Advance Parole: Overseas Travel for Asylum Seekers

by Jason Dzubow on September 11, 2017

When government scientists invented Advance Parole (“AP”), they were not thinking about asylum seekers. Even today, if you look at the instructions to form I-131, the form used to apply for AP, you’ll find nary a word about asylum seekers (though asylees—people already granted asylum—can apply for a Refugee Travel Document using the same form). But fear not: People who have filed affirmatively for asylum and who are waiting for their interview can file for AP in order to travel abroad and return while their case is pending.

If your relative has a serious illness (or thinks he does), it may be enough for AP.

First, a brief word about asylum seekers who are not eligible to travel and return using AP. People who are in removal proceedings (i.e., in Immigration Court) cannot leave the U.S. and return, even if they have AP. If you are in removal proceedings, it means the government is trying to deport you, and if you leave, you are considered to have deported yourself. Thus, even if you apply for AP and receive the travel document, if you leave the United States, you will be deported, and thus barred from return. And yes, I am sure that there is a story about your third cousin’s best friend who was in Immigration Court, and who left and returned using AP. To that, I say: Talk to your cousin’s friend’s lawyer (and if you learn something, let me know!). My opinion is that if you are in removal proceedings and you leave the U.S., either you won’t get back here at all, or you will be detained upon arrival.

Another group that may be ineligible to travel using AP are J-1 visa holders subject to the pesky two-year home residency requirement. There are more people like this than you might imagine, and for such people, I recommend you talk to a lawyer about AP. Asylum basically “erases” the home residency requirement, but it is unclear (at least to me) whether this will work for purposes of AP while the asylum application is still pending.

Also, there was a group of people who were ineligible for AP, but who are now eligible. It is people who have six months or more of “unlawful presence.” If a person remains in the U.S. after her period of stay ends, she accrues unlawful presence (you stop accruing unlawful presence once you file for asylum). If she accrues six months of unlawful presence and leaves, she is barred from returning for three years. If she has one year or more of unlawful presence and then leaves, she cannot return for 10 years. Prior to 2012, if a person had six or more months of unlawful presence and left, she could not return to the U.S., even with AP. However, a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals changed the rule, and so now, even if you have unlawful presence, you can leave the U.S. and return using Advance Parole. Thank you BIA!

There might be other people who are also ineligible to travel–people with criminal convictions or prior removal/deportation orders, for example. If you are not sure, you should certainly talk to a lawyer before applying for AP or traveling.

Next, let’s talk about what AP is and is not. If you get AP, you will receive a piece of paper with your photo on it. This paper works like a U.S. visa. It allows you to board the plane (or boat, if, like me, you hate flying), and pass through customs once you arrive at the port of entry. AP is not a passport or a Refugee Travel Document. You cannot use it to go to other countries or as a form of ID. If you travel with AP, you also need a passport. Keep in mind that traveling with a passport from a country where you fear persecution can raise questions at the asylum interview about why you would “avail” yourself of the protection of your country by using its passport. You should be prepared to respond to such questions, with evidence, during your interview.

So how do you apply for AP? Use form I-131. This one magic form can be used for all sorts of different applications: AP, Refugee Travel Document, DACA (at least for the next couple weeks), humanitarian parole. If you are applying for AP, complete only the portions of the form that apply to Advance Parole. You need to include evidence of a pending asylum case (receipts, biometrics notice), two passport-size photos, a copy of your passport or other government-issued photo ID (like an EAD card), and the filing fee (a whopping $575.00 as of this writing).

Also, you need to demonstrate a humanitarian need for the travel. It is not enough that you simply want to travel. A humanitarian reason might be that you are traveling to receive medical treatment or going to visit a seriously ill relative. It might also be because you are attending a funeral for a close relative. We have sought AP for people who needed to travel for work or education, though that was pre-Trump, and I would not feel particularly optimistic about such an application today.

To demonstrate a humanitarian need for AP, you need to provide a written explanation for the travel. You also need to provide evidence: A letter from the doctor, in the case of medical travel, or a death certificate if you are traveling for a funeral. If you are trying to travel for work or education, you need a letter from your job or school, plus an explanation of why the travel is “humanitarian.” In addition, if you are traveling to visit a sick relative, provide proof of the relationship, such as birth or marriage certificates connecting you to your relative.

On the form I-131, you need to state the dates of proposed travel. Don’t make the date too soon, or USCIS will not be able to process the paperwork before your travel date, and then they will send a request for evidence asking you to explain whether you still plan to travel since your departure date passed before AP was approved.

Also, it may be possible to expedite a request for AP, or even to get AP on an emergency basis, though you can bet that the bureaucrats at USCIS will not make the process easy. For more information about such requests, see the USCIS Ombudsman webpage.

Finally, and this is important, if you are an asylum seeker and you use AP to visit your home country, it will very likely cause your asylum case to be denied. Indeed, unless you can demonstrate “compelling reasons” for returning to your country, your asylum application will be deemed abandoned by the return trip. You can learn more about that here.

So there you have it. Most lawyers–including this one–discourage our clients from traveling with AP. There is always a risk when you leave the U.S. You might have trouble boarding a return flight. You could be detained upon arrival in the United States. Our capricious President might issue a new travel ban. But so far (knock on wood), we have not had any problems for our clients who traveled using AP. I do think it is better to stay in the country while your asylum application is pending, but given the long waits, some people must travel. If so, at least AP gives most people that option.

{ 144 comments… read them below or add one }

Goda September 19, 2017 at 7:25 am

Hello Mr. Jason,
I’am single and a christian from Egypt, i would like to submit asylum so i just want to ask you 2 questions
* can i submit my case based on general situation for coptics christian in Egypt ?.
* I asked many people about timeline for them cases and i found big variable between them timelines although they all under the same office but they lives in different cities in the same state and some one told me this different because each some county in the state belong local office and this local office have timeline not like another local office , and i told him but all under the same head office and all applicants make them interviews in the head office and they all in the same state !!, i don’t know if his words is right or not, but i can’t understand the different of them timelines. i would like to know your opinion.
thanks Jason, and God bless you.

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Mx September 19, 2017 at 12:20 am

Hi jason. I received a recommended approval after one week of my interview, I have been waiting for two months to get the final decision and nothing yet. I have valid refugee travel document and I need to travel urget. Is travelling can effect my final decision and cause denial ?!

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Nasir September 19, 2017 at 1:36 am

Which office was your interview and after how many days you got your recommended letter ?

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Nasir September 18, 2017 at 11:53 pm

Hi Jason hope You are doing wel , my father interview was in june 15th Arlington asylum office it’s almost 3mounts but no decision yet what you think how long take to get decistion ?

Many thanks .

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Jason Dzubow September 19, 2017 at 6:42 am

There is no way to know, but he can contact the asylum office and inquire about the status of his case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Asylum seekers01 September 18, 2017 at 11:34 am

Hello Jason ,

I had my interview, and got recommended approval , it’s been over three months since I got that , and since then didn’t receive any updates. I know it’s hard to estimate when will get the final result , but do you have any idea, or suggestions ? Thank you Jason and I really appreciated it.

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Rayan September 18, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Depends on the origin of the applicant and his/her background check for me it lasted full year

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Dev September 18, 2017 at 5:48 pm

I agree.. For me it was quick.. I got my final approval In 2 weeks..

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Nasir September 18, 2017 at 11:37 pm

Hi , Dev hope you are doing well when was your interview and which office after interview how many days you got your approval ?

Many thanks .

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Jason Dzubow September 19, 2017 at 6:26 am

There is no way to know. We have seen people wait a few days and we have seen people wait years. I wrote about a very sad case on August 27, 2015 – you can read that if you want to feel depressed. You can certainly contact the asylum office to inquire about the status of the case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Sudani September 18, 2017 at 10:58 am

hey guys..
I am from Sudan and I applied for asylum Jan 2014, interviewed June 2015 and waiting for decision up to now. do any one have similar situation or got decision during these period. please let us know as it will really help.. thanks.

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Nasir September 18, 2017 at 11:39 pm

Which office was your interview ?

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Adam September 19, 2017 at 5:25 am

Sudani,

I applied my asylum on June 2014 and the interview on Nov 2015 and still waiting for a decision. I follow up with the asylum office but every time I go there they say decision is not ready.

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Jason Dzubow September 19, 2017 at 6:25 am

I wrote about this problem on October 21, 2014 and October 20, 2015 – maybe those postings would help. Take care, Jason

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Gonzales September 18, 2017 at 10:37 am

Hi Jason,

I have a quick question. Do you have any idea about how much it will take to be called from the short list? I know you wrote about it before but I want to learn from your experience. How much usually it takes to be called from the shortlist? How many people are in the list and how many people they call each month? Do you think more people are withdrawing (not showing up) nowadays and the shortlist is faster than before?

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Jason Dzubow September 19, 2017 at 6:22 am

Different offices have different wait times (and not all offices have short lists). In my local office, Virginia, I think the wait is more than a year, but I am not sure. It might be possible to email the asylum office to ask. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. I think the offices are generally moving faster than the were before, and so I suspect more people will cancel and more names will be taken from the short list. Take care, Jason

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Asylum seeker September 17, 2017 at 8:31 pm

I’m the main applicant of asylum and my husband is included in it
He has a good job so can his employee apply for his H1 visa???

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Jason Dzubow September 19, 2017 at 6:15 am

The employer can apply for an H1b visa for him. Whether he has to leave the US to get the visa or he can change status here, I do not know. Also, not everyone is eligible to leave the US, get a new visa, and return. He should talk to the H1b visa lawyer about that to make sure he is eligible. Take care, Jason

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JoJo September 17, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Hi Jason,
I appreciate your effort to help Asylum seekers and keep going in your work.
I have one question, I applied my case in Arlington office and I am now other states to visit my relatives. My visa dates is expires. But I give biometrics and now I applied for EAD.
Currently I want to back to DC, Can I travel via Airplane without updated Visa or state ID? Can I Use my fingerprint receipt as travel document?
JoJo

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Jason Dzubow September 18, 2017 at 5:49 pm

The fingerprint receipt is not a travel document. You will need to use a photo ID like a passport. You should keep your asylum receipt and fingerprint notice with you too, as they show you are in the US legally. Take care, Jason

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Ridley September 17, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Hi Jason,

I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Thank you for this article. I was going to use AP for family emergency and had to renew my national passport in order to travel internationally for that reason. I never got my AP and my plan has changed since didn’t receive the passport on time, and it was just too late for the travel. My interview is still coming and I’m worried that they will deny my case because I renewed the passport of the country I fled from. What can I do in this situation?
Thank you,

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Jason Dzubow September 18, 2017 at 5:45 pm

I doubt that will be a big problem, but you should be prepared to explain why you renewed the passport. And have some evidence, such as medical documents or letters related to the family emergency that almost caused you to travel. Take care, Jason

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Mario September 16, 2017 at 9:33 pm

Dear Mr Jason :
I hope you and your family having a blessed weekend,
And thank you in advance for the answer for the 2 questions I’m going to ask ,
I’m from the middle east not the banned countries ,
I’ve lived in New Mexico for almost16 months then moved to Los Angeles in 2015 applied for asylum and expedite the process because of health issue , got the interview 2017 and then they’ve asked to do second interview , I’ve got granted aslylee in May this year , I’m willing to move back to New Mexico as the life is cheaper and easier and less stress there , but I have to change my adress to new Mexico which mean the asylum office will be Houston , which is tougher as you know , do you advice me to wait until I get the Green Card from Los Angeles, or you advice me to move if it’s a100% the same process and I’m not going to face any problems with houston office , my Second questions,: is there any interview when adjusting the status and applying for a green card in May ?
Thanks and have a great day 🙂

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Jason Dzubow September 18, 2017 at 5:42 pm

If you already were granted asylum, you do need to update your address if you move (form AR-11, available at http://www.uscis.gov), but you will not need to return to the asylum office. You apply for your GC through a different office, and whether you live in CA or NM should make no difference to your green card case. Normally, there is not an interview to adjust status. This will change on October 1, but for principal applicants, who were interviewed for asylum, they should still not need an interview (at least that is how I read the new rule). Take care, Jason

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Akash September 16, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Hello! Jason
My friend has got EAD card with asylum, he is a student at a university, he wants to withdraw current university and go to another university in the US, is it possible to withdraw current university?
Does school know that he got his EAD if he didn’t tell to the school? thanks!

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Jason Dzubow September 18, 2017 at 6:45 am

He can either attend the new university using only his EAD card, or he can get a new I-20 and keep his F-1 student status (at the same time as asylum). It is up to him, and the new university (not all schools might accept the EAD, but most probably do). He can talk to the new school about that. If he gives up the F-1 status and loses, his case, he will be send to an immigration judge where he can try again. If he maintains his F-1 visa, he can try to stay here through OPT and then an employment-based visa and/or an H1b work visa. But if he is still in valid F-1 status and gets denied asylum, his case will be closed and he will not see the judge. The main advantage of keeping the F-1 status is that it gives him an alternative path to stay in the US, if asylum does not work out. Take care, Jason

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Kc September 15, 2017 at 11:36 pm

Hello Jason ! Thank you for your advice about asylum ! Do you have any further information about interview for asylee who will apply for green card ? Thank you !!

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Jason Dzubow September 18, 2017 at 6:31 am

I am not sure what Ingo you are looking for, but I am doing a post related to this topic soon – probably later this week. Take care, Jason

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L.F September 15, 2017 at 11:03 pm

Hi everyone
One general question
After interview, if the result in not positive, how long does it take to introduce the judge and how long it take to go to court??
I’m talking in general or specifik for NY !?
Jason & everyone I appreciate your opinion
Regards & take care

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Jason Dzubow September 18, 2017 at 6:30 am

It varies, but most people probably see a judge for the first hearing within 4 or 5 months. How long the case will take varies a lot depending on the judge. It could be anywhere from 6 months to 6 years. Things are moving a bit faster in court these days, and at least for the judges we normally see, 1 to 2 years is the normal wait time form the first hearing to the final hearing. Take care, Jason

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YC September 15, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Hi Jason, thank you for helping previously. After much consideration over your advice, I have sent forms and added my spouse as my dependent. Days after there was no receipt but a new biometrics notice for my spouse only. In your experience, is this normal? Thank you Jason

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Jason Dzubow September 18, 2017 at 6:20 am

I think that is normal. You should apply for your spouses EAD on the same schedule as your own (so if you have your EAD, the spouse can apply for an EAD now). Take care, Jason

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YC September 18, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Thank you for your reply Jason. Yes, we have both gotten our EAD. This was before I applied for spouse dependent.

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Mohit September 15, 2017 at 8:01 pm

Hi Jason,
Asylum office has published the scheduling bulletin, I am from New york and the bulletin shows that New York office is scheduling for interview who filed April 2015 to August 2015, can you share some ideas why they are scheduling for 5 months instead of month to month?
I filed on October 2015 so what do you think about the applicant who filed on October 2015 approx date for interview?
I look forward your response.
Many thinks.

Regards
Mohit

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Jason Dzubow September 18, 2017 at 6:19 am

I can’t predict when your interview will be, but it should be relatively soon, so make sure you have submitted all your evidence. As for why they are giving a rage of dates, one reason may be that they are choosing cases from anytime during that period, and not necessarily doing cases in order that they were filed. I am not sure about this, but time will tell. Take care, Jason

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Mohit September 18, 2017 at 10:13 pm

Hi Jason,
Thank you for your response about my queires, I have submitted I-589 only. Do I have to submit rest of the documents on the interview day or before the interview day? Thank you.

Regards
Mohit

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Jason Dzubow September 19, 2017 at 6:38 am

Different offices have different rules. In my local office – Virginia – all documents must be submitted at least one week before the interview. You can contact your asylum office to ask about the rule for you. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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AlexH September 15, 2017 at 10:37 am

Hi, Jason,
I filed my political asylum in July,2014 in Seattle, I know Seattle is a sub-office, and I have emailed San Francisco office every 6 month for the past 2 years. The response I get from them is always the same, they are currently scheduling for people filed in December,2012.
I guess there is no need to call or email anybody, I was wondering, if I could schedule an in person inquiry through info-pass, maybe talk to somebody here in the Seattle office just to get an idea when are they going to maybe move on on their schedule since it literately never move an inch since 2015 I first emailed, what do you think? Will I get some kind of update or information through in person inquiry or do you think it will still be a waste of time?
Thank you kindly

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Jason Dzubow September 15, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Calling them and emailing will do nothing to help you. You can request that they expedite, and they can say yes or no. If they have a short list, you can ask for that, but I do not know if they have a short list. Otherwise, you have to wait for your interview and contacting them will have no effect. Take care, Jason

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AlexH September 15, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Yeah, I think so.
If they have a shortlist that will only apply to people who are severely in need of expediting right? Everybody treats singles as if we literately have no need for anything in the world. I am here by myself, no family. But I am young, healthy, have job I guess probably wouldn’t fit their criteria to select into a short list, is that true?

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Jason Dzubow September 18, 2017 at 6:22 am

Not all offices have a short list, but short list can be done by anyone; you do not need a reason. To expedite, you need a reason. I did a post about that on March 30, 2017, and while it may be more difficult for a single person to expedite, it is possible. Take care, Jason

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AlexH September 15, 2017 at 8:38 pm

I understand totally, there are people, suffered so much, in need of expediting their cases. But,what everybody sees singles as we are just carefree which is not true. They do put young,healthy, singles as non priority I am pretty sure,and I get it. I am not here to argue, but it is painful,and literately it’s a torment to have this burden, to live in uncertainty for 4 years and much longer who knows! I haven’t even get an interview. I think you understand Jason, you probably the only one understands…I probably just wait. I know there is nothing I can do. And there are more people in need of expediting their cases than me. 4 years already, why not more…

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Jason Dzubow September 18, 2017 at 6:23 am

I do think it is very bad for singles too, it is just worse for people separated from family. We have expedited cases for singles, and there is no harm in trying. Take care, Jason

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AlexH September 18, 2017 at 8:58 pm

Thank you, Jason, I’d like to try the shortlist and expedition, but if it is possible to do those on my own? I do not count on my lawyer at all, he’s always busy always busy.. with other people’s cases.Thank you

Emma September 15, 2017 at 5:53 am

Hi Jason, I am an asylum applicant together with my wife and kids. My application is pending for over 150 days and I am about to apply for EAD, am I also expected to apply for EAD for my minor children? Thanks, Emma

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Jason Dzubow September 15, 2017 at 6:20 am

Most children do not need EADs, but you can apply for them if you want them to get an EAD. It is up to you. Maybe older children, like 15 or 16 would need an EAD, but a 2-year old probably would not need one. Take care, Jason

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Ha September 16, 2017 at 2:54 am

I advise you to apply for them, because it is the only way for them to get SSN,you will need SSN for them when you file for tax so you get a tax refund credit for the kids.

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Emma September 16, 2017 at 6:31 am

Thanks all, I guess I will just go ahead and apply for them too

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Russel September 15, 2017 at 4:41 am

Hi Jason

I wanted to add my spouse to the application and we sent a package to the service center. We received a Notice Of Action 797C which asked her to appear at the fingerprint facility, and she passed it. Now we are thinking about what is coming next. Will we receive a final letter from USCIS approving her accession to my application or 797C is enough to say that, yes, she has been added. Can we submit an EAD application for her? many thanks.

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Jason Dzubow September 15, 2017 at 6:19 am

It sounds like she is added to the case. You can contact your local asylum office to try to confirm this. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. She should be eligible for the EAD at the same time you are eligible. Take care, Jason

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Alan September 15, 2017 at 7:20 pm

Hi Jason,
At the same time? If I applied in 2015 and waiting for my renewal now, my wife was added (on the interview) few months ago and passed her fingerprints.Can she apply for EAD immediately or need to wait 150 days?
And second question please
We didn’t file 730, office included her in the initial application 2015. Will new requirement (extra interview) apply on her?
Thank you for help!

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Jason Dzubow September 18, 2017 at 6:16 am

If your wife was added after you already have the EAD, she can apply immediately – she is on the same schedule as you regardless of when she was added to the case. I do not know whether the extra interview will apply to a spouse who is a dependent on an asylum case. It might, but that is for later – when and if she is applying for a green card. Take care, Jason

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Sim September 14, 2017 at 6:11 pm

I filled my asylum in taxes they received my application on 1 sep 2017 since then I didn’t get any confirmation mail or anything . Can u tell me what’s the process once u send application to asylum office?

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Scopa September 14, 2017 at 9:12 pm

It is too early. I have applied last year and it took one month to receive the confirmation letter. To be specific
1. Application sent on october 6, 2016
2. Application received on October 27, 2016
3. Receipt notice and fingerprint notice on November 2, 2016
4. Work permit applied on March 28, 2017
5. Work permit received on May 22, 2017
Currently working
Take care

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 10:07 pm

After 3 or 4 weeks, you get a receipt, and then after that a fingerprint appointment. You can apply for a work permit 150 days after the asylum case was received by USCIS. Eventually, you will have an interview. You can check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin (a link is at right) to get an idea about how long the wait for the interview will be. Take care, Jason

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Nab September 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

Hello I hope I can find my answer here 🙂
If I did an asylum interview and they transferred me to immigration court . Then if I decided to marry my USA girl friend can I adjust my status through normal procedures or I have to wait for date of immigration court so that the judge will approve my adjustment of status application and if he did that , the issuance date of green card will be after the approval of judge or it will be the date of Which I submitted the petition of family relative when I got married.

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 10:02 pm

The procedure is different when your case is in Immigration Court, but assuming you are eligible, you should be able to get your green card that way. Normally, the US citizen files an I-130, you give a copy to the Judge, and the case is put on hold. Once the I-130 is approved, you tell the Judge who dismisses the case and then you adjust status with USCIS. Not everyone can do it this way, and there are alternative ways to do this if the Judge allows (for example, do your adjustment with the Judge instead of USCIS), and so you should talk to a lawyer to help guide you through the process. Take care, Jason

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hasan September 14, 2017 at 12:57 pm

I am a pending asylum applicant and my case is in immigration court. I have completed my MBA from USA. I read about EB2 and EB3 visa. Being a pending asylum applicant, can I still apply for EB2 or EB3 visa for getting a green card?
Moreover, I was applying for a full-time job, but once they see my EAD with C08 category with an expiration date, an employer does not go for any job offer. What can be the answer for my EAD to work full-time professional job?

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 9:56 pm

You are eligible to work, and there is no reason not to hire you. I do not know whether there are any protections based on discrimination, but I don’t think so. Anyway, you can work at any employer that will hire you. As for EB-2 or EB-3, you may be eligible, but most likely you would need to leave the US to get your GC at a US embassy, and this may or may not be possible, depending on the facts of your case. You should talk to a lawyer about that to see if you are eligible to get the GC before you start spending money on an employment-based application. Take care, Jason

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saniya September 14, 2017 at 12:31 pm

I came as a student on 2013, I filed for asylum on 2015 and gave my interview on 2017. My visa has expired as well as my home country passport. As I am planning to have a baby, can I apply for health insurance of me and my baby? Where should I go and whom should I talk and do I need to provide any documents related to my asylum? How does the process work? If you could give me some idea then I will be grateful to you.

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Sara September 14, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Congrats on your pregnancy!
Did you try contacting Planned Parenthood? They’ll put you on a sliding fee scale relative to your income, and provide the care you need. And no, you won’t need to provide them with any proof of your immigration status.

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 9:53 pm

Your child will be a US citizen, and thus probably eligible for certain benefits. You can Google “Catholic Charities” + your city and maybe you will find an office near you. They usually know something about public benefits. Take care, Jason

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Sim September 14, 2017 at 11:01 am

I filled my asylum in taxes they received my application on 9 sep 2017 since then I didn’t get any confirmation mail or anything . Can u tell me what’s the process once u send application to asylum office?

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 9:52 pm

It is too soon to worry. It usually takes 3 or 4 weeks to get the receipt. Take care, Jason

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Zongo yacouba September 13, 2017 at 10:15 pm

I wany get any new

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KK September 13, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Hi Sir Jason,
This september 11 publishment article has had my bones chilling. I came to the USA in 2009 from the border way like many other immigrants and I stayed in a rehabilitation center where I was detained and got bail after paying certain bond and during my time in the detention center I filed asylum. Then My file was at the immigration court(i.e: removal proceedings). I wasn’t approved in the court so I had to further move on to High Court. In 2016 I started living on Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This year on May I applied for Advance parole and received my travel document on August 23rd and I was planning to go back visit my family due to some personal reasons which I haven’t even stated in the form I-131.

Now Jason Your works are considered to be the most helpful ones, So what would you suggest I do because I was planning to leave the next week and am currently in huge bit of a dilemma? Will I be detained on my way back and is this document my so called invisible deportation letter? Please help me out Jason….Thankyou

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KK September 14, 2017 at 8:06 pm

Jason plz don’t recommend a lawyer… I confess that none of your opinions will be considered dependable and manipulating from my side or anyone concerned with my questions and this post. Plz Jason just tell me what you think about this because I have always been following each and every of your posts and your opinions are truly helpful…. plz tell me Jason

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 10:16 pm

In your case, you need to talk to a lawyer, or you need to travel and hope for the best. I cannot diagnose your case based on the limited information you provided. In a situation like this, I do not know that you will get a definitive answer, even if you hire a lawyer to look into the question, but at least you can try, which might save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 9:34 pm

I do not know the answer. If you are in removal proceedings, and you leave, you are considered deported, and so you may not get back in, or you may be detained. But you have TPS, and so that may allow you to avoid the deportation order and just travel and re-enter the US with AP with no problem. I suggest you talk to a lawyer about this. If your court case is closed, then you should probably be ok, but if it is still open, I do not know whether you can return. Talk to a lawyer to research the question. Good luck, Jason

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D September 13, 2017 at 11:07 am

I am granted asylum and applying for green card. I got a ticket for traffic law violation. It’s for reckless operation and driving marked lane. The officer said it but I didn’t realize I do it. When I went traffic court, the judge told me that it will affect my immigration status and recommend me to consult a lawyer before I pay the fines. Do you think it harm my status and lead to deportation? Thanks

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solxp September 13, 2017 at 5:03 pm

D, you should talk to a lawyer. I have friends who had to pay fines but the clear their record for speeding. After all you have faced a very good judge that advice you so do it.

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Rayan September 14, 2017 at 9:37 am

If it’s not DUI related doubt it’ll affect your immigration process

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 5:45 pm

I highly doubt this would lead to deportation, but I do recommend you talk to a lawyer to review the specifics of the conviction. This will help you avoid problems with USCIS. Take care, Jason

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yousle September 13, 2017 at 10:58 am

thank you so much jason i leaned from you more than my lawyer finaly after 3 years i did my interview 12 days ago in newark asylum offfice the officer she was nice and she is pretty young it took me about 3 hours i think i did good job today i got call from the immigration they told me that do not come to pick up your decition we ganna mail you if you didn’t recivie it in 3 weeks call us back is that good news ? thanks jason again

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L.F September 13, 2017 at 11:26 am

Can you please share your timeline??
Good luck 👍

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Yousle September 14, 2017 at 2:16 pm

I filed my application on February 2015 scheduled for interview august 31 2017 newark asylum office and waiting my decision

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 5:43 pm

It is not good news or bad news. This happens to the majority of our “pick up” decisions. It just means the decision is not yet ready. Hopefully, it will come soon, but it may take some time, so try to remain patient. Take care, Jason

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Nagy September 13, 2017 at 10:48 am

Hello Jason,
I was granted asylum around one year ago and it’s now time to apply for green card (I-485 adjustment of status). I came originally via J-1 visa (yes, subjective to the two years home residency). Do I need to attach form I-612 (Application for waiver of the foreign residence requirement) with my paperwork?
Secondly, which I-94 number should I use? The one for my asylum approval or the original one for my admission at the airport?

Thank you,
Nagy

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Previously, asylum erased the one-year home residency requirement. But lately, USCIS is becoming much more difficult, and so I do not know whether they will ask for a waiver. One option might be to file the I-485 and wait to see whether they request the waiver, but this may not be the best choice – talk to a lawyer to look at that question for you. Normally, you use the most recent I-94 number that you have on the forms, but check the question to make sure they do not want the I-94 when you entered. Also, to be safe, you should include copies of both documents listing both your I-94 numbers. Take care, Jason

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Tekin September 13, 2017 at 10:45 am

Good morning Jason,

I hope you well. I am one of the fans of your blog. Thank you very much for your time reading this email.

I am Uyghur from China and applied for asylum in March 2015. I expedited my case and interview in January 2017. Unfortunately, the result was disappointing even it went smoothly. The result says ” the country condition information inconsistent” even the situation is getting worse than ever these days for Uyghurs and I was referred to the Immigration Court. Apparently, the officer never had a case of any Uyghurs and was new to the office. Now I am waiting for MHS in December. I wonder how long do I have to wait until my merit hearing in Arlington Immigration Court? It looks like it will be another 2-5 years until merit hearing???? We also submitted a motion for reconsideration in February and still waiting for the revised result hopefully before the MHS date. For the MHS all the family members should be present on that date or only applicant? Will prompt hearing possible to expedite the case? if yes, how it works?

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 5:39 pm

The waiting time in Arlington varies by judge. For some, you might only wait a few months; others, you might wait 4 years. You can try to expedite in court – I wrote about that on April 20, 2017. All your non-US citizen family members should go to the first court date. Usually, the Judge will tell you that day that minor children do not need to return to court. Take care, Jason

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Samuel G September 13, 2017 at 9:45 am

Dear Jason,

Many thanks for the usual support. I am a bit wondering whether the recent decision on DACA could have a positive outcome on hastening the pending asylum approval process, would you please share your say on this ? Sorry if I raise an irrelevant question to the title.

Many thanks,
Samuel

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Sara September 13, 2017 at 11:56 pm

As far as asylum is concerned, the proposal to lift DACA protections off innocent, hard-working Americans in my opinion only serves as an affirmation of the current administration’s stance on immigration. As far as I know, this is just a proposal and that it is now up to those who can do something about it to show us what they’re made of.
If anything, the asylum process seems to be getting more difficult and the path is ridden with more obstacles than it was before – at least from my point of view. We just need to stand our ground and not be intimidated, and I know that’s easier said than done but I, for one, have made up my mind that I’m in it to win it. Or at least put up a good show. (Insert clip of Leonardo DiCaprio’s “I Ain’t Going Nowhere” speech.)
Signed: Not Jason/ Don’t Know What I’m Talking about.

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 9:47 pm

As usual, I agree with all this. It seems clear at this point that Trump has little idea what he is doing in terms of DACA (or much else), and I am not so confident we will see a legalization for Dreamers, as the President and top Democrats are discussing, but hope springs eternal, so we shall see. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 5:36 pm

I think the DACA decision will not affect the asylum process, as most DACA people do not have pending asylum cases. If there is no help for DACA people, some (or maybe many) will file for asylum, which will further backlog the system, but that will hopefully not affect people who are already in line. Take care, Jason

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Me September 13, 2017 at 8:46 am

Hello Jason

I can apply for my first work EAD beginning October. My wife is here with me and included on my asylum application. I have 2 questions regarding this.

1) How do I apply for a work EAD for her? Is this possible?

2) Do I need to submit my declaration before applying for the work EAD? Up to now, I have been keeping my declaration back as conditions in home country are worsening daily.

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 5:35 pm

1 – If she was a dependent on your case (you filed an extra page 9 of the I-589 that she signed and with her photo), then she is eligible and files for the EAD the same as you. 2 – No, the declaration has nothing to do with the EAD. Take care, Jason

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Runner September 13, 2017 at 7:03 am

Hello Jason , God bless you for all your efforts , I have a question , I just got married to my girl friend who is an asylum here in the US but she has been granted asylum and is waiting for the one year to get her GC. I applied for my asylum a month ago as I arrived almost 4 months ago. Can I be added to her case because we are married and she has been granted asylum ? What will my status be ? Will I have to wait for my interview ? Could you please explain to me what happens in this Process .
Truly and deeply appreciate it.

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Jason Dzubow September 14, 2017 at 5:34 pm

You cannot be added to her case if the case was already approved. Once she has a GC, she can file for you, but most likely, that would require you to leave the US and get the GC overseas. There are some exceptions, so you can ask a lawyer about that, but that is probably an option (leaving the US to get the GC). Otherwise, you can win your own case or, once she is a US citizen, she can file for you, and you would (probably) be eligible to get your GC without leaving the US. Take care, Jason

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Metti September 17, 2017 at 9:12 pm

Hey Jason;

Just a follow up question.

My husband is an asylum applicant and so am I. we both applied before we were married and once we were married we spoke to a lawyer and he told us its better to file separately to up our chances of a grant. But if I read ur answer correctly if one of our cases is approved then the other one can’t be included in the application? ( not be able to get a GC and other benefits) what is your advise for people in our situation? should one of us withdraw our application and be added as a dependent to the other?

Thanks much

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Jason Dzubow September 19, 2017 at 6:17 am

If one person is approved, the other person can get his/her asylum as well (and later the GC). So you have two chances to win. The downside is that I think USCIS prefers to have one case for one family unit, but that is not required, especially if you filed individually before you were married. Take care, Jason

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Ali September 12, 2017 at 10:10 pm

Hi jason thank you for your time and your support.
I applied for asylum may, 2015 my case still pending and I did the fingerprint and now they send me fingerprint notice for the second time my question is that could be a good or bad sign ?

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Jason Dzubow September 13, 2017 at 6:30 am

I think it is not good or bad. Fingerprints are only valid for so long, and so they are asking you to do it again. It may mean an interview is coming soon too, but USCIS is not very consistent with their fingerprint notices. One person gets the notice and another does not, and it is difficult to understand why. In any case, I think it is nothing to worry about, and maybe means the interview is coming. Take care, Jason

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L.F September 13, 2017 at 8:20 am

Hey there
I applied in May too , exactly may 15 2015, but I didn’t get nothing like that, still waiting for renewal EAD 3 month and half now…

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charbel September 12, 2017 at 8:52 pm

I am planning to marry with a woman who stay in USA under B1/B2 visa (she is still on legal stay).
can she stay in USA legally under my pending case C08 after marriage?
and can apply for her I-765 ???
note: she has 15 years old son with her in USA, what his condition ? can he stay with his mom?

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Jason Dzubow September 13, 2017 at 6:28 am

If you have a pending asylum case and marry her, she and the son can join your case and also get work permits. Contact the asylum office for info about how to add her to your case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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ashley September 12, 2017 at 5:04 pm

Hi Jason,
Do you have any idea, why there is no updates on Affirmative Asylum Bulletin, during last two months.
I was so hopeful but I am worried now.

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L.F September 12, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Look better
They updated last week
✌️

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ashley September 13, 2017 at 4:55 am

Thanks

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JRT September 12, 2017 at 8:52 pm

The bulletin was indeed updated. Disregard the line at the bottom of the page which says it was last updated in July. Look directly at the charts instead, which have the information from August.

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ashley September 13, 2017 at 4:52 am

Thanks a lot.

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Jason Dzubow September 13, 2017 at 6:22 am

It was just updated the other day. Take care, Jason

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Me September 13, 2017 at 8:28 am

Looks like they are flying through interviews in my jurisdiction!

We scheduled
interviews in…
August 2017

For people
who filed in…

July 2013 – December 2014 ( that is a large chunk)

We scheduled
interviews in…

July 2017

For people
who filed in…

June 2013 – October 2014 ( also a large chunk)

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Sam September 12, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Hi Jason,
After about 2 weeks in “recommended approval” I received my final approval mail. 4 years of long wait has finally come to an end. I applied and got my decision from Los Angeles Asylum office. If I get a good opportunity to build my career is it ok to move to Texas? Will it have any impact while filing for “Green Card” one year from now because I got approved in one state and moved to another state after I got approved? Please guide me.

Thanks

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Dk September 12, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Congrats Sam! Do you mind sharing your timelime (specifically the waiting time after the interview with the AO)?

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Sam September 12, 2017 at 6:20 pm

Application filed: Aug 2013
Interview Date: Aug 4, 2017
Decision Pickup: Aug 18, 2017
Final approval mail: Sept 2, 2017

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Dk September 13, 2017 at 3:42 pm

Thank you Sam!

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Jason Dzubow September 13, 2017 at 6:21 am

Congratulations – great news! There is no problem to move. But you must update your address with USCIS using form AR-11, available at http://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

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Naba September 13, 2017 at 7:24 pm

Congrats Sam

Would you mind telling us your nationality ?
Did u submit any evidence with you at interview. ?

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Dev September 13, 2017 at 7:33 pm

Sorry I do not wish to disclose my nationality. Regarding evidence I did present supporting documents to strengthen my case. Thanks.

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Jamie September 12, 2017 at 3:33 pm

Hi Jason, I hope you are well. I just have a few questions.

1. If someone was granted asylum, can his asylum status be revoked if conditions have improved significantly in his country? Are you aware of any such case? Is that a practice of DHS?

2. Do you think it’s safe to travel as an asylee locally or internationally?

3. Are asylees interviewed when they are adjusting their status to permanent resident?

4. Do you know how long it takes for an asylee adjusting his/her status to receive his/her green card after they have filed the application to adjust status?

5. If you an asylum applicant won asylum before her renewal of EAD application is approved, will her application for renewal of EAD be rejected and her money (US $410) be returned since she got an EAD sent directly from USICS the office that granted her asylum? How will USICS treat the application for EAD?

Thanks for your response in advance?

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Jason Dzubow September 13, 2017 at 6:20 am

1 – Asylum status can be revoked, that is why it is a good idea to get the GC after one year with asylum. I have never heard of such a case, but it is legally possible. 2 – Yes. 3 – Currently, they are usually not interviewed. Starting October 1, it seems asylee dependents will be interviewed for the GC, but I think principal asylees will mostly not be interviewed (as is the current practice). 4 – It is variable, but these days I doubt it would be less than 6 months, and probably in the range of 9 to 12 months. 5 – You will get a new EAD base don asylum granted. I assume the old EAD would be denied, but I am not sure. I think you will not get the money back, but if you do, let us know. Thank you, Jason

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John Okereke September 12, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Thanks so much Mr Jason, please can you hook me up with any lawyer

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Jason Dzubow September 13, 2017 at 6:17 am

Sorry, I do not make referrals here. I did a posting on September 20, 2016 that might help you get started looking. You can also try http://www.aila.org. Take care, Jason

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Crown September 12, 2017 at 9:50 am

Thanks for useful information,

My passport is expired, and I am not willing to renew it. Is my question AP could be used as an alternative to my passport? or Can I apply for Travel document while I am under pending asylum status?

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Jason Dzubow September 13, 2017 at 6:11 am

If the country where you want to go will accept AP (or some other document you possess), maybe you can do that, but I highly doubt any country would accept AP in lieu of a passport. AP is only for re-entering the US. You would normally need a passport also. I know of no document from the US government that you can get that serves as a passport while your asylum case is pending. If you are granted, you can get the Refugee Travel Document, but you cannot do that while the case is pending. Take care, Jason

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afri September 12, 2017 at 8:34 am

Does the Matter of Sanchez-Herbert cut against the idea that someone in removal proceedings who leaves the country has self-deported? It seems to suggest that the judge still has jurisdiction over that person’s case.

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Jason Dzubow September 13, 2017 at 5:57 am

In that case, an alien requested to terminate (end) removal proceedings because he already left the US. The BIA said that termination was not appropriate and that he should be ordered deported and that the Judge still had jurisdiction over the case even though the alien had left the US. I have seen a Judge grant voluntary departure to an alien in that situation too (meaning the judge had jurisdiction to do so) and I have also seen aliens (including my client) who had a GC leave the US and re-enter while in proceedings. However, I think this is very different than an alien who leaves, and triggers a removal order, and then tries to return. Maybe someone will try to do that, but I would never recommend it to a client, as I think it is very unlikely to end well for the client. In other words, just because the Judge retains jurisdiction, I doubt that the alien would be able to use that argument to get back into the US. Take care, Jason

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afri September 13, 2017 at 7:32 am

Thanks for the feedback.

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Asylum seeker September 12, 2017 at 8:07 am

Hi
I have expedited my case in the Newark office
How could I check that they received it or not and what is my time of waiting

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Jason Dzubow September 13, 2017 at 5:50 am

You can email them and ask. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. They can agree to expedite or not, but I do not know how long that process takes in NJ. In Virginia, normally they let you know whether they will expedite in a month or two. Take care, Jason

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Essy September 12, 2017 at 2:21 am

Thank you Jason for your help.My question is do USCIS work during month of December or they break upto january.thank you

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Jason Dzubow September 12, 2017 at 6:45 am

As far as I know, they mostly are working. For better or worse. Take care, Jason

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Asylum seeker September 11, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Hello Jason,
Q1. I have pending asylum and I got married to US citizen I filled AOS based on marriage. I want to know they will use my asylum priority date or there will be new priority date base on marriage.
Q.2 my EAD renewal pending more than 100 days now and today I filled i765 with my marriage base application. Will they approve my asylum pending base EAD or they will denied since I have filled second one.

Thank you for your help.

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Jason Dzubow September 12, 2017 at 6:37 am

1 – The two cases are separate and will be processed separately, so the filing date in the asylum case has no effect on he AOS. 2 – I am not sure. If they realize that one EAD is issued, they may deny the second EAD, which is fine, since you only need one. Take care, Jason

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Asylum seeker September 12, 2017 at 11:10 am

Thank you Jason. They just Approve My asylum pending base EAD today. my case was received on 30th May at TSC.
Thanks Again.

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Bob September 11, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Is AP only for principal asylum applicants? or can derivative asylum applicants get it too?

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Jason Dzubow September 12, 2017 at 6:27 am

Derivatives can apply as well. Each person must make (and pay for) his/her own application, and the results are not always consistent. In other words, we have seen some members of the family granted while others were denied. Why? I have no idea, but that is what happened in one of our cases. Take care, Jason

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Mack September 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Thank you Jason for your helpful information as always. I am the husband (derivative in my wife’s case). The application is still pending and we do not know when she will be called for interview. I want to go to Asia to work for the UN for which I used to work for before I came to accompany my wife when she was prosecuted by our government. I came with here as I was not able to take her the country I was working since they may kidnap or harm her even in there. Now, even if I have a work permit here, I still want to go back to work for the UN. Can I apply for AP mentioning this? Is it mandatory for me to be physically present on the date of her asylum interview? How long one may stay out of the US outside with AP? Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow September 13, 2017 at 6:26 am

You can travel with AP, but it is really not designed to allow you to work overseas for a long time (plus you need a “humanitarian” reason to get it, but maybe you can say that that is your job). I think you can be out of the country until the AP expires (maybe 1 year), but I do not know for sure, and you may be blocked from re-entering if you stay out for too long. You should talk to an attorney to research that for you. Another option might be for you to leave and then come back if she wins the case and can file for you. She can get AP so she can visit you for short periods during the wait. Take care, Jason

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X RAY September 11, 2017 at 3:42 pm

hi Jason just I want to know my asylum case pending since December 2014 but i didn’t receive my interview, I checked the bulletin schedule today for Chicago IL they are on the case from march to may 2015. I called them and they said I have to write their supervisor but how can I do?

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Jason Dzubow September 12, 2017 at 6:24 am

You can go in person, send an email, or write a letter, which you can send by mail or fax. I recommend you start with an email and/or a fax. You can find the asylum office email and contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Javier September 11, 2017 at 3:36 pm

is it possible to get AP and be able to travel outside of the usa having status A10 withholding of removal.?

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Jason Dzubow September 12, 2017 at 6:22 am

Withholding of Removal is technically a removal (deportation) order that has been “withheld” as to the country of feared persecution. If you have Withholding and leave the US, even with AP, you will have deported yourself. So as far as I know, there is no way to leave the US and return if you have Withholding of Removal. Take care, Jason

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Asylum applicant September 11, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Hi Jason,
My question is : if you are granted asylum and home contry passport is expired will the RTD serve as passport or i have to wait for the GC ?

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Jason Dzubow September 12, 2017 at 6:21 am

The RTD serves as a passport, but not all countries except it. Take care, Jason

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Nona September 11, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Hello Jason how long it takes to get this AP through the normal way and expedite way

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Jason Dzubow September 12, 2017 at 6:12 am

AP is not so fast – we have seen it taking about 4 to 6 months. Expedite requests should make it faster, but I do not know how fast. I imagine it depends on the case and the office processing it. Theoretically, you can get AP on an emergency basis by going in-person to USCIS and requesting it. This could happen on the same day, but we have not had a client try that, and I am skeptical that such a request would be easy. On the other hand, if you have a basis to request emergency AP, it is probably worth a try. Take care, Jason

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Milly September 11, 2017 at 1:33 pm

So, if your case is granted and you receive a green card one year later, do you still need a passport, or you can use the green card to travel outside? Let’s say I have to go to europe, I’m a european union country citizen but my passport is expired. How will they know if I’m eligible for that travel or not?
Also, if you’re granted, can you travel in that one year waiting period for GC? My mother is getting really sick and I’m trying to see what are my options.
I am derivative asylum seeker, my spouse is the main applicant, same country of origin, both suffered persecution.

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Scopa September 12, 2017 at 4:32 am

Let me try. My friend has got a green card with asylum. He wanted to travel abroad so he has to request USCIS for refuge travel document. It looks like small sized passport with only few pages and one year expiry date. He never used it!

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Jason Dzubow September 12, 2017 at 6:10 am

Derivatives have less of a problem than principal applicants, but I think it is still good to remain cautious. Once you win asylum, you can get a Refugee Travel Document. That works in lieu of a passport, but not all countries will accept it. You can use a GC to re-enter the US, but as far as I know, no country will accept that instead of a passport. You can travel while waiting for the GC – use the RTD. But if you plan to travel to the home country, you might want to talk to a lawyer first to try to minimize the risk to your status. Take care, Jason

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Med September 11, 2017 at 9:58 am

Hi Jason
“Keep in mind that traveling with a passport from a country where you fear persecution can raise questions at the asylum interview about why you would “avail” yourself of the protection of your country by using its passport. You should be prepared to respond to such questions, with evidence, during your interview.”
Are you saying that traveling even with AP might compromise one’s asylum application ?

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Jason Dzubow September 12, 2017 at 6:05 am

Yes, but sometimes people need to travel anyway. In that case, they should be prepared to explain why they traveled and why they used a passport from a country where they fear persecution. This is less of a problem if you fear a terrorist group in your country (and the government cannot protect you), but more of a problem if you fear the government itself. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow September 19, 2017 at 6:41 am

You should communicate with your lawyer about this. If you do it on your own, and your lawyer is surprised by your interview, it will create problems (this has happened to me a few times, and I try to accommodate people, but I cannot always do that). You can do these things on your own, but again, doing so without informing your lawyer could jeopardize your case. Take care, Jason

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