 am

Will surely do.Thank you!

Nano June 30, 2017 at 9:18 pm

Hello Jason, I’m so anxious question as always. Today I receive a new Work Permit with the category A05, I had previous Permit Work with C08 and C09 . I was researching online and looks is for Asylum Granted but I don’t have noticed from asylum office.
What do you think it is a good news?


Jason Dzubow July 3, 2017 at 11:13 pm

This sometimes happens, and it may be good news. I recommend you contact the local asylum office to ask them. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason


Therese July 3, 2017 at 11:20 pm

May i ask when you applied for asylum and how long did you wait for the interview? Thanks in advance for sharing!


BM June 26, 2017 at 3:42 pm

Hi Janson how you doing?
I am an asyle and I want to apply for green card.
My mother’s family name in my birth certificate and USCIS record are not exactly the same (there is spelling difference)
Is there any problem?


Jason Dzubow June 26, 2017 at 10:21 pm

Maybe. This would all need to be explained, and you might want to talk to a lawyer for help with that. Since it seems like a small problem, my guess is that the most likely problem will be delay, but if you can explain it well, maybe you can avoid that issue. Take care, Jason


Kc June 24, 2017 at 3:22 am

Hello Jason,
I got my very first EAD a moth ago. I am gonna apply for Advance Parole to travel outside the US to visit a friend. Could you please give me some ideas for the trip reasons? Will I face any problems when returning the US since I have no bad backgrounds, came to US legally with visa. Thanks as always.


Jason Dzubow June 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm

You need to give a “humanitarian” reason for the AP (such as visiting a sick relative or friend with a letter from the doctor), but otherwise, you should be able to travel and return to the US if you have AP. Keep an eye on the news to make sure the travel ban does not return, just to be safe. Take care, Jason


Joel Pacheco June 23, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Jason, thanks for all you do.

I have an executive position in a global company, and it requires to travel quite often to Mexico. I am from Venezuela, based on McAllen, TX. I have EAD and a 1yr-old asylum application.

Is there any mechanism to allow traveling for asylum petitioners for work-purposes trips? I know about the Advanced Parole, but I have heard that it is not recommended to execute it under the current political environment.

What are your two cents about this? I have all the support from my employer, and they are willing to do whatever it’s needed.

Thanks! You rock, Jason.


Jason Dzubow June 23, 2017 at 4:36 pm

Personally, I think it is probably ok to travel using AP while your case is pending. We have had clients do it without trouble. You need a “humanitarian” reason for the travel, but in our experience, this is not so hard to find. If your work involves something arguably humanitarian, maybe you can use that as a basis. Or if you have a sick friend to visit, maybe you can get the AP based on that, and also use it to travel to other places. The main issue is that it is not cheap, it takes several months to get it, and it is usually only valid for a few months. Take care, Jason


Kc June 27, 2017 at 1:16 am

Hi Jason,
By the way, could you tell me if there are any limited times of travelling outside US through AP? Then how many times for renewing AP because of short time of it?
I am trying to find out a reasonable reason for my trip to the third country. Thanks.


Jason Dzubow June 27, 2017 at 6:15 am

You can request a longer period of AP and multiple entries, but USCIS will give you what they give you. You can request it again and again, but that is expensive and time consuming. Also, given the Supreme Court ruling from yesterday, you should keep an eye on the news before traveling with AP, and if you are from a “banned” country, you should probably not travel until the situation is more clear. Take care, Jason


Rakel June 23, 2017 at 11:39 pm

Hello Jason,
We had our interview on 21 of June. but This is my trouble: 1-my husband’s name on my children’s birth certificate contains only part of his middle name plus last name. The officer had questions about this and said it’s not his name. According to my husband, the officer asked him “are you sure these are not your nieces and nephews?” But he explained how back in Africa he was called by part of his middle name. So even in the hospital when you’re asked your name, you just say what everyone calls you plus your last name. My husband said everything went well safe for that part which made him very angry but he kept his cool and answered yes they are my children.

Pls Jason, tell me is there going to be a big problem affecting our asylum being granted? He said he will hold onto the certificate for now, so he did not give us the original back. What does this mean?
i feel very sad because for some reason we did not even give these certificates to our lawyer when preparing for the interview. And i blame myself for leaving it among the documents he took in for the interview. He is the primary applicant.

2-Would you suggest we send in pictures of our children when they were babies and maybe some documents showing my husband’s middle name only? what should we do? How is this going to affect our case? I was hoping like some, our approval will come within a month but with this I am very toubled.

3-Meanwhile, when I went in with my 3 girls, we spent less than 10 minutes. only one of my daughters has been in court to appeal one parking ticket and she won. the officer laughed about it and said good for her to fight it. does parking ticket affect asylum case?

Thank you so much Jason for your time and sharing expert advice with us.


Jason Dzubow June 25, 2017 at 11:57 am

It is pretty common for people to try to “add” other people’s children to their case so the children can benefit from the asylum case, so that is probably why the officer was suspicious – it is the officer’s job to check these things, so I think there is no reason to be angry. Maybe the officer will try to check the authenticity of the birth certificate with the State Department. This could cause some additional delay. You may want to get a DNA test and (assuming it shows they are his children), submit the results to the asylum office – this should resolve the officer’s concern. If they think he is lying about the children, it could affect the outcome of the case. You can also submit the photos as you suggest – this helps, though maybe not as much as a DNA test. You can include other documents as well, such as education records if they have your husband’s and children’s names on them. The parking ticket should have no effect. Take care, Jason


Rakel June 25, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Jason, I Thank you so much for your response. The question now is how do we get a DNA test, at the hospital or is there a place or online to do it? I know you are not a doctor but perhaps you have a client with this issue or there is an immigration law that you know can help. Please anything you know that can help, I will appreciate.
Again you are a blessing to us all . Thank you for all you do online daily helping and encouraging us.
God bless you.


Jason Dzubow June 26, 2017 at 6:30 am

I don’t have a referral source, but you can Google “DNA testing paternity” and probably find a company. We did it for someone a year or two ago, and it was not as expensive as I thought (though I forget the name of the company). I think it was under $500, but I am not sure now. Take care, Jason

Rakel June 25, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Hello Jason, I am wondering, apart from the question of where can we take a DNA test, do you think the officer can request him to do partenity test to make sure?
Or should we just go ahead and do it instead of waiting to be asked (if at all they do ask)?
Thank you again for your help


Jason Dzubow June 26, 2017 at 6:38 am

I do not know the case, so I cannot say for sure, but based on what you wrote, it may be a good idea to do the test and submit it. If the officer is suspicious of paternity and the test resolves that problem, maybe the officer is more likely to find the case credible overall. If you cannot pay for a DNA test, you could instead submit other evidence of the relationship (photos, school records with both names, baptism certificate, etc.). I would do this soon, before they make a decision. Take care, Jason

Rakel June 25, 2017 at 8:06 pm

Hello Jason, I am wondering, apart from the question of where can we take a DNA test, do you think the officer can request him to do partenity test to make sure? I wish they will ask him as I feel this will help better than any thing else. Since it will be official
Or should we just go ahead and do it instead of waiting to be asked (if at all they do ask)?
Thank you again for your help


KM June 22, 2017 at 1:05 am

Hi Jason
I came to the US in J1 visa , I’m trying to apply for my wife and Kids for J2 Visa , currently I live in Georgia , I wanted to move to Tennessee to apply for Asylum as my friends are there and they can help me
1- is Tennessee good place to apply for religious asylum as I’m from Egypt
2- when I leave the work , can this affect my j1 visa
3- I’m following up with Experienced translator but not laywer to help me to write the asylum case , is that Ok??
4- is it better to apply from Georgia where I currently work not to affect my Status, honestly I wanted to go to Tennessee where my friends


Jason Dzubow June 23, 2017 at 6:27 am

1 – I think it is as good a place as any. I am not sure which is your asylum office, but you can check by following the link at right called Asylum Office Locator and entering your zip code. 2 – If the J-1 visa is dependent on your job, you will go out of status if you leave the job. 3 – Personally, I think it is a bad idea. You sounds like an educated person who can do the case on your own. That is usually better than using a “translator” (unless they are just translating documents/statements). If the person is giving you legal advice, that is actually illegal, and so anyone willing to engage in illegal conduct may not be trustworthy. On the other hand, some such people are decent and do a decent job, but I would urge you to be careful. 4 – I think you should apply from wherever you decide to live. I don’t think it much matters between GA and TN, at least for the asylum offices cases. Take care, Jason


Ali June 19, 2017 at 1:39 am

Dear Jason,
I have been in asylum pending case for 9 months. I just got married to us citizen at the beginning of June . Please tell me the time I can close my asylum case. And should I inform to my asylum lawyer that I just got married and be about to close my asylum case since she is filing me a i-130 form? Any problems I would face when I got marriage (As an asylum pending) to a US citizen?
Thanks as always.


Jason Dzubow June 20, 2017 at 6:30 am

Certainly you should tell your lawyer so you and the lawyer are together in this. Assuming you are eligible to adjust status, you and your wife can file the papers (I-130, I-485, and others) and you should be able to adjust status. I recommend that you do not withdraw the asylum case until you get the green card, but sometimes, USCIS makes you withdraw it because they need to transfer your file from the Asylum Office to the office that adjudicates the GC. Take care, Jason


Ali June 20, 2017 at 11:43 pm

Thanks for quick reply, sir.
I am a little bit worried because my lawyer does not want me to know what she has been doing on my case after I submit her my paperwork and evidence. And then she has keep silent. I do want to know what she wrote for my story but she denies to tell me. She meant after I pay for the fees when I get letter for interview, then she will show me everything of my case. That is strange. My question is : what happen to my case if I change my lawyer? Can I know or see my asylum application that was submitted to asylum office? Thanks so much.


Jason Dzubow June 21, 2017 at 6:28 am

If that is what she is doing, you should change lawyers. I also highly recommend that you file a bar complaint against her. You can Google “bar association” + the state where she is working (though some lawyers work in states where they are not barred). Contact the bar association and ask how to make a complaint. Tell her that you will not pay her and that she must give you all documents in your case. You may want to have your new lawyer do this, as it is easier for lawyers to file bar complaints. She is required by law to give you your file even if you do not pay her, though she can withhold “attorney work product.” In any case, any lawyer who would do what she is doing is terrible and will cause you to lose the case. Find a new lawyer and file a bar complaint. Good luck, Jason


Ali June 21, 2017 at 7:12 pm

Thanks for your deep advice.
Let us say I am changing the lawyer. Could you give me some ideas about the fees for my case. (I already got EAD, just waiting for Asylum interview. )
Will she do anything hamful for my case after knowing I change to another lawyer?
Thanks a lot.

Muna June 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Hey Jason.
My soon to be husband has applied for asylum a while back and is waiting for an interview date. I had also applied for asylum here. My question is when we get married do I have to withdraw my case or can we both have separate cases? Thanks!


Jason Dzubow June 19, 2017 at 6:40 am

You can have separate cases or you can withdraw one case. It is up to you. Maybe talk to a lawyer to evaluate the cases and help you decide which choice is best. Take care, Jason


Muna June 19, 2017 at 1:54 pm

Thanks Jason. Just a quick follow up question. Do I have to decide to withdraw my case and merge with his application immediately after I am married or can I decide at any time say after I see how his interview went?


Jason Dzubow June 20, 2017 at 6:37 am

If you both have your own cases, and one person wins, he or she can file an I-730 to get asylum for the spouse at that time, and withdraw the other asylum case at that time. That is the only way I know that you could “merge” the cases after the interview. Take care, Jason


Anna June 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Good evening! Maybe you know how long take to get the decision after the interview? I m waiting about 7 months … it s make me crazy and very sad becouse my family out of USA…


Falonne June 16, 2017 at 1:00 am

We are on the same boat my dear. keep faith !


Jason Dzubow June 16, 2017 at 6:53 am

I did a post about this on October 21, 2014 and also on October 20, 2015. Maybe those would help. There is really no way to predict how long you will wait. You may want to contact the asylum office and inquire. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason


X RAY June 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm

HiJason, I submitted my application for my new EAD with two money order for $85 and $410, I sent $85 because I thought they asked to pay the biometric! and on the letter of I received, they said my application was received but why they have sent me back my both money order… my problem is how can I contact them for to send again the money because the customer service didn’t give me the good way I can send this money, I fear to have trouble because it’s almost two months ago already since they sent me back my money orders


Jason Dzubow June 16, 2017 at 6:47 am

If you have a receipt, you should be ok. You can check the receipt number to see the case status at http://www.uscis.gov. If this is a first time EAD application based on asylum pending, there is no fee. Take care, Jason


X RAY June 16, 2017 at 2:58 pm

no, it’s my 3rd times to apply for an EAD


Falonne June 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Hi Jason,
thank you so much for the useful information you are providing us with. here is my question: I had an asylum interview on January 2017 and I did not receive a decision up till now. I sent an email to the asylum office 3 months ago and they replied back saying that my case is pending written decision and will be mailed to me when possible. why is it taking so long? Is it a god or bad thing? also I am thinking of applying for a travel document to go to Canada, will it be safe to travel ? can it affect my case?
Please help!


Jason Dzubow June 16, 2017 at 6:18 am

In my experience, delay is not a good or bad sign in terms of the decision. There could be many reasons for delay. I have written about this issue on October 21, 2014 and October 20, 2015 – maybe those would help. Since it has been three months, you might want to contact the asylum office again to check on the case. As for travel, you can apply for Advance Parole to leave the US and return, but it takes probably 4 or 5 months, and hopefully by then you will have a decision. If you intend to seek asylum in Canada, you should talk to a lawyer in that country first, as your application in the US may cause you to be denied in Canada and deported back to the US, which might result in your being detained. Take care, Jason


Falonne June 16, 2017 at 8:41 am

Thank you for your response. I am not planning to apply for asylum in Canada . just a two week visit but I was wondering if I will be in trouble reentering the US.


Jason Dzubow June 19, 2017 at 6:13 am

If you have Advance Parole, you should be able to re-enter. Take care, Jason


Falonne June 19, 2017 at 9:01 am

Thank you so much. You have no idea how you are such a great support to all of us. I Appreciate You !

Sara June 12, 2017 at 2:41 pm

My husband is waiting since january 2013 in Seattle, it’s
been 4.5 years already with no signs of interview. How long is it taking for people in Seattle?


Jason Dzubow June 12, 2017 at 10:14 pm

Seattle is under the San Francisco asylum office, and so it is slower than the SF office, but that seems very slow. I recommend you email the SF office and ask about the case. You can find their email address if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason


Br June 13, 2017 at 2:07 am

Hi Jason,

I have applied my asylum from Seattle and after reading your respond above that Seattle is under San Francisco asylum office but it is slower than SF office i didn’t understand what you meant ,would you please break it down.
Thank you


Jason Dzubow June 13, 2017 at 6:30 am

You can check the link at right called Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin and you will see the schedule for SF. I do not know for sure, but usually, the sub-offices (like Seattle) are slower than the main offices (like SF). So the SF schedule should give you some idea about what is happening in Seattle, but usually you would expect Seattle to be behind SF in terms of the dates being interviewed. Take care, Jason


yousef June 14, 2017 at 1:24 am

hi Br can i ask you when did you apply? i apply on october 2016 it means my interview will be on 2021???????????


Jason Dzubow June 14, 2017 at 6:38 am

I think it does not mean that. I did a post on this topic on June 7, 2016 – maybe that would help. Take care, Jason

Denise June 11, 2017 at 4:54 am

Hi Jason,
First of all, I appreciate your suggestions for us those who are asylee here. I submitted my asylum case on April 2016 from LA office. I was checking my possible interview time through the affirmative asylum bulletin, I was so hopeful that my interview will be by this year. But from the update from 06/09/17 Is showing that they did November 2012-May 2013 on May 17. But on the other hand they did Oct 2011 to March 2013 on April 2017. It’s very confusing. Can you explain it? Is there any possibility that I can expect to have my interview by this year. I didn’t see my family for long time.


Jason Dzubow June 12, 2017 at 9:37 pm

LA is the slowest office, but they are (supposedly) getting extra help from a remote asylum office in Virginia, so maybe that is helping. Even so, I highly doubt you would get an interview this year. Maybe you can try to expedite your case (I wrote a post about that on March 30, 2017). Also, maybe you could get Advance Parole (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov) and travel to meet your family in a third country. Take care, Jason


John June 10, 2017 at 7:35 am

Thank you Jason for your valued information and advises, I submitted for asylum on Jan 2015 to LA office and received the receipt from the same office as I’m living in southern California, before two weeks i received interview schedule from San Francisco office! after checking with my lawyer, we discovered that we wrongly type the postal code in the case (1 number switched), my lawyer tried to contact San Francisco office and sent email informing them the same but without answer, the interview is on next Monday and my lawyer advised we should not go, I’m afraid that if there will be consequences of not showing, and not sure what to do now, shall I move to the north to keep my queue or ask to transfer my case to LA (where I’m living), please advise.


Jason Dzubow June 12, 2017 at 6:45 am

It is strange that an incorrect zip code would cause that to happen. I guess since you did not hear back from the SF office, you need to go, and hopefully, they will just interview you and make a decision. It seems to me that it is too late to move, but I suppose you could try that too. That office seems reasonable and good, at least in my experience, and so hopefully, they will just interview you and do your case. Good luck, Jason


Charle June 9, 2017 at 8:52 am

Hi Jason,

I would like to email you about my pending asylum case. I did email you awhile back and did not hear back from you. Please let me know if this okay.


Jason Dzubow June 12, 2017 at 6:02 am

I try to reply to all emails – try me again at Jdzubow@dzubowlaw.com. Take care, Jason


wainwoo June 6, 2017 at 10:38 am

Hi Jason,

Thanks as always.

I applied for asylum with my kids on the narration.They are here with me in the US.During the interview,does the asylum office require the kids to appear for interview or just me as the primary applicant.

Thank you.



Jason Dzubow June 7, 2017 at 6:17 am

If the children are part of the case, they must appear at the interview. Normally, they would wait outside for most of the interview, so if you need someone to watch them, bring a friend or family member. Usually, if they are old enough, the asylum officer will ask them the questions that they ask everyone: Are you a criminal? Are you a terrorist? Etc. It is strange when they ask small children those questions, but often times, they do. Take care, Jason


Alena June 7, 2017 at 8:27 am

Jason, my son was harmed, and he is part of my case, but he was born in the US, and does not need asylum. Do I have to bring him to the interview? He is only 5.


Jason Dzubow June 8, 2017 at 6:22 am

You do not need to bring him to the interview (you can, if you want too, but he would stay in the waiting room with a babysitter). Only people who are the principal applicant or a dependent applicant need to go to the interview. He is a US citizen and so he is not applying for asylum, even though his story sounds like it is an important part of your case. Take care, Jason


Alena June 8, 2017 at 9:14 am

Thank you very much, Jason-that is what i thought

wainwoo June 9, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Thanks Jason.You simply are the best

Sara June 7, 2017 at 10:54 am

I sure hope they don’t ask my 3-year-old any questions. She’s a very positive child, and loves saying yes. 🙂


Jason Dzubow June 8, 2017 at 6:27 am

My theory is that all children under 10 are terrorists, but maybe that is the result of my own personal experience with my kids. Take care, Jason


Alena June 8, 2017 at 9:13 am

LOL ) indeed!

Sara June 8, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Absolutely! 😀

YL June 6, 2017 at 5:58 am

Hi Jason, thank you for everything you do for asulym seekers.
I have been granted asylum in 2015. In 2016 i opt to change my name (shorten it to be exact) for 2 reasons 1- it was very long i had 4 words in my name (each bank, school, business had 2 word of my name as first and last name, so i had different name everywhere). 2- it interfere with my brother name (i have his first name in part of my first nam). I went to see a lawyer and everything went smooth, changed my name in my county court and applied for GC which i recieved on october 2016 with the name on it. One month before that i’ve had applied for Travel Document through the same lawyer but didn’t get till may 2017 and after i called them and request an explaination why is it getting this slow. One week after calling them i checked my TD application online and i see for the first time a massage saying “name chang was updated” and when i recieved the TD the last name was correct but the first name had some of my old name that i had taken off.
My question is :
1- what should i do ? Call them to correct this issue or just keep a copy of my legal name change with my TD ?
2-is it ok to travel with my country passport since i am not fleeing nor chased by my government ? (I had problem with people and the government didn’t intervene)
3- is it ok to not have the same name on GC and TD ?
I know this is too long but i need your help in this.
Thank you very much.


Jason Dzubow June 6, 2017 at 6:21 am

1 – You should try to correct it before you use it. You can call USCIS, but it might be better to go there and talk to them. You can make an Info Pass appointment at http://www.uscis.gov. You may need to apply for a new Refugee Travel Document, or maybe they can fix it without paying again; I am not sure, but it may depend on whether the error was yours (or your lawyer’s) or their’s. 2 – It is preferable not to, but some people do and usually they do not have a problem. If USCIS questions this, you will need to explain why you used your passport and that you do not fear your government, but rather fear people and the government cannot protect you. 3 – It is better to correct it. All this will be solved once you become a US citizen, as that form allows you to change your name and once you get the certificate of citizenship, you will only have one name. It is annoying, but ultimately, it should be resolved. Take care, Jason


Amy Jo June 5, 2017 at 10:51 pm

Hi Jason real appreciate your help.
A friend of mine was interviewed in December 2016, they have not received a response but instead as of June 1 got a letter calling them with a Reschedule for Interview Notice with date.
Can you please advise on what this means especially as its been 6 months since they were interviewed.


ha June 6, 2017 at 4:17 am

It is normal
My second interview was after 16 months of the first one,
In my case the second one was with supervisor, it was totally different than the first one, I was approved 6 month later,
I think there is something important was said during the first interview and they want more information about before they approve them, so good luck.


Jason Dzubow June 6, 2017 at 6:07 am

It happens sometimes, and it can mean different things. Maybe the officer who did the interview left the job and the Officer’s notes were not complete. Maybe a new issue arose that needs to be explored. Maybe the officer and the supervisor had a disagreement about the case. The person will need to prepare for the interview as before (and keep in mind that your friend already testified once and he or she does not want to say anything inconsistent with that testimony). In many – but not all – cases, people get a decision pretty soon after a second interview. Take care, Jason


Asylee June 5, 2017 at 10:00 pm

As an asylee, on travel document one should go to visit other countries as a tourist? Or should wait for GC? Please give some risk factors too.


Jason Dzubow June 5, 2017 at 10:26 pm

If you have a Refugee Travel Document, you can travel to any country that will give you a visa and then return to the US. Of course, if you go to your home country (where you fear harm), that can cause you to lose your asylum status. Otherwise, there should be no problem to travel. Take care, Jason


Mynation June 6, 2017 at 12:48 pm

This happens. They need more information. I was called for three interviews. They just need to explore out more. Second interviews are typically short. Just review your documents and testimony. Hope it works out.


Jason Dzubow June 7, 2017 at 6:18 am

They are not always short – I had one recently that was 5 or 6 hours. Ugh. Take care, Jason


Carter June 5, 2017 at 5:16 pm

Dear Jason,
I have three questions
1. My receipt number is not being recognized online. Ive tried every possible way. It’s been 4 months since I submitted finger print. What could be wrong?
2. I’m based in Missouri. Is it possible for me to work in Washington DC after I get a Missouri work permit?
3.Do I have to change my address if ill only be in DC for 6 months?


Jason Dzubow June 5, 2017 at 10:19 pm

1 – Asylum receipt numbers cannot be checked on line. That is normal. 2 – You can, but if you move, you are required to change your address, and this well result in your case being transferred to the Virginia office, which has jurisdiction over DC. 3 – Probably not. If the move is temporary and you keep your old address, and keep your driver’s license, taxes, etc., at the old address, it would be appropriate to not change the address. Take care, Jason


AJ June 5, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Hi Jason,

I have a general question about the Travel Ban. Why is it a big thing knowing fully that a US consular overseas have full say in wether to grant a visa or nor? I mean for nationals from these countries it’s literally impossible to get a visa. Does the travel ban make a difference in this case? I am Syrian and I have a first hand experience.

Also, you mentioned a few times on your blog, the POTUS/Exec Branch have authority to deny entry for any citizen. So why are they pursuing fighting in courts?


Jason Dzubow June 5, 2017 at 10:17 pm

Good questions. Potentially, the Trump Administration could have quietly issued more stringent rules for people coming from countries that are perceived as problematic. That is not the path they chose, and I can’t help but think it is more about sending a message than it is about implementing an effective policy. Perhaps that is the path they will pursue if they cannot win in court, but I guess we will see. By the way, the US can block non-citizens and non-LPRs from coming to the US, but it cannot so easily block people who have some sort of right to enter the country (like US citizens or LPRs, for example). Take care, Jason


Kris June 5, 2017 at 1:29 am

I was granted Asylum by court more than one year ago and I scheduled infopass appointment with USCIS office to get my I-94.

When I went there, an officer filled my information on I-94 right in front of me and stamped it saying I was granted asylum.

To this day (more than 18 months by now), my I-94 apparently is not in their system. I have renewed my DL 3 times since I got that I-94. Each time, DMV run my info on SAVE, make me wait 3 weeks and issue limited term DL that expires in 8 months.

When I went to SSA office, they had same issue but luckily they checked my status manually by calling immigration court hotline number and processed my SSN even though SAVE wouldn’t return response.

I then filed I-730 for my wife. USCIS approved her application without any problem and sent her a new I-94. She went to get her DL and she somehow got full term License on the spot.

I am self employed and never needed EAD but few days ago, just to check, I entered my I-94/Alien number/SSN info on USICS Self check system and it would say they cannot verify my employment authorization. Then I requested review and after 5 days, the case number would say I was authorized for employment. I re-checked on self check but the automated system still could not verify.

Right now my I-485 is pending.

Looks like they do not update/enter I-94 when they give one at USCIS office but they do when they approve some kind of application like I-730 or probably EAD based on Asylum approval which I didn’t apply.

But luckily, they seem to properly verify manually as they easily approved I-730 for my wife and after 5 days would manually verify my employment authorization.

It would be nice if everything was properly automated.


Jason Dzubow June 5, 2017 at 9:57 pm

It would be nice. Luckily, most people do not have these kinds of issues, and hopefully once you have the green card, your issues will be resolved. Thank you for sharing the info. Take care, Jason


T. Malla June 4, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Hi Jason
I’m an asylum applicant. Just been six month, processed for EAD recently. Here my son is preparing for student visa for US. Is there any complications to get visa for him, as I had mention his name to my application. What should he say in his interview, is it okey to tell the truth or else. Please advise. Thanks


Jason Dzubow June 5, 2017 at 9:55 pm

He will have to tell the truth, as they probably already know about your application. The fact that you have filed for asylum may make it more difficult for him to get a student visa, so he should do his best to have evidence about why he will return to his country at the end of his studies, even if his parent is seeking asylum. Take care, Jason


ryan June 3, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Dear Mr. Jason,
I applied asylum in September 2016 in Houston’s office:
The lawyer told me that I will be called for the interview in 6-12 months after getting EAD. However, now I learn the Asylum interview bulletin and realize that the office is still working
it will probably take me like around 3 years to have the interview! My questions are:
1) did she lie to me to get money from me since I already paid haft?
2. what happens to my case If the lawyer knows I change to another lawyer? Thanks a lot


Allen June 3, 2017 at 8:22 pm

I believe she was not lying. it takes 8-10 months to get your EAD after you file your asylum claim. Then if you wait 6-12 months, that means she was expecting up to 2 years of waiting times for the interview. 2 years was the estimated waiting time for the interview when you applied in last September and It moved so slowly that now you are seeing 3 years waiting time now. However, things started to move faster recently so hopefully waiting times will be shorten. Again, it is very unpredictable.


Jason Dzubow June 5, 2017 at 6:24 am

First, things are moving a bit faster, so hopefully, it will not be quite as long as you think (but no one really knows). As to your questions: 1. Maybe, or maybe she just did not know. Either way, it might not be a good sign (either she lied or she does not have much experience with asylum). But maybe there is a good explanation (maybe she wanted to try to expedite your case). You may want to ask her, so you know why she told you that. 2. You can change to another lawyer if you want; that is up to you. The old lawyer is not allowed to do anything that can harm your case. Take care, Jason


Scopa June 5, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Dear Ryan,
Sometimes the lawyers just want to help us to minimize our anxiety. In my case the lawyer told me I can apply for work permit in four months. Do you imagine that? 4 months!!!! But I have already read the asylum based work permit takes 6 to 8 months from USCIS website. I just took her words postively and didn’t confronted. I know she should not do this, anyway her manager was straight forward and told me the interveiw might take months to several years.


Jason Dzubow June 5, 2017 at 10:23 pm

I suppose lawyers have different styles, but saying that you can apply for the EAD in 4 months is not a different style and it is not done to minimize anxiety. It is just plain wrong, and it probably violates the code of professional ethics that a lawyer is required to follow. It is nice of you to take it in a positive way, but I see that as a major problem and I would not use an attorney who either does not know the rules, or does know the rules and lies about them (even if it is to try to make you feel better – you will not felt better after you wait 4 months and learn that you are not eligible for the EAD yet). Take care, Jason


Jimi June 3, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Dear Jason,

As I have posted before I lost my EAD card, I tried for fee waiver but they denied it. My EAD is going to be expire after 90 days so I am planning to renew it. I red your blog on EAD, you have mentioned that they will send receipt for EAD extension. I would like to know what should I do? Should I apply for replacement of card and then apply for renew(that will takes almost half year) or I should apply for renew and I will get renewed EAD card. Thanks


Jason Dzubow June 5, 2017 at 6:21 am

It may be better to apply for a renewal, but check the I-765 instructions (at http://www.uscis.gov). I believe you need to provide an explanation about what happened to the old card. If not, the application might be rejected because USCIS thinks you already have a card. If you apply for a replacement card, I do not know whether the receipt will automatically extend your prior EAD (I doubt it, but I do not know). You may want to talk to a lawyer to help you make the best choice, as I am not sure which path would be better. Take care, Jason


majun June 3, 2017 at 12:45 pm

Asylum officers are trained to accept “I don’t know” as an answer. Some of their training references sources on the limitations of human memory and they should be willing to accept the fact that nobody remembers everything about every event they have lived through, as well as the fact that they may never have been privy to certain facts.

Using Jason’s example of his client whose father was prominent in the government, it is perfectly OK for the applicant to state that he doesn’t know much about his father’s affairs or about the government in general. But it will be much better if the applicant can offer some explanation of why he doesn’t know these things. His father was cold and distant, he and his father used to fight a lot, he is more interested in the arts and never really took that much interest in his father’s career, etc. etc.

Officer’s are trained to look for testimony that is specific, detailed and consistent. That being said, some of the applicant’s testimony may need to provide context, so it won’t all be specific to the applicant’s situation; nobody will know all the details of a specific event; and all eyewitness testimony contains some inconsistencies.

The issue of “I don’t know” often goes more to the issue of detail than consistency and officer’s are training to look at the totality of the circumstances, so they would expect a different level of detail from the leader of a banned political party than they would from a simple member of the party when asked about the party’s activities, philosophy, etc.

One type of situation where “I don’t know” would always crop up and create problems is the situation where the applicant is giving hearsay testimony. Often an applicant will testify about a family member who was harmed and officers will seek details about the event. If the applicant wasn’t present he will be testifying based on what he was told about the event by other people. Some asylum officers have a difficult time accepting the fact that if someone comes to you and tells you that your brother has just been killed and you need to flee the country, you probably won’t waste a lot of time asking questions to get more detailed information on the assassination. And even if you have been safe in the US for several months, or even years, and have been in contact with other family members, you may not ask for more details about your brother’s murder as it may be too painful. An applicant has to be prepared to explain these things when an asylum officer is pressing him/her for details about an event that they didn’t witness that they just don’t have. Just say “I don’t know” and then give the best explanation you can of why you don’t know.


Jason Dzubow June 5, 2017 at 6:18 am

Thank you – This is an important point (as always): You should be able to explain why you do not know something. In preparing a case, and an affidavit, many applicants learn information for the first time. Hopefully, going through that process will help prepare the applicant to answer questions not only about his story, but also about relevant events and people related to the story. Thank you for the comment, Jason


Ray June 3, 2017 at 9:22 am

recently recieved ead first name nd last name interchanged its is it ok to work or do i need to worry about that ?


Jason Dzubow June 5, 2017 at 6:39 am

You may want to call USCIS (or go there in person) and ask how to correct that. The phone number can be found at http://www.uscis.gov. The problem is that is could affect your driver’s license and other documents. Plus, since it is different from your passport, it might cause you some problems. On the other hand, it may take a while to fix the error (several months), and you may not want to wait for that. Good luck, Jason


Asylee June 2, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Dear Jason, Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your help to us asylum seekers! There is no one like you, noone cares like you and helps with such important information.
My question please. Our daughter is planning to get married with US citizen soon, while she is included in our family pending case. What shell we do? Do we need to take her out of the case as soon as she goes to the city hall. My husband and I are not happy about her future marriage and it is possible that she can do everything secretly, what do we need to do to protect ourselves, to do everything right on our side with our pending asylum case? So appreciate your answer and advice in advance!


Jason Dzubow June 4, 2017 at 8:25 am

Once she is married, she can no longer be part of your case as a dependent (it is not legally possible – only unmarried children can be a dependent of a parent). Otherwise, your own case should not be affected. Once you get to the asylum interview, you can inform the asylum office about her new status (married). I do not know why you would need to inform them about the marriage before then. Also, if she applies for a GC based on the marriage, it is possible that the asylum case would interfere and she would somehow have to contact the asylum office to have them forward her file, but I think you can not do anything about that at this point, and you will have to wait to see what happens. Take care, Jason


Asylee June 4, 2017 at 10:06 pm

Thank you so much dear Jason. Your help to all of us unbelievably appreciated.


Elias Zakarias June 2, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Frequently, when you do not know an answer, ” I don’t know” is fully unacceptable.” An asylum applicant’s job is to explain his case. If the question is “how many people were there ?” then I don’t know” is a very bad answer, even if you don’t know. How about: “I don’t know, but maybe around 30-50 ?” Much better answer


Jason Dzubow June 4, 2017 at 7:42 am

In the example you give, I think that is right – if you are talking about how many people were in the prison cell with you, and your written statement says 25, and you estimate 30 in your oral testimony, that is better than “I don’t know”. But if asked, What are your father’s job duties? And you answer without knowing, you risk creating problems. One is an incorrect estimate (of the number of people). The other is a guess when you actually do not know. Take care, Jason


Faith June 2, 2017 at 1:42 pm

Hi jason.thank you for all your advices.I did apply for asylum since December 2015 .I just need you to give me a little hope that all or some of the cases before the decision (Dec 2014) were solve. I am going to two years of waiting and iam telling you its hard.in my field office they are still caring for cases from jan-March 2014.it’s a long way for me.how many years again…it’s my everyday question.thank you


Jason Dzubow June 2, 2017 at 5:00 pm

You may want to try to expedite your case. I wrote a post about that on March 30, 2017, which might help. Otherwise, I can say that asylum cases are moving a bit faster, at least in my local office, and I think they will be going faster nationwide. Take care, Jason


Jo June 2, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Hi Jason, thanks for the useful info. I applied for my EAD in Feb and received a notice that it was transferred to Potomac service center. I called in late May to USCIS as it was over the 75 day processing time and they put in a service request since it was more than 75 since anything had happened. Today I got an email saying that my case had been transferred yet again. I checked the USCIS website a week ago and saw that the Potomac service center wasn’t even dealing with EADs based on asylum. I think my application had just been sitting there all this time and they were alerted to it because I called. I’m guessing they transferred it back to Nebraska. So I guess my question is will do you know if it will have top priority when its transferred because I’ve been waiting so long?


Jason Dzubow June 2, 2017 at 4:58 pm

We have not seen long delays for EADs, but it does seem like waiting times in general are going up. This could be a result of the new Administration, or it could just be random. Or it could just be my impression from our cases. Anyway, I am not sure, but hopefully, you will get the EAD pretty soon. Take care, Jason


Allen June 2, 2017 at 6:00 pm

just for your information, my and my wife’s EAD applications were received directly by Nebraska in Later March ( I was expecting Vermont) and it took 55 days for my wife and 65 days for me to receive the card. It was in line with the EAD processing times published in USCIS website so we are lucky!


Jo June 2, 2017 at 10:56 pm

I guess I just have super bad luck then. It was sent to Nebraska first and then they sent it to Potomac I guess they are sending it back to Nebraska(I hope)


Jason Dzubow June 4, 2017 at 8:13 am

Thank you for letting us know, Jason


Jo June 2, 2017 at 10:58 pm

I hope so too. Thanks Jason!


Nevadi June 2, 2017 at 11:32 pm

Dont worry much about that. Mine was done by potomac service center and im pendind asylum. Its took 95 days. Hope you will get it soon.


Jo June 6, 2017 at 10:39 am

Thanks Nevadi!

XY June 2, 2017 at 1:32 am

Hi Jason,

Today, I went to pick up my decision and got approval. I would like to thank you for your helpful blog and time to time replies to my questions and concerns. It really helped me. May god rewards you for all your help.

I am sharing my timeling and a short recommendation that might help someone out there.

Applied Asylum: Feb-2015
Interview Scheduled’: Mar-2017
Interview Rescheduled: May-2017
Pick up approval: June:2017
Country: Afghanistan,
Age: 26

Please be very careful in choosing a lawyer for your case, no matter how strong your case is, if you do not have an experienced lawyer, your chances of wining would drop, and you would have difficult time during the whole process. An experienced lawyer can help you better organize and prepare your case. Experienced lawyers understand the law and are able to understand an individual’s case. A lawyer is like a bridge between the law and asylum applicant. If a lawyer is experienced, he/she will be able to adjust your claim into the law, and will make you win it, and if a lawyer is not experienced, he/she will not be able to do so. I think there is no strong and weak claim, what matter is how the claim is prepared and adjusted to the law. So work with an experienced lawyer, I personally recommand Jason for anyone or other well experienced lawyers like Jason.

Hope all you guys get a positive decisions as soon as possible. Have faith!!!


MAZ June 2, 2017 at 4:56 am

Hi, XY

Congratulations and Welcome to USA


XY June 3, 2017 at 11:08 pm

Thank you Mad, good luck with your case.


XY June 3, 2017 at 11:09 pm

Sorry for misspelling, Maz!


Jason Dzubow June 2, 2017 at 6:40 am

Congratulations and best wishes in the US! Also, thank you for your comments on this blog – they have always been interesting and helpful (and now I know something more about the traffic situation in San Francisco as well). Take care, Jason


XY June 3, 2017 at 11:07 pm

Thank you Jason, god bless you.


Jimi June 2, 2017 at 7:18 pm

Congratulations XY, welcome to Amarica really happy for you! Could you please tell me where did you give the interview, I’m waiting for my decision from NY. Thanks


XY June 3, 2017 at 11:02 pm

Thank u Jami! I gave my interview in San Francisco. Good luck with your case, hope u get the decision soon.


Anton June 2, 2017 at 9:04 pm

Thank you for sharing this information. Could you please tell in which office you were interviewed. Trying to calculate my own interview date. I applied around the same time.


XY June 3, 2017 at 11:06 pm

Hey Anton,

My asylum office was San Francisco. And if you check the USCIS asylum scheduling bulletin, it can give you a good idea. I can say that the Bulletin is pretty accurate. Good luck with your case.
Thank u


Br June 3, 2017 at 11:40 pm

Congratulations XY, really happy for you! Could you please tell me ..how many officers where available to handle interviews daily some say its its 4 some 8 so i’m confused, could you please clear that if possible…

Thank you.


XY June 4, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Thank you Br,

In the waiting room there were likely more than ten applicants with families or alone. Each applicant’s (Single or family) case is assigned to one asylum officer, so I can say that there were arround 10 asylum officers conducting interviews. Before I was called by my asylum officer, I myself saw 3 or 4 asylum officers who came to the waiting room and called the applicants for the interview.
Good luck with your interview,

Sara June 5, 2017 at 12:55 pm

OMG! Congrats, XY!
Very happy for you. You’ve been an active and helpful participant on here, so I’m extra happy that you won your case 🙂


XY June 5, 2017 at 11:22 pm

Thank you, Sara!
I learned alot from you on the blog. Hope you will have your interview/decision soon. Good luck. 🙂


Sara June 6, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Thanks, XY 🙂 I’ll keep you, Jason and my asylum-seeking peeps posted on any positive updates 🙂


XY June 9, 2017 at 12:42 pm

Sure, we would be Happy to read it time to time.

YL June 6, 2017 at 6:17 am

Congrats XY i think you believed me when i told you to sit back and relaxing you going to get reschedule soon. Im really happy for you (im still practicing my writing class here..lol, did it get any better ?)


XY June 9, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Hi YL,

Thank you. Yes, I remember that comment of you. I not only got the reschedule soon, but luckily the decision too. I pray for you too. Hope you will have your interview/decision soon.
And yh your English is improved, hope I had a chance to take a class with you. Lol ?
Good luck


Raeq June 6, 2017 at 10:36 am

Congratulations, XY! Wonderful news. I had my interview in May as well but in Boston, and I’m hoping to hear back soon.
Enjoy life in the US worry-free (from asylum anxiety at least…)


XY June 9, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Thank you Raeq,
The wait time is really disturbing, but have faith. One day all the wait will be paid off. I hope you will get the approval soon. Good luck


Hope June 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Congratulations to you. I’m still waiting for my EAD from Nebraska SC. Hope I will get it soon cause I applied on April.


Tina June 1, 2017 at 8:15 pm

THANK you, Jason.


LC June 1, 2017 at 3:53 pm

Hello Jason ! Thank you so much for this website because it has been a very helpful source of all information we need as a asylum seekers .
How many years a green card based on asylum is valid for ?


Jason Dzubow June 2, 2017 at 6:26 am

If you get a GC based on asylum, it is permanent. This means your status as a lawful permanent resident lasts forever unless you do something to lose your status (commit a crime, leave the US for too long, etc.). The card itself lasts for 10 years and you need to renew it (or better yet, become a US citizen). Take care, Jason


Mynation June 1, 2017 at 3:07 pm

That is a good question. I am curious to know that too.


Mario Romero June 1, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Hello, it’s been a month since my work permit renewal was received by USCIS, but still the status hsn’t changed. I already have the first notice with the receipt number, and you have said that the current permit gets an extension of 180 days with that recipt. But I can’t see nothing on the letter that states that. Is just something automatic? How do I know or how do I renew my drivers license? Thanks!


Jason Dzubow June 2, 2017 at 6:24 am

The letter itself should indicate that your old EAD is extended. If not, I did a post on January 25, 2017 that provides some links to the USCIS website indicating the automatic extension. You could print the link and show it to the DMV or your employer, and it is evidence that the EAD is automatically extended. Take care, Jason


Rakel June 8, 2017 at 10:19 am

What happens to my EAD after my interview and asylum granted? If for example I just sent it in for renewal, do i still need it or need to continue to renew it after approval?
Thank you Jason for all your help.


Jason Dzubow June 8, 2017 at 5:06 pm

If asylum is approved, you will get a new EAD based on the approval. Then, after one year, you can apply for your green card. Once you have that, you no longer need an EAD. Take care, Jason


Rakel June 9, 2017 at 8:28 pm

Thank you for your response, Jason.
Another question is: My interview is slated for 20 June and my EAD expires 22 June (this month). would you advise to wait until after my interview before I mail in my renewal application? Trying to save some money but I dont know if this is a wise thing to do.
Pls advise me.
Thank you and God bless you!

Sara June 10, 2017 at 12:14 am

Are you currently employed? Because if so, you might want to send in your renewal application prior to your EAD expiration date so that the automatic extension (of the old card) will apply to you.
I’m expecting to receive my interview invitation in a month or so (based on the bulletin progress), and have let my EAD expire for months now. I figured that, since I’m not currently employed, it may be wise (cheaper) to wait and get it when I’m hopefully granted asylum. Not sure if this could be an issue.


Jason Dzubow June 12, 2017 at 6:38 am

Its up to you, and it may take a long time to get the decision after the interview. One issue: If you file after the old EAD expires, I do not know whether you qualify for the automatic extension of the old EAD. If you do not care about that, you can wait to see how the interview goes, and if it looks like a quick decision is coming, you can wait. But remember, even if the officer tells you a decision should come soon, it does not always happen that way. For my clients in your situation, I generally recommend that they renew, but it is up to you (also, you can try the fee waiver form, I-912, at http://www.uscis.gov, to avoid the fee). Take care, Jason


Rakel June 12, 2017 at 10:14 am

Thanks Sara for your opinion, I appreciate it.

Jason, thank you again for your expertise and making time for people like me. May God reward you beyond imaginations!!
I checked the fee waiver and I don’t think i qualify since i earn just a thousand above income limit for a single.
I think I will just go ahead and renew. I guess better safe than sorry.
Thank you again for your advice.


Jason Dzubow June 12, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Personally, I think it may be the more cautious approach, even if it is more expensive. Take care, Jason


Sara June 13, 2017 at 12:51 am

Hi Jason,

When you say renewing the EAD is the more cautious approach, do you mean it’s safer with regards to employment status or that’s it’s safer in general for asylum seekers to have their EADs remain current, and not let them expire even if they’re not immediately needed for employment?



Jason Dzubow June 13, 2017 at 6:24 am

It is more cautious because we do not know when or if the asylum case will be approved. If the case is approved quickly, the new EAD will have been a waste of money. But if it takes time, the person will be glad to have an EAD while waiting for the decision, and in the scheme of life, the money for the EAD is not so important. Take care, Jason


Sara June 13, 2017 at 10:17 am

Got it. Thank you, Jason.


Jason Dzubow June 23, 2017 at 6:19 am

If she does something harmful, that would be another reason to file a bar complaint. As for the fee, it is very variable. I did a blog post about that on March 2, 2016 that might help. Take care, Jason


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