The Secret Refugee History of Casablanca

by Jason Dzubow on November 21, 2017

This month marks the 75th anniversary of the Hollywood classic Casablanca. The move has been acclaimed as one of the great films of all time, and in my (correct) opinion, it contains the greatest scene in movie history (more on that later).

French refugee Madeleine Lebeau: “Vive la France!”

Probably, you know the basic story. It’s 1942. France has fallen to the Nazis, and some French colonies, including the city of Casablanca in Morocco, are under Vichy control (the Vichy government of France collaborated with the Nazis). Refugees, freedom fighters, Nazis, smugglers, and numerous others pass through Rick’s Café in Casablanca. Many are seeking papers to escape to Portugal and then to freedom in the New World (the film’s technical director, Robert Aisner, actually took this route himself after he escaped from a German prison camp).

Rick–the owner of the café–is an American ex-patriot (played by Humphrey Bogart) whose loyalties through much of the movie are ambiguous. One day, Rick’s former lover Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) appears with her husband, resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), and Rick and Ilsa have to make some relationship decisions (“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.“). If you don’t know how the movie ends, I’m not going to tell you here–you should see it for yourself (and you can thank me later).

What’s less well-known about Casablanca is that many of the actors in the film were themselves refugees. Of 75 people who had bit parts and larger roles in Casablanca, almost all were immigrants of one kind or another. And of the 14 who got screen credit, 11 were foreign-born. Here is the story of some of them:

Conrad Veldt was a well-known German actor who opposed the Nazis and left Germany with his Jewish wife in 1933. Before he departed, he had to complete a questionnaire about his race. Even though he was not Jewish, he listed himself as a Jew. The government offered him an opportunity to divorce his wife and align himself with the Nazis, but he refused. Mr. Veldt moved to Britain where he performed in anti-Nazi films. He eventually came to the United States, where he wanted to help persuade the U.S. to enter the war. Mr. Veldt donated the better part of his personal fortune to Britain to assist with the war effort. He played Major Strasser, the primary bad guy in Casablanca.

S.Z. Sakall and his wife Anne Kardos became American citizens in 1946: “Mama and I are happy, happy people today.”

Lotte Palfi played a desperate woman selling her jewels to raise money. In her only line in the film, she asks for “just a little more, please?” Ms. Palfi was a leading stage actor in German, but fled in 1934 because she was Jewish. She hoped to find success in America, which she viewed as a “melting pot” where the “great majority of the people… had emigrated from other countries.” So she initially thought her German accent “shouldn’t be any hindrance to [her] acting career.” “Of course,” she wrote, “I couldn’t have been more wrong.” Ms. Palfi married fellow Casablanca actor Wolfgang Zilzer (who grew up in Germany and only learned of his American citizenship when he was trying to secure a visa to escape from Europe). The couple divorced after 50 years when he wanted to return to Germany at the end of his life and she refused to go back.

S.Z. Sakall played Carl the waiter in Casablanca. He was a Hungarian Jew who worked on stage and screen in his native country, and also in Austria and Germany. He lost three sisters and many other relatives in the Holocaust. Known for his comedic performances and his shaking jowls (one of the Warner brothers made him adopt the nickname “Cuddles”), Mr. Sakall achieved success in Germany using broken German, and in America using broken English. He arrived in the U.S. just before the war, in May 1939, and appeared in 30 movies between 1940 and 1950. Mr. Sakall was immensely proud of his United States citizenship, and kept his naturalization documents on the mantel in his living room.

Hans Twardowski played a German officer in Casablanca. He began his career as a supporting actor in The Cabinet of Doctor Calgary, but had to flee Germany because he was gay. In the U.S., Mr. Twardowski was type-cast as a Nazi, and never worked as an actor after the war ended, but he always dreamed of returning to the stage.

Helmut Dantine played a young Bulgarian husband trying to earn travel money at the roulette table. In Austria, he led an anti-Nazi youth movement, and was rounded up after Hitler annexed his country in 1938. Mr. Dantine was only 19 years old. He spent three months in a concentration camp before he managed to get released based on family connections and medical reasons. His parents immediately sent him to Los Angeles, where they had a family friend. In the U.S., he worked as an actor and a producer.

Peter Lorre, born Laszlo Lowenstein in Hungary in 1904, played Ugarte, a black marketeer who hands Rick the letters of transit that Victor and Ilsa need to escape from Casablanca. Mr. Lorre moved with his family to Austria when he was young, and he began his career there. He eventually migrated to Germany where he acted on stage and screen. His breakout role was as a killer in Fritz Lang’s 1931 film M. With Hitler’s ascension to power, Mr. Lorre left Germany in 1933, and made his way to France, Britain, and eventually, the U.S., where he settled in Hollywood.

Anti-Nazi actor Conrad Veidt played a Nazi in Casablanca.

Marcel Dalio, who played Emil the croupier, had been a star in French cinema (Rules of the Game and La Grande Illusion), but fled the country ahead of the Nazi invasion (he was Jewish and feared persecution). The Vichy government used Mr. Dalio’s image to depict the stereotypical Jew on propaganda posters, but in the U.S., he was reduced to playing minor roles. Upon learning of the posters, he quipped, “At least I had star billing on the poster.” Mr. Dalio was promoted to playing Renaud (in the movie, this character was Renault) on the short-lived and largely forgotten Casablanca television serious (1955-56). Mr. Dalio’s mother and sisters were murdered at Auschwitz.

Madeleine Lebeau was the French woman seen crying (real tears) and shouting “Vive la France” during the greatest scene in movie history. In real life, she was a citizen of France who married Marcel Dalio when she was 16, and then fled the country with him after the German invasion. Their marriage was short-lived, and Ms. Lebeau returned to Europe after the  war, where she continued to act in France, Britain, and Spain. She died last year at age 92–the last surviving named cast member in Casablanca.

Seventy-five years after its release, Casablanca is recognized as one of the great films of all time. The emotion brought to the movie by so many real-life refugees from Nazism certainly contributes to the film’s power. Indeed, refugees helped shape the movie, and the movie helped shape our vision for the war (critic Pauline Kael once opined, “Our image of the Nazi was formed by the Jewish refugees”).

Finally, the undisputed greatest scene in movie history: A group of Nazi officers is singing a patriotic German song at Rick’s café. They are–they believe–the masters here. Resistance leader Victor Laszlo notices the men and marches over to the house band. He tells them to play le Marseille, the anthem of free France. The band looks to Rick, and he has another decision to make–keep out of it, or get involved. See what happens here.

{ 156 comments… read them below or add one }

Jyde December 16, 2017 at 12:00 am

Thank you Jason for helping us on this blog.Please Jason i will like to ask a question. If am filing for I-765 for me and my family wife and kid, what are the document i will need to add to support the I-765 and we are currently pemding asylum applicant. We have file form 1-589 in July and we got the dated receipt from USCIS on 20th July. Thanks

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Jason Dzubow December 17, 2017 at 7:27 am

Sorry, I cannot answer questions about documents, as I am not familiar with the case. You need to check the I-75 instructions (available at http://www.uses.gov). Even if you forget something, it is not a big deal, as USCIS will request it from you and you can send it. Take care, Jason

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Broken December 5, 2017 at 7:34 pm

Hi Jason,
Your blog has been more than a school and a friend to me since I entered the USA. I have a quick question though. I was interviewed in January 2017 and at the end of the interview, the IO told me that he would mail the decision between 30 and 90 days but I haven’t heard back from him yet. What would you do in this situation?

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Broken December 5, 2017 at 7:37 pm

Here is my timeline for all asylum seekers.
Applied in October 2015, Chicago Asylum Office. Case expedited in July 2016 and interviewed in January 2017. Applied for a humanitarian parole which was approved in April. My family joined me May 2017
Hope this serves useful

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Jason Dzubow December 6, 2017 at 6:49 pm

Such delays are not that uncommon. Contact the local asylum office and ask about your case status. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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John November 30, 2017 at 1:56 am

Hi everyone,
I would like to share with you about my timeline.
Location: Los Angeles
Filing Time: 01/2014
Received Interview Notice: 10/2017
Interview: 11/2017
Pick up decision: 2 weeks later
I didn’t received any calls from office.
Result: Approved
My pickup time was 9am. However i waited more than one hour to be called.

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Sara November 30, 2017 at 1:59 am

Congrats!!! And thank you for sharing!
I’m picking my decision up tomorrow. Was anxious all day hoping they don’t call, and they haven’t.
Will update you all tomorrow.

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Rsv November 30, 2017 at 2:17 am

Good luck sara. We have been anxiously waiting for you too 🙂 you may not have an idea

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Sara November 30, 2017 at 2:21 am

Aww too kind 🙂 Thank you so much, Rsv!

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Rsv November 30, 2017 at 2:23 am

If i wud be you, i wodnt sleep all night tonight 🙂

John November 30, 2017 at 2:24 am

Thank you and good luck, Sara.
My pick up time was 9am. However, I waited more than one hour and a half to be called. The people who were called in the first hour were all failed or rescheduled to pick up. From the second hour, most people were approved. I am not sure it’s just a coincidence or arrangement. Just FYI.

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Sara November 30, 2017 at 2:29 am

@Rsv: I’m very much up!
@John: Thanks a lot for the info. I’m scheduled for 1 pm so here’s hoping that’s a good sign.

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Bass November 30, 2017 at 11:35 am

I wish you all the best with the decision . You can’t imagine how much hope you brought to me i was about to give up and abandon my case specially because of the waiting for the decision i’m from one of the banned countries and the idea of waiting for ever for the security check was very frustrating (not to mention the seperation from family). I pray fror you to finsh with this headache today and positivly and go ahead with your life.
Thanks to Jason for gathering us to support each other through this rough time god bless him and you all

Sara December 1, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Thank you, Bass, for the positive thoughts sent my way 🙂 I apologize for the late reply — so many people on here have been so kind sending me supportive messages that some got missed.
I’m sorry you’ve had to wait a long time for your decision. I had a big health scare a couple of months ago, and my anxiety about the decision was not any less than the anxiety I felt while I was waiting on my test results. It makes sense: a bad decision was going to be devastating to my family in both cases.
I wish you all the best, and an approval soon. And yes, we are all on here in our little community (thanks to Jason), trying to support each other and it really does make a huge difference than had we been doing it all alone.

Jason Dzubow November 30, 2017 at 7:31 am

A lot of people are rooting for you – Good luck, Jason

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Sara November 30, 2017 at 9:04 am

I’m so grateful! Thank you, Jason 🙂

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Aylum Seeker November 30, 2017 at 12:33 pm

all the Best Sara in your Decision, Bass do you mind sharing in what office you applied and how long you have been waiting for a Decision ?

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bass November 30, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Hi Asylum Seeker i filed asylum in Nov 2015 in NY not yet interviewed and i dont know how long i’ll be waiting for it, when i saw the update for the schedul there was a hope that it might be soon because the schedul say they are working on Sebtemper cases also but most of the people said they are not . So my worries not only waiting for the interview to come but add to that the waiting time also for the decision and Sara gave me hope that it might not be as what we hear that the poeple wait years for decision (specailly the ones from muslim countries) and to hang on and only worry about the interwiew

Davids November 30, 2017 at 8:05 am

Good Luck Sara !
fingers crossed!

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Sara November 30, 2017 at 9:05 am

Thank you so much! 🙂

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Hanif December 2, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Congrats Sara for recommended approval…👍🏻

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Sara December 3, 2017 at 10:09 am

Thank you, Hanif!

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Jason Dzubow November 30, 2017 at 7:30 am

Congratulations and thank you for sharing the time line. LA is getting to be a bit faster than it used to be. Take care, Jason

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Celia November 30, 2017 at 9:55 am

Thanks for the info John!

Sending positivity to you, Sara!

Good luck L.F. If you’re reading this!

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Political Asylumist November 30, 2017 at 11:33 am

Hello Sara, did you get your decision? It has been a month after the interview and I am still waiting. I will send an inquiry on Monday. By the way, mine is the Chicago AO and I was interviewed in a circuit ride location.

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Celia November 30, 2017 at 12:16 pm

I heard circuit rides are always mail out and it can take several months.

https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/CISOmbudsman_RR_19_Asylum_Pick_Up_10-12-05.pdf

I found this letter from Ombudsman helpful to understand a little better about asylum decisions.

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Political Asylumist November 30, 2017 at 1:43 pm

I know circuit ride takes more time. Even the asylum officer told me that but I don’t have anything but hope right now. If somehow a miracle happens, I will be extremely happy. I just want to wake up from this nightmare.

Celia November 30, 2017 at 2:04 pm

I hear you Political asylumist.
I wish for you to receive your decision very soon! Please hang in there! Fingers crossed for you!

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Sara November 30, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Thank you for the good luck wishes, guys! I received my recommended approval notice today!
Deets:
Application receipt date: 04/27/2015
Interview date: 11/15/2017
Decision pick-up date: 11/30/2017
Location: NY

Good luck to you all 🙂

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Celia November 30, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Wow Sara, so happy for you!
You’ve earned this!
Have a happy life in the US!

Jason Dzubow November 30, 2017 at 6:45 pm

“Deets”? They should have just handed you your US citizenship…

Sara November 30, 2017 at 9:50 pm

Thank you, Celia 🙂 All the best with your interview preparation, and on the day!

Political Asylumist December 1, 2017 at 11:03 am

Congrats Sara. I am still waiting 🙂

Celia December 1, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Wait Sara, recommended approval doesn’t mean granted right? You still have to wait for final decision? Did they say anything why?

Sara December 1, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Correct, Celia. It’s not a final approval/ grant of asylum. It means the officer (and his supervisor) have approved my request for asylum, but that the final approval is pending the background checks. I may not get the final approval for many months, but I’m hopeful that we will get it soon.
Will keep you posted 🙂

Sara December 1, 2017 at 1:17 pm

Thank you, Political Asylumist 🙂
I hope you get your approval soon. It’s such a tough wait. Try to hang in there until you get your good news.
Good luck!

Liz November 30, 2017 at 7:56 pm

Congrats! Thank you so much for sharing your time line John. I am waiting for 2 years for my interview in LA, it’s been a long journey and still waiting.
God bless. Take care.

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Mat November 29, 2017 at 11:22 am

Hi Jason,

I have a question regarding green card application based on asylum. I have been subject to 2-year home country residence requirement in 2012 and have only spent 1.5 years out of 2 required in my home country after my exchange program ended. In 2016, I have been granted asylum and am filing for green card now. Do you know if this 2-year rule still applies to me? I’ve read on many legal advice websites that asylees are exempt from this requirement (which makes sense since we are afraid to go back) but no details are provided on USCIS website regarding this issue. Given that USCIS became very picky and tries to find any reason to deny or delay applications, do you think this maybe become a grounds for denial?

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Mat November 29, 2017 at 11:25 am

Sorry, I didn’t specify, I am referring to J-1 exchange visa 2-year homestay requirement.

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Jason Dzubow November 29, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Oops – It should be 8 C.F.R. 1209.2 (that is what I get for trying to do this by memory)

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Jason Dzubow November 29, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Today is your lucky day – I happened to research this very issue a couple hours ago. If you got asylum, the two-year bar does not apply. The section of the law is 8 C.F.R. 1209.2(b) – you can Google it. The last sentence in that paragraph applies to people in your situation. Take care, Jason

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Mat November 30, 2017 at 10:33 am

Thanks a lot for this info. It’s really helpful!

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L.F November 28, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Hi Everyone !
I had today final preparation before my interview with my lawyer. He said that from 1 to 10, right now I’m 8.5 to have success in interview. He said that he won 5 cases during this year in interview… he said to look the officer straight in the eyes, give him/her short & clear answers, do not try to say anything else, except if officer ask, and do not forget to be just a little bit more emotional, and to change the tone of voice when I’m talking… if you need to explain something with moves use your hands, other way keep in one position so i can be concentrated and looking the officer…
let’s see…and i hope I’m gonna be relaxed
Appreciate you all

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Sara November 28, 2017 at 8:16 pm

Hey L.F.!
Glad you’re feeling more confident after the prep with your lawyer. You’re going to ace it!
While you’re there tomorrow, please let them know at the reception desk that they had better not call me to say they will be mailing my decision. 🙂
Good luck!!

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L.F November 28, 2017 at 10:56 pm

We gonna be there in the same day, im from 10 am
So probably i’ll see you there lol

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Sara November 28, 2017 at 11:11 pm

I’m going on the 30th (fingers crossed), so Thursday not tomorrow. Would have been cool to meet there, though!

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L.F November 28, 2017 at 11:29 pm

30th me too… from 10 am, but probably till 11 we not going to start ? What u think from your experience?

Sara November 28, 2017 at 11:52 pm

Oh no way! Be on the lookout then for a family of 3: 2 divas and a gentleman lol
I was scheduled for 8.15 in my interview day, and it took us around 45 mins to get through the security line because they had the 7.45s there, as well. After that I would say I waited a little under 2 hours for my turn.
10 is a good time. I had us all up at 5 am, and we couldn’t get a decent breakfast. You will have time for that plus a strong coffee 🙂

Sara November 28, 2017 at 11:53 pm

On* my interview day

Aman November 28, 2017 at 9:57 pm

Hi L.F
All the very best for interview.also good with wishes to sara for decision.

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Sara November 28, 2017 at 11:08 pm

Thank you so much, Aman 🙂
All the best with your case, as well!

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Joe November 29, 2017 at 6:33 am

L.F you can do this, the resource from this page alone is enough for you. Go get it done. Good luck .

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Jason Dzubow November 29, 2017 at 7:05 am

Good luck, Jason

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Celia November 29, 2017 at 8:13 am

We’re 7:45 on the inteview date. Our lawyer is away til next week so we’re just dealing with frustration now and trying to relax.
We’re gonna be first rounders I guess if it’s 7:45.

Good luck L.F.! You’re gonna be fine!

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Celia November 29, 2017 at 8:27 am

Now I have some fears because we didn’t apply in the first year, we needed like 2-3 years to even come close mentally and emotionally to get help. But we have strong evidence of why not. And my spouse who is main applicant had endured less torture than me but went through a lot as well…from same country so out application is joint instead of individual.
Back then I wasn’t too sure if I want the whole procedure and pain to reveal my past because I wasn’t even able to deal with it on my own, so my spouse took it over basically, it was the only option.
There are mistakes made on the application which are different than in our statements because the person who filled it out messed it up, I hope we can make corrections. And some dates are approximate and is different in the statement but that’s because of the memory gap…
I just hope our proofs and testimonies will be enough.
Last minute brainstorming…

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L.f November 29, 2017 at 8:41 am

Hi Celia
Yes you can make corrections before the interview starts, because the officer is going to ask if anything changed, or you have to add something else
Take care & God bless

Sara November 29, 2017 at 11:26 am

My I-589 had a few mistakes because my lawyer had a health emergency at the time of filing, and someone at her office decided to be adventurous and fill it out without consulting me. We got to make the changes at the beginning of the interview, and the officer didn’t ask why nor did he seem bothered by it.

Celia November 29, 2017 at 2:55 pm

That’s good to know, Sara!
Same thing has happened to us…Lawyer was busy to help us fill out the application, and the person who filled it was very new at his job and kind of lazy and I’m not even sure he read the question before marking the wrong answer.
Also my spouse didn’t understand English as well as today.

Jason Dzubow November 29, 2017 at 6:34 pm

You can make corrections at the beginning of the interview, but if there are a lot of corrections, you might want to write them down in a letter and give them to the asylum office at the beginning of the interview. You may need to explain why mistakes were made. Also, if you did not file for asylum within one year, this is probably a major issue in your case. Hopefully, you have provided good evidence about this, but you (or more likely, your husband – the main applicant) needs to be prepared to discuss why you did not timely file. The lawyer should go over that with you. Good luck, Jason

Jamie November 29, 2017 at 8:38 pm

L.F, I agree with most of what your lawyer advised you. I take issue with one thing: Being extra emotional. You must be careful not to come off as too rehearsed or fake. This can be a deadly trap. If you are emotional naturally, be emotional. I don’t believe there is any right amount of emotion. Just be yourself and everything else that your lawyer advised.

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Jason Dzubow November 30, 2017 at 7:24 am

I agree with this 100%. Fake emotion is pretty easy to spot, and it will not go over well. Take care, Jason

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Mohamed November 28, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Hi Jonson,
Thanks for your hard work. I have a question if I need to inquiry about my travel document it take now more than 2 and half month and i need to travel on last days in December.
All the best

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2017 at 4:56 pm

You can call USCIS or make an Info Pass appointment. The phone number and appoint scheduling are available at http://www.uscis.gov. You may need to ask USCIS to expedite your case, as travel documents often take 4 to 6 months, depending on the type of travel document (the refugee travel document is usually a bit faster). Take care, Jason

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Bilal November 28, 2017 at 10:22 am

Hi Jason,
I sent my N 400 through asylum and I was interviewed 3 months ago, my national passport is misplaced, and the naturalization officer didn’t give me a decision he said they will mail the decision but still pending, I never traveled outside the country since I granted asylum, my question is what can we do at this point? And is the misplacement of my national passport will hurt my chance to get the citizenship?
Thank you and your response will be very high appreciated

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Joe November 27, 2017 at 9:37 pm

Hello Jason,

I hope this mail meets you in great health, Please i just wanted to point out what i noticed on my EAD application.
I Filled for my first family EAD application on 25th
october and according to USCIS they received it on 27th and mailed out a notice to me on 31st October 2017 which i received.

My question is that when i checked on my status online a fews days later it shows they received my application on the “3rd” of October instead of 27th october and my staus is “case received”. Is this a mistake from them as regard the date received or am missing something?

Just before I sent this message I called USCIS to get their attention the date, the lovely representative said she could not see my status online, I was surprise at her response because i was seeing it right in front of me as i spoke to her. I just had to be patient and nice sensing from the way she sounded that she was very tired .

Please whats your take on this ?

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2017 at 4:15 pm

I don’t know, as I have not seen that before. I doubt it would be a problem, and I think there is probably nothing you can do about it. EAD renewals are very slow these days for many parts of the US, but if yours seems slow, keep this issue in mind if you inquire about the case in the future. Take care, Jason

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Rifkhat November 27, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Hello Jason

I filed for asylum a month ago and still have not received a fingerprint notice. I got a confirmation of acceptance however. I am worried. What should I do? Can I visit asylum office and ask them to double check or infopass appointment may work? I filed in CA. Thank you for your good efforts to help us Sir.

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Jason Dzubow November 27, 2017 at 6:45 pm

Contact your local asylum office and ask, but wait maybe a few weeks, as sometimes it takes 5 or 6 or 7 weeks to get the fingerprint notice. You can find the office contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Joe November 28, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Dear Jason,

I called USICS again today Tuesday morning and the representative said i should ignore what i see online and make do with what is on the notice sent to me. This is my first EAD, so i guess no worries then , its just a waiting game. I will just embark on another trip, this is how i take away the pressure off my shoulders ,Travelling around united states. Been to 11 states now in 10 months . All the best to everyone

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2017 at 5:02 pm

You are living the dream. Have a good trip, Jason

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majun November 26, 2017 at 4:23 pm

I can’t believe you left Ludwig Stossel out of your list. That “little old winemaker”, was one of the unlucky ones who was actually imprisoned before he finally made his escape. Of course part of it was his stubborn refusal to make a clean break of it after he left Germany in 1933, from Wikipedia:

“When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, Stössel was forced to leave Germany because of his Jewish background. He returned to Austria and appeared in a few movies, but he concentrated on the theater. In 1934, he appeared in the comedy Eine Nacht in Venedig (A Night in Venice). His last movie in Austria was in 1937 with Pfarrer von Kirchfeld (The Priest from Kirchfeld). After Hitler’s forces took over Austria in the Anschluß of 1938, Stössel was imprisoned several times before he was able to escape Vienna and get to Paris. He and his wife, Lore Birn, eventually reached London. He appeared in Dead Man’s Shoes and another British film production before heading to Hollywood in 1939.”

I would also add that I know of at least one Ivy League Law School professor who assigns viewing Casablanca to students taking their refugee law class and asks them to think of all the characters other than Victor Lazlo and how they are also refugees.

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Jason Dzubow November 26, 2017 at 8:55 pm

Thank you for adding him – he has an interesting story. I also teach asylum and refugee law. I am tempted to assign Casablanca to my students now, since my guess is that most of them never even heard of it. We shall see. Take care, Jason

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Celia November 25, 2017 at 8:54 pm

Hi fellow NY people!

We received the interview invitation today, which will be a little over than two weeks from now.
Timeline:
Receipt date: first days of June, 2015
Interview notice received: 25 Nov, 2017
I had 2 recent dreams about the exact date of the interview and that’s what we got. I’m shocked.
Well, I think it’s time to get prepared and pray for a positive outcome.

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Celia November 25, 2017 at 8:55 pm

Original application receipt date is june 2015*

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Sara November 25, 2017 at 9:23 pm

Yay Celia! Great news 🙂
All the best with your interview prep, and on the day! Lots of positive thoughts sent your way and L.F.’s 🙂 You’ve got this, guys!

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Celia November 25, 2017 at 9:41 pm

Thank you Sara!
Did you receive your decision yet?
I know it’s super early to worry but I’m scared they’ll mail ours out because of the holidays and we know all to well what that means.
But for now, let’s get prepared.
I’m super perplexed that I dreamt the date and it is the same exact one.

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Sara November 25, 2017 at 9:49 pm

That’s crazy about the date! Another sign that you totally got this 🙂
No decision here, yet. Scheduled to pick it up end of this week, and cannot fathom the thought that I might get that dreaded call telling me they’re going to mail it instead.
Will keep you posted!

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Nasir November 26, 2017 at 9:42 am

Hi Sara hope you are doing well , my father interview was in June 2017 Arlington asylum office but not get decision yet can you tell me your timeline and which office was your interviwe ?

Sara November 26, 2017 at 10:28 am

Hey Nasir,
Applied in NY. Receipt date 04/25/15, and interviewed on 11/15/17.
I hope your dad gets his decision soon.

Nasir November 26, 2017 at 11:31 am

Dear Sara thanks for your reply is there any way to Expedite decision it’s almost 6 mounts my dad waiting for decision it’s vary hard .

Sara November 26, 2017 at 1:04 pm

The waiting period after the interview is very difficult. There’s no telling how long they will take to send the decision, and no indicators to tell if it’s going to be a favorable one. From what I’ve read on here, the only thing you can do is schedule an infopass appointment to go there in person and ask about the status of your case (some people do it by phone or email, but not many of them get a satisfactory response), or write to the ombudsman. None of this will expedite the decision, but it may help you find out if the reason it’s taking so long is that they’re conducting background checks, for example. Of course, the best person to advise you here is Jason, and I’m only speaking from my very limited experience.
Hope this helped.

Nervous November 25, 2017 at 9:49 pm

Did your lawyer work with you in preparing for the interview? Our interview is the 5th and our lawyer is only going to give us a couple of hours briefing the night before. He said if they need any more evidence they will ask for it and let us submit it after the interview. He said we can still wait 5-6 years for a decision. Sounds to me he thinks we will be reffered to a judge, but don’t want to say it out loud. How do We prepare ourselves?? I’m really nervous.

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Joe November 25, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Guys I wish you all best on your coming interview, decisions etc, my advice on this whole process carry on with your life like you already won your application, if you have the means travel, make friends and eat some good food ,pray and Prepare for the interview expecting the best. we have one life to live and living it with this whole asylum stress is not the best

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Sara November 25, 2017 at 10:20 pm

That’s some good advice, Joe, thank you 🙂

Nervous November 25, 2017 at 10:58 pm

Thank Joe, best advice.

Jason Dzubow November 26, 2017 at 8:25 pm

Good advice – Thank you, Jason

Celia November 25, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Hi nervous. I just literally picked up the mail from the box when I got home today so the preparation starts from next week.
Our attorney will work with us to make sure we have everything ready and correct.
I don’t know how your attorney works or what is their method but if you’re uneasy you should definitely discuss that with them. It’s all about you feeling comfortable and confident.
It’s you who will get that interview and it’s you who needs a good outcome so don’t let others tell you different. But I don’t wanna talk against your attorney or give false information.

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Jason Dzubow November 26, 2017 at 8:27 pm

OK, this is a better response than what I sent you. I agree with Celia. Take care, Jason

Sara November 25, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Debbie Downer lawyer FTW. 5-6 years!? Wow.
My lawyer and I went through the main questions that are usually asked, and briefly discussed the answers. It was brief, not a mock interview, but it was all I needed. We skimmed through our support material including any additions we wanted to make, and that was that. She set enough time aside for me to ask her any questions that I needed. Love and trust my lawyer, and it was nice walking into that interview room with someone I trust.
Just make sure you know your statement inside out, and that you’re ready to answer the usual questions (your grounds for seeking asylum, why you’re afraid of returning to your home country, past persecution etc.). Talk from your heart, be honest and give as many details as you can where required. Answer the question first, then elaborate if you need to. Make it easy for the officer to get the answer they’re seeking. And breeeeeeathe 🙂
All the best!

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Nervous November 25, 2017 at 10:22 pm

Thank you guys for all the encouragement. We will get as much done as possible before the time and let him help us with the rest. We try really hard to go on with our lives. We just closed our house deal 2 weeks ago, which was not an easy process, but we made it.

Sara November 25, 2017 at 11:28 pm

Solid plan 🙂 And congrats on the house!

Jason Dzubow November 26, 2017 at 8:28 pm

I also agree with this – Celia and Sara will be taking over this blog; I am going on vacation…

Sara November 26, 2017 at 9:03 pm

I’m Jason’s self-appointed minion. Please let me know if anyone wants some terrible advice from me at no liability to Jason.

Jason Dzubow November 26, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Normally, the lawyer should prepare you before the interview – in our office, we do two practices: One the week before and the second a day or two before, but different lawyers have different ideas about this. It is very rare for a case to take more than a year or two for a decision (and of course, many people get a decision in 2 weeks), and so it is a bit odd to predict a 5 or 6 year wait (though that time frame might be consistent with a court referral). I wrote a blog post on September 8, 2016 that might help. Good luck, Jason

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Nervous November 27, 2017 at 2:26 am

Thank you very much for your reply Jason, I will read the posting. Your blog is really helpful and encouraging.

Rsv November 27, 2017 at 3:02 am

Hahaha Mr.Jason you are so kind to say that for celia and sara and i was really not expecting that you are absuletly so kind and that is exactly what our values are. You are an amazing person Mr.jason. May God always bless you.

L.f November 25, 2017 at 11:54 pm

I really appreciate this !
I’m making prep with my lawyer, Tuesday i have one more day for preparation.. first day he told me that I’m good prepared, just I needed to slow down during the answers & to be more emotional, no like this cold !
To answer the questions just what officer is asking: for example if he ask for my name, i need to tell just my name, no last name ( strange ), don’t elaborate nothing, if I don’t understand the question don’t be scared to ask kindly the officer to repeat one more time… if officer doesn’t have clear than i need to start elaburate the answer… because each answer push him to make 3-5 more questions related with that, till he take the final… in the end kindly to thank the officer for the opportunity and time … idk I’m little bit nervous now ..

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Nervous November 26, 2017 at 2:45 am

L.f I just wrote down 13 pages to refresh my mind, it was really hard to relive everything. I never went for therapy, although I was advise to many times, only because I again cry to easily. It is my fear again that I might start crying during the interview, but as others mentioned on here as well, I’ll try my best to keep my composure. I think we will just be fine. Good luck to you and everyone else on here. We got this. I’m praying for good outcomes for each and everyone of us.

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Sara November 26, 2017 at 10:25 am

I went for the full name. Seemed like the commonsensical thing to do.
Your lawyer knows your case best, so if he thinks you are better off only elaborating when asked, definitely go with what he says.
You’re in the home stretch now, and it’s going to be over soon. Just hang in there and try to be as calm as you possibly can. I was mostly worried the officer was going to be aggressive because I had read about some negative experiences, but that could not have been further from the truth. Maybe that can ease your anxiety a little bit.
Best of luck!

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L.F November 26, 2017 at 1:40 pm

I mean, i hope & I’m going to elaborate all things to make it clear for the officer, because a lot of things changed in my country just last two months. I have master degree from my country, I used to do politics stuff, my dad too. Opponents hurt my dad , i have proves and everything.. I want to continue my life here, to have a change to bring mu family for visit here, to continue my school here for phd , i want to be a professor that’s my dream, officer needs to know this things. And in the end if he wants to not approve it’s in his/her hand you know
One thing is sure, I’m not going back. I’m going to fight for my rights.. so far here I proved I’m good person, never any problems here, no tickets no nothing, good credit, my business, my car, my house etc.. God help us
Appreciate you guys

Celia November 26, 2017 at 2:21 pm

L.F. if you know you’re a good person, you could channel all the positivity into your case to win.
I’m pretty sure the officer will take it into consideration that you’re educated and you have a future planned ahead for yourself, which not many of us can say.

I am in medical field and wish to continue my studies in the same field, I just need some kickstart and I’m pretty sure I’ll have whatever I wish for. One way or another. I’ll prepare to win but won’t be devastated if something goes wrong, life goes on and we will find all the tools and options available to keep going. You know, nothing is perfect, nothing is 100%. Even if you’re the most honest, most reliable person, you can have a bad day, a sudden brain freeze, a rude officer…my attorney told us our is case is one of the strongest she had in recent time, but she can’t say we are 100% to win, because all those things could happen.
We are only human. That’s what you have to keep in mind. I’m wishing you all the luck and cross my fingers for you and for myself.

We are going to be okay!

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Jamie November 27, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Hi Celia,

This was heartfelt and well-said!

My friend and I always argue about the human element when it comes to asylum decisions. He is of the theory that if you have a very strong case, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be granted asylum. He also believes that if you have a strong case and lose the case, it must be you or your attorney. I staunchly disagree, of course. There are officers, despite the strength of the case, who believe it’s their duty to deny you the privilege of being granted asylum. And they will deny for the smallest of mistakes! My fried had a VERY strong case. He is an activist and was featured in several newspapers for his work. The officer denied him because she didn’t think he gave a good enough answer as to why he visited Canada and didn’t file for asylum in Canada (He went to Canada for an activist conference, returned home, and several years later and never visited Canada again, filed for asylum).

I have a friend who won asylum despite some very thorny issues in her case ( and I mean very thorny issues)!

I feel like we often forget that we are dealing with human beings when we present ourselves and cases to the asylum officer/judge. I am also of the school of thought that you MUST present your strongest case/presentation at the office or court. Cry if you feel like crying. Apologize to the officer/judge and let him or her know that you will do your best to recount everything despite being emotional.

I know it’s hard to remain calm. I can’t pretend that it’s easy to stay calm or not be emotional. But, what I can say is that, you should try your hardest!

Sara November 27, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Well-said, Jamie. I always told my husband how one very scary aspect of this whole process is that human element. Are you going to get a good officer? Is the officer going to seem kind and understanding, but still deny your strong case because they subscribe to the school that most asylum seekers are liars, or seeking to abuse the system? Am I going to present my case well, or will I make a mistake on the day of the interview because I am, after all, only human and also in a very stressed and emotional state? Is my anxiety going to blow it?
It’s tough and the current climate under this new administration certainly doesn’t make it any easier. I don’t have a plan b for my family. If we don’t get granted, my child will be in imminent danger. It’s very scary. I try to downplay the whole thing as best as I can, and stay in good spirits. My child’s first 3 years of life were spent in this stress, but with parents who fought hard to keep her days as happy as they possibly could. We can’t afford to succumb to these thoughts and fears.

Celia November 26, 2017 at 2:27 pm

I am super nervous, my anxiety is hitting the roof. Not because I’m scared or I don’t want this but we were waiting forever it felt impossible to get to the interview and now it’s here. We established a life, studied in the meantime, traveled, made friends and acquaintances, connections. It’s just so much now, the things and life we have. We already made this place home and it feels extremely weird thinking about the possibility of losing it. We have no other place to call home, and well, it can be scary.

Now I’m taking some deep breaths with good music in the background, and channel my positivity. 🙏🏼

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Rsv November 27, 2017 at 3:22 am

This is so true Celia, i have been waiting since 2013 and seperated from my spouse and a kid. This send a chill thru my bone when i think one day i will have an interview call and if something goes wrong!!!! what then. Who am gone justfiy what went wrong is it me or just another bad day.

Sara November 27, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Sending you a virtual hug, Celia. It’s going to be ok 🙂 Stay strong and stay positive.

Celia November 29, 2017 at 11:08 am

Thank you, Sara!

Jason Dzubow November 26, 2017 at 8:20 pm

Thank you for sharing and good luck, Jason

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Celia November 26, 2017 at 10:30 pm

Thank you for the prompt response Jason!
I am just a minion too, have been reading the blog since 2015, I’m basically a fan! 😄
Jokes aside, the articles and comments are very helpful and they can give some peace of mind to all of us!

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Layla November 24, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Hi Mr. Jason,
My green card application is out processing time, My area immigration office are always have no appointment available! What effective step should Ido to follow up on my green card??
Your advice is highly appreciated and happy thanksgiving.

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 5:21 pm

There are long delays across the US for many applications, and so I think there is probably not much you can do. But you can call USCIS – their number can be found at http://www.uscis.gov. You can also inquire with the USCIS Ombudsman – a link is at right, and they can sometimes help with a delayed case. Take care, Jason

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Eth November 24, 2017 at 11:08 am

Hi Jason,
Happy Thanksgiving!
Can I enroll in colleges in the US while my asylum is pending without I-20 or F1 visa? if so can I apply for merit based scholarships in the schools, if I get accepted?
Thanks for your usual help.
Stay Blessed,

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 5:13 pm

If you have a valid F-1 visa, you should be able to attend school, but if your only status is asylum pending, you probably need to wait to get the EAD, and then you can go to school. As for scholarships, there may be some for you, but you need to talk to the school to get help finding them. Take care, Jason

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Tom November 23, 2017 at 9:26 am

Hello once again! Friends suggest me to apply for F1 visa before I’m in legal status (within 6 months) and to apply for asylum after getting F1. They said the benefits are I would be more flexible on migration possibilities. For example, I would apply for O1 visa later, which is interesting for me in particular, or if I will win Green Card I will be eligible to go through the process in the USA, not in my home country which I really shouldn’t go. Thank you. Jason! Kind regards, Tom.

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Tom November 23, 2017 at 5:30 pm

P.S. Is that strategy reasonable?
P.P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 8:23 am

I am not sure I understand your question, but if a person wants to change from one non-immigrant status to another, it is best to do that before applying for asylum. In practical terms, this often does not work, but it depends on the case. Also, you cannot forget about the one-year asylum filing deadline. Take care, Jason

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Tom November 24, 2017 at 11:01 am

I work on my startup in freight forwarding. I won the international startup competition at our national level. I believe in next 6 months my startup will be chosen by one of the major US startup incubators. Probably it’s more or less ok to claim O1 visa as extraordinary achievement in business, isn’t it? Meanwhile, I applied for asylum a several days before. And my 6 months period will expire in late Dec. Will I be eligible to apply for O1 after I’ll be out of legal status with no need to leave the US? Also I’d like to ask you if you work with non-asylum cases like getting O1 visa?

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm

If the only status you have is asylum pending and the visa you entered the US on has expired, you probably need to leave the US and get the O visa overseas. This may or may not be possible, depending on the case. I could potentially do an O visa case, if you wanted. Take care, Jason

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Tom November 24, 2017 at 5:38 pm

Got it. And yes I will contact you for sure for that matter! Thank you so much!

Tom November 23, 2017 at 9:09 am

Hi Jason! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! I sent i589 yesterday. I’m renting the room in the house. Sometimes, unfortunately, a mail can disappear here. So I worry not to get the notification from USCIS for fingerprints. Is there another way to learn about the appointment in USCIS for fingerprints?

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Tom November 23, 2017 at 9:11 am

Thank you in advance for the reply!

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 8:22 am

I think there is not. You can use a different mailing address, which can be a PO box (as long as you check it) or a friend’s house with more reliable mail. You should get the receipt for asylum in 3 or 4 weeks, and the fingerprint appointment is a few weeks after that. If you do not get those things, contact your local asylum office and ask them. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Tom November 24, 2017 at 10:31 am

Got it! Thank you so much! Best wishes!

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Mero November 22, 2017 at 10:35 pm

Hi Jason,
I want to know something when i entered usa last week they didn’t wrote in my passport how long i can stay in usa 3 month or 6 month or anything , they just wrote B1 , and i know some one came before me and they did the same thing with him but B2 because he came as a tourism and i came as a business, Is it new system ?, i want to know now how long they gave me to stay in usa , and do you think i will face any problem when i submit my asylum?
Thanks Jason

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 8:15 am

Probably the officer just forgot to write it – you can Google “CBP I-94 locator” and that US-government website allows you to enter your visa info and get your I-94 document, which says how long you can stay here. None of this should affect an asylum case. Take care, Jason

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Mero November 24, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Jason you are Amazing, you are the best in all , you helped me many time before i came and now too , realy god bless you from my heart, if i would like make my case with you Dose you just make it in VA or in all states?
If yes give me way to contact you
Thanks jason

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 5:20 pm

I do cases in all parts of the US. My email is Jdzubow@Dzubowlaw.com. Take care, Jason

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Aylum Seeker November 22, 2017 at 10:37 am

Hello Jason ,

thanks for the Great work that you have been doing, i conducted my interview in August 2017 and in Boston Office, and till now haven’t hear back any news from there, assuming my case in a pending security check status (maybe not it’s just assumptions after 3 months of waiting), my question if they can’t do the security check do to some Circumstances has been going on in my back home country (Syria), for how long the pending security check could last without any decision? and if they end up saying that we couldn’t gather any info to confirm your security check, how this will impact my Asylum case decision (Denial or approval) ?it’s really frustrating situation just waiting for a major Decision in your life.

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Reema November 22, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Hi there,

Can you please share you timeline? Also did you expedite your case or is it regular time?

Thanks!

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Aylum Seeker November 22, 2017 at 2:07 pm

applied in June 2014, added my case to the short notice list in jan 2017, had my interview in August 2017.

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Adam November 24, 2017 at 6:56 am

I applied in 2014. added my name to short notice list and I did my interview in Nov 2015. I am still waiting a decision (2 yrs and 10 days). most likely my case is pending for security checks. I’m not from the 7 countries but I visited one of these countries.

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 8:29 am

There can be many different reasons for such delay. You can contact your asylum office and ask. Sometimes, they actually tell you something. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

Aylum Seeker November 24, 2017 at 12:06 pm

thanks Adam for sharing this info, would you mind sharing in what office did you apply ?

Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 7:56 am

It is very frustrating, and unfortunately, there is no real answer to your question. I have seen delays of 3 years and counting in some cases (usually from majority Muslim countries). You can inquire with the asylum office about the status of the case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Once in while, they give you some info that will help you understand the reason for the delay. Also, I did a post on October 20, 2015 that might give you some ideas for the delay. Take care, Jason

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Adam November 27, 2017 at 8:59 am

I applied at Arlington office, VA

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lydia Ishak November 22, 2017 at 7:50 am

Hey Jason. Your blog is really a blessing for all asylum seekers. May God bless you. I have a question that I appreciate if you could help in. I am a pending asylum seeker and my husband and my baby are included in the asylum application. We have completed the 150 days required for applying for the work permit. Of course me and my husband will apply for the work permits. But I have read that I should apply for my child aged 2.5 years old for a work permit too to be able to get him a social security number because if the kid has not got a work permit, he won’t be able to get a social security number. My question is this information a correct one and should I apply for the baby for a work permit too although he is a minor and won’t work. Thanks so much for your precious help

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Sara November 22, 2017 at 8:33 am

Yes, you should apply for your child too. The EAD serves as proof of immigration status for those of us with pending asylum cases, and is the only way you can get an SSN for your child. I’ve been reading about people getting their SS cards with their initial EADs lately, which is pretty cool. Will save you a trip.

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 7:52 am

I can’t disagree with Sara – And since it’s free, why not?

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Sara November 24, 2017 at 9:06 am

Thank you, kind sir 🎩:)
I completely agree with you, though, that little ones don’t need an ID at that age. We only applied for our child because we didn’t know of another way to get her an SSN for tax purposes.

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 7:51 am

Some people do get the EAD for their minor children – it is free, so there is really no reason not to. However, I do not see any need for it. The child does not need an ID this age, and should not need a social security number when it comes time to attend school. My feeling is that it is up to you, and will be fine either way. Take care, Jason

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Alee November 22, 2017 at 4:58 am

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume1-PartA-Chapter12.html
Dear Jason,
The above guides how to expedite a petition, does it apply to issuance of decision too?
I have a pending decision since May 2016, i discussed options to expedite decision with my lawyer and he said the only way is filing a suit against USCIS. He also said that if we file a case USCIS may make a decision faster but it might not be a favorable one as they would refer it to IJ. So the best option is to wait.
Please shed some light on my lawyer’s advise and also what above link says?
Regards

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Jason Dzubow November 22, 2017 at 7:25 am

I think the lawyer is correct. The guidelines you sent do not apply to asylum cases or decisions, and I know of no way to expedite a decision. Besides inquiring with the asylum office, you can contact the USCIS Ombudsman – a link is at right. Maybe they could assist. After that, it is a mandamus lawsuit, which should get you a decision, but if the asylum office cannot approve the case due to a pending security check, they will deny the case and send you to court. This may be better than waiting forever (and we have not seen similar security-check delays in court), but you have to make that decision. Take care, Jason

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L.f November 21, 2017 at 11:38 pm

Hey Sara !
When you have to take the decision?
My friend supposed to have today the decision, but the emigration called him last night around 6 pm and told him not to show up in the office, because they going to mail the decision for him…

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Sara November 22, 2017 at 12:52 am

I was told to pick it up on the 30th, but in that same breath the officer said that I will get a call if they’re delayed because of the holidays, telling me it’s going to be mailed instead.
Wish they didn’t just call the night before. People arrange to take time off their jobs to make it on the day, and transportation arrangements are made in advance.

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Sara November 21, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Great post, Jason 🙂 Now I know what movie my husband and I will be watching over Thanksgiving break.
Best,
Sara

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Jason Dzubow November 21, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Thanks – it is a good movie…

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Jason Dzubow November 26, 2017 at 8:39 pm

It is very difficult to expedite a decision – You can contact the asylum office and ask, or contact the USCIS Ombudsman (a link is at right), but probably the only way is to file a mandamus lawsuit – that may result in a faster decision, but not necessarily a good decision. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow November 26, 2017 at 8:43 pm

One correction to this: If you want to inquire about a pending asylum case, Info Pass will not work. Instead, contact the asylum office directly. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow November 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm

There was a study some years back that was pretty conclusive in showing that the officer or judge can make a difference in the outcome (Google “refugee roulette” and you will find it). In my experience, case preparation and client preparation can make a big difference, but sometimes, even a very strong case is denied. All we can do is our best. I will say that I have had only 2 or 3 cases denied at the asylum office where I though the officer was clearly wrong. All of those were approved in court, and in each case, there was no trial – the DHS attorney and the judge agreed that the case should be granted, and granted relief. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow November 27, 2017 at 6:43 pm

And keep in mind that even if you lose at the asylum office (heaven forbid), you still have a good – probably better – chance to win in court. The asylum officer’s decision is, Grant asylum or send the person to see the judge. The Judge’s decision is, give the person asylum or send her to a country where she may be harmed. The stakes are higher and in many jurisdictions (not all), it is easier to win in court. That said, let’s hope everyone wins at the asylum office and saves lots of precious government resources. Take care, Jason

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Sara November 27, 2017 at 7:46 pm

I’ve been teetering between positive thoughts and not so positive ones as I wait for decision day. This helps me stay in the positive lane 🙂 Thank you, Jason.

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Celia November 29, 2017 at 10:06 am

These comments of yours help me a lot! Thank you for the reassurance and positive midset, Jason!

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Celia November 29, 2017 at 10:07 am

Mindset*

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Jason Dzubow November 30, 2017 at 6:40 pm

We represent some people from “banned” counties, but that does not seem to be blocking asylum decisions – they are still being approved. So hopefully yours will be too. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow November 30, 2017 at 6:46 pm

I have the impression that decisions are coming a bit faster these days than, say, a year ago, so hopefully, you will get a good decision and not wait too long. Take care, Jason

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Sara November 30, 2017 at 9:53 pm

I agree, Jason! I should have used it during my interview…

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