Asylum for People with TPS

by Jason Dzubow on November 29, 2017

In the last few weeks, the Trump Administration has moved to end Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for Nicaraguans and Haitians, and we can expect TPS programs for other countries to end as well. There are about 321,000 people with TPS in the U.S. Most (195,000) are from El Salvador. There are about 2,500 Nicaraguans with TPS and 57,000 Haitians.

Nicaraguan TPS Holders: One more year to party like it’s 1999.

The decision for Nicaraguan TPS came on November 6, 2017, though USCIS delayed the effective end-date of the program for 12 months “to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on January 5, 2019.” Nicaraguan TPS went into effect in 1999, after Hurricane Mitch devastated the region.

The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced an end to the Haitian TPS program on November 20–

To allow for an orderly transition, the effective date of the termination of TPS for Haiti will be delayed 18 months. This will provide time for individuals with TPS to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible. It will also provide time for Haiti to prepare for the return and reintegration of their citizens…. Haitians with TPS will be required to reapply for Employment Authorization Documents in order to legally work in the United States until the end of the respective termination or extension periods.

USCIS also signaled the likely end of TPS for Honduras, but delayed the decision until later. “As a result of the inability to make a determination, the TPS designation for Honduras will be automatically extended for six months from the current January 5, 2018 date of expiration to the new expiration date of July 5, 2018.”

Given these changes, the fate of the remaining TPS beneficiaries is uncertain. “Recognizing the difficulty facing citizens of Nicaragua – and potentially citizens of other countries – who have received TPS designation for close to two decades,” Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke called on Congress to “enact a permanent solution for this inherently temporary program.” The idea that Congress will act to protect TPS beneficiaries seems unlikely, at best.

So if you have TPS and you are concerned about the end of the program, what can you do?

People losing TPS status potentially have a number of options, such as claims to U.S. citizenship, Cancellation of Removal, Adjustment of Status based on a family relationship or a job, a residency applications based on being a victim of a crime or human trafficking. Talk to a lawyer to review your specific situation and evaluate your eligibility (if you cannot afford a lawyer, there might be free services available to you).

For many TPS recipients, however, the only viable option may be asylum. To win asylum, an applicant must demonstrate that she faces a well-founded fear of persecution on account of her race, religion, nationality, political opinion or particular social group. In other words, to win an asylum case, you need to show that someone wants to harm you for one of these reasons. If you fear return because your country is generally crime-ridden or war-torn, that is probably not enough to win an asylum case. You need to show a specific threat based on a protected ground (I’ve written in more detail about this issue here).

Most of the “protected grounds” are pretty obvious. If someone in your country wants to harm you because they do not like your religion or race or political opinion, that is easy to understand. But what is a “particular social group”? The law defining particular social group or PSG is complex, and different courts have reached different conclusions about what constitutes a PSG. For purposes of this blog post, it is easier to give some examples of PSGs, and then if you think you might fall into one of these categories (or something similar), you can talk to a lawyer. Some common PSGs include members of a family or tribal group, LGBT individuals, women victims of FGM (female genital mutilation) or women who fear FGM, and people who are HIV positive. Other groups of people that some courts–but not others–have found to constitute a PSG include members of a profession (doctors, journalists, etc.), former police officers, former gang members, former U.S. embassy workers, street children, people with certain disabilities, people who face domestic violence, union members, witnesses/informants, tattooed youth, perceived wealthy individuals returning from abroad, and “Americanized” people. These last two PSG groups might be of particular interest to TPS recipients.

Creative lawyers (and asylum applicants) are coming up with new PSGs all the time, but if you can fit your case into a group that is already recognized as a PSG, that certainly increases the likelihood that your case will succeed.

To win asylum, you also need to show that someone (either the government or someone who the government is unable or unwilling to control) wants to “persecute” you on account of a protected ground. You will be shocked to know that the term “persecution” is not clearly defined by the law, and different courts have come up with different–and inconsistent–definitions. Persecution is usually physical harm, but it could be mental harm or even economic harm. An aggregation of different harmful events can constitute persecution.

In addition to all this, an asylum applicant must show that he filed for asylum within one year of entering the United States or that he meets an exception to this rule. I expect that this will be a particular issue for TPS recipients, since most have been here for years. If you have not filed within a year of entry and you do not meet an exception to the one-year rule, then you are not eligible for asylum. You may still qualify for other relief, which is similar to asylum but not as good: Withholding of Removal and Torture Convention relief.

One piece of good news is that TPS is considered “extraordinary circumstances” excusing the one-year asylum filing deadline. See 8 C.F.R. § 208.4(a)(5)(iv) (“The applicant maintained Temporary Protected Status… until a reasonable period before the filing of the asylum application.”). This means that it is probably important to apply for asylum before your TPS expires. Whether people who were in the U.S. unlawfully before they received TPS can meet an exception to the one-year rule, I am not sure, but for people in this situation who fear return to their country, it is certainly worth exploring.

Another possible exception to the one-year rule is “changed circumstances.” Maybe it was safe for you in your country, but then something changed, and now it is unsafe. If that happens, you need to file within a “reasonable time” after the change–hopefully, within a month or two. If you wait too long after the change, you will not meet this exception to the one-year rule.

For TPS recipients, asylum may be a last-ditch effort to remain in the U.S., and it may be difficult to win such a case. However, there are some advantages to seeking asylum. First, despite a crackdown on non-citizens, the Trump Administration has not moved to eliminate asylum. Such a move would be very difficult anyway, since asylum is written into the law (based on a treaty signed by the United States in 1968) and cannot be eliminated without Congressional action. So asylum should remain an option for the foreseeable future. Second, 150 days after you file for asylum, you can apply for a work permit. The work permit is valid for two years, and is renewable for the duration of the asylum case. Finally, the asylum process is slow. Normally, asylum delays are horrible for applicants (and for their attorneys), but if you are trying to delay your deportation until a new Administration comes along, asylum might do the trick.

If you have TPS, it is important to start considering your options now. Talk to a lawyer or a non-profit organization about your situation to see what you can do. Since we can’t expect much (besides trouble) from the government, non-citizens must use the tools at their disposal to protect themselves. Asylum is one such tool.

{ 264 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara December 13, 2017 at 7:03 pm

Hi Jason,
Since the law seems to be very clear about this, I wish they had referred the case to court upon receipt rather than wait until the scheduled interview date, almost 3 years later, to do so.
Hopefully she will get a court date soon and win there.


Jason Dzubow December 14, 2017 at 7:15 am

That would have made sense, but my guess is that they are not that organized and they are not checking for VWP countries. And probably there are not so many applicants with this issue, so maybe they will not prioritize fixing it. Take care, Jason


Celia December 14, 2017 at 5:04 pm

Thank you for being courteous. Both of you.
I wish they were doing what Sara is discussing above, but I guess these are the little dead end streets in the huge mess of immigration related bureaucracy.
Anyway, EAD still valid, life goes on.
We have plans for the future and didn’t lose hope.
Justice will be served, maybe not today but eventually…


Celia December 13, 2017 at 7:42 am

We are on the way to the interview, please wish us luck!


Sara December 13, 2017 at 9:50 am

All the best, lady!
I posted a message to you yesterday on Jason’s most recent blog post, so you were on my mind already. 🙂


Celia December 13, 2017 at 11:25 am

Our case wasn’t heard at all. We’re from a EU country which has visa waiver program so we should’ve applied within 90 days from arrival and we didn’t so AO said there is no jurisdiction on our case and they will send the explanation by mail.
No interview whatsoever. We’re shocked, attorney too.
We got an officer who never ever grants cases anyway as per our attorney. So now we’re waiting on the explanation and probably will wait for a hearing date in front of the IJ.
It might be a blessing in a disguise I do not know what I feel right now.


Sara December 13, 2017 at 11:40 am

Hey Celia,
So your attorney didn’t know about this visa waiver program, had you file anyway and wait almost 3 years to be interviewed?
Also, you were called for an interview anyway (that they made you wait that long for) for them just to tell you that?
Something’s doesn’t add up.
You’re right that it may be a good thing, especially given that you had filed long after the 1 year and so maybe the regular affirmative asylum route may not have been best for your case.
Let’s see what Jason has to say, and in the meantime try to stay positive and hopeful.
Good luck!


Celia December 13, 2017 at 11:53 am

Well it feels like some nonsense excuse to me. Not evem conducting an interview because of the visa waiver program? If we’d had a tourist or student visa it’d be different.
I just don’t get it.

Sara December 13, 2017 at 11:59 am

It doesn’t make sense to me either. Will be reading up on this until we hear from Jason.
I’m very sorry you had to go through all this stress for this outcome, but it hasn’t been decided yet, and you will still get to present your case. They have to hear what you have to say, if not at the asylum office then in court.
Did your lawyer try to get more information on the next steps?

Celia December 13, 2017 at 12:11 pm

The next step would be the letter of explanation and to understand what they have to say. After that we either appeal if there was a mistake clearly made or we just wait until the case gets to court and we have a hearing date.
I don’t know for sure. But we were the only one sent away which is very disturbing and disappointing.
If I arrived on a VWP I can’t be hurt? I can’t be depressed enough to not to apply within 90 days?!
Everyone else has one year to apply we supposedly had only 90 days.

Sara December 13, 2017 at 12:23 pm

So your case will still be heard, and Jason has said before that many cases that face obstacles to being granted at the asylum office, get granted in court. The judges seem to have more options at their disposal.
I agree that the 90 days rule sounds unfair, and I’m still not sure why your lawyer didn’t know about it if it’s the law.
The important thing now is not to lose hope. I can only imagine how tough that must be at this point, but you need to stay as strong as you can to see this through.

Sara December 13, 2017 at 12:36 pm

According to what I’m reading online, VWP entrants may not adjust their status in the US past the 90 days. I have yet to find something about filing for asylum specifically, but it sounds to me like this is the law and that your lawyer should have advised you on this.

Celia December 13, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Well the lawyer didn’t. She never heard anything like that in 20 years and just had a case of a french person with VWP outside the 90 days. Anyway, we’re going to court then, we won’t give up.

Sara December 13, 2017 at 12:58 pm

That’s the spirit and the attitude that will have you winning in court. Never give up 🙂

Celia December 13, 2017 at 1:07 pm

I just don’t get it, most people comes with the VWP and are able to get a green card through marriage for example. That doesn’t matter I guess

Sara December 13, 2017 at 1:17 pm

I don’t know much about the VWP, but it seems that the 90 days define the period in which you are in status. But if that sets the limit as to how long you have to file for asylum, then why aren’t the 6 “in status” months in a B1/B2 entrant’s case the limit for filing for asylum? It doesn’t make sense to me, and I totally understand where your confusion is coming from, and why you feel it isn’t fair — especially when your lawyer has a client with a similar case that got interviewed with no issues.
Will be waiting to hear from Jason with you.

Celia December 13, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Well it sounds weird. Just because I don’t need a visa to leave my country I’m less of a victim? I don’t deserve to be heard? We applied years after the 90 days passed but we have a strong evidence why. They didn’t even want to hear about it.
It upsets me…

Sara December 13, 2017 at 2:39 pm

I would be upset, too. Technically, they’re not denying you the right to have your case heard. It may be one of those cases where an asylum officer won’t be able to make a decision on your case, and only a judge can. But even then, I would expect them to conduct the interview and listen to the evidence you have for not applying within the 90 days.
Also, it’s not like they receive cases and just put them in the pile without a glance. How else do they know to prioritize certain applicants such as unaccompanied minors? They interview applicants who file past the 1 year deadline, and listen to their evidence of extraordinary circumstances that prevented timely filing. I don’t get why that’s not the case for VWP entrants, which is probably what they will explain in their letter.
I was hoping the officer could have given you a detailed explanation while you were there, especially in the presence of your lawyer who could have asked all the necessary questions.
Either way, you will find out everything you need soon so you can be well-prepared for court, and win.

Celia December 13, 2017 at 2:46 pm

The lawyer asked him questions but he short cut everything with blunt answers and kept saying it is a jurisdiction issue.
They saw our application they know under what status we arrived , they supposed to know it better, why did they set us up for an interview then?
I’m pretty sure we will win at the court level but we were prepared for today and we went through a lot of unnecessary drama and pain to get ready. It’s plain cruel.

Jason Dzubow December 13, 2017 at 6:42 pm

I am sorry to hear that – There is a provision related to visa waiver people (and other categories too, like crew members). You can find that on the I-589 instructions. Essentially, if you enter on a visa waiver and file after the period of stay expires (usually 90 days), the case is automatically referred to a judge. I did not know about this provision until now, as I had not done an asylum case from a visa waiver country before. That is a pretty obscure rule, and my guess is that not many people would have known about it. While it is disappointing, in my view court cases are easier to win than asylum offices cases, so hopefully you will have good luck there. Also, if there is a silver lining, now more people know about this provision and at least for me, if I ever have a client from a visa waiver country (or a crew member), I will remember about this rule. Take care, Jason


Celia December 13, 2017 at 7:45 pm

It’s good to know. Not so good that we didn’t know about it.

Celia December 13, 2017 at 10:34 pm

if we are not entitled for an interview then why the invitation? They could just refer the case to the court right then and there…
I don’t even understand why only these 4 categories are excluded, there’s no explanation on the i-589 instruction form. Question marks.

Sara December 13, 2017 at 11:20 pm

The relevant part in the I-589 instructions says: “Individuals subject to these special categories who file asylum applications with USCIS service centers will be served with Form I-863, Notice of Referral to Immigration Judge, when they appear at the USCIS asylum office and will be referred to Immigration Court for an asylum-only hearing.” Apparently, the notice of referral is only given when applicants appear at the asylum offices. I’ll bet that this was written when asylum cases were adjudicated in a timely manner, and the wait time wasn’t as long as it is now.
Anyway, we’ve established now that the asylum officer was just following the rules, and wasn’t being unnecessarily difficult, and you now know that you’re on your way to having your case heard (and granted) in court, hopefully very soon.

Celia December 14, 2017 at 7:36 am

Thank you Sara for being prompt and always in a positive manner.
I now understand that there are small little things in bureaucracy that can make all the difference, sometimes it’s just hard to make my rational human brain accept these hairsplitting ways and loopholes.
Thank you for finding the explanation part, I was either too emotional and mad and couldn’t see or it’s just well hidden.
Another battle to win but we are still standing strong on our feet.

Sara December 14, 2017 at 8:45 am

You’re most welcome. I know that if I had to deal with that, I would need to talk to someone who can relate.
Glad to hear that you’re ready and determined to see this through. 🙂

Celia December 14, 2017 at 9:00 am
simon December 11, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Hi Jason

I did asylum and waiting for interview. In the mean time i have TPS and travelled outside the country using travel document using TPS and entered the US. Now i want to renew my I-765 under Catagory C08(Asylum). While filling the I-765 form question number 16,17 and 18 what should i have to write? I have listed qusetions below. Thank you.

16. Date of Your Last Arrival or Entry Into the U.S., On or About (mm/dd/yyyy)

17. Place of Your Last Arrival or Entry Into the U.S.

18. Status at Last Entry (B-2 Visitor, F-1 Student, No Lawful
Status, etc.)


Jason Dzubow December 12, 2017 at 7:10 am

Since I am not familiar with all the details of your case, it is difficult to answer. In general, on that question, we list a return trip for AP and the status of the retuning alien as parolee. But if you are not sure about this, you should talk to a lawyer, as it may depend on the specifics of the case. Or, you could write a cover letter explaining anything that you are not certain about. As long as USCIS does not think you are hiding something, you should be ok. Take care, Jason


Rst December 10, 2017 at 6:16 pm

I applied for asylum 7 months ago and now it is time to get EAD. I have been waiting for biometric notice (I-797C), but did not get even after 7 months. So my question is: can I file i-765 application without passing fingerprint? I heard that some people in NY managed to do it but unsure if it is legal. I live in San Diego, my asylum office is in Anaheim. Thank you.


Jason Dzubow December 11, 2017 at 7:41 am

Contact your local asylum office and ask about the fingerprint appointment. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. I think you might as well apply for the EAD – as long as you have your asylum receipt, you should be eligible for that, but I do not know whether the lack of fingerprints before will affect you. If you apply, let us know what happens. Thank you, Jason


Jamie December 11, 2017 at 11:37 am

Hi Jason,

I believe that in this case, once the application for EAD is submitted, the applicant will be given a notice to appear for fingerprints while the application for EAD is being processed. I have seen quite a few people who applied for EADs even though they were never sent a biometric notice. In most of these cases, however, the applicant is usually sent a biometric notice a couple weeks after the application for EAD was received. In my opinion, USCIS has to complete a background check on the EAD applicant before they can issue an EAD. I have heard that some people manage to get the EAD without the biometric notice. In these cases, I am assuming that USCIS uses whatever documents you submitted/information they have on you to do the background check. But, more than likely, they will send you the biometric notice after you have applied for your EAD.


Jason Dzubow December 11, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Thank you – That is helpful. I would be nice if USCIS was a bit more consistent, but maybe they know what they are doing. Maybe. Take care, Jason


Memo December 10, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Hello Jason,
I hope u are doing well, do u have any idea about the processing time for green card based on Asylum after 1 year?
And which center is the fastest?
Third do u know if Massachusetts is a good place yo apply from?
Thx again and again


Jason Dzubow December 11, 2017 at 7:38 am

You have to apply where you live, and in any case, I do not know whether one place is faster than another. Like all applications, we are seeing more delays for GC applications. It will probably be at least 10 months or a year to get the GC based on an asylum grant. Take care, Jason


Nightman December 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Hello Jason,

I filed for asylum two months ago. There is no fingerprint notice mailed to me, although the first confirmation quickly. My friend has been waiting for fingerprint notice for 7 months (1) and even went to LA Asylum office in Anaheim to ask about it, but no response so far. We also searched on USCIS website to find out about ‘missing documents’ – as you know there are some sections there where you can claim that you did not get a document. But there is no such section for fingerprint notice. This is frustrating. Do you recommend us going to Anaheim again? Can they give us fingerprint notice in person? Thank you for your help.


Jason Dzubow December 11, 2017 at 7:37 am

The local office is the best place to ask about this – you can also email them and maybe they will even respond. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. I have been hearing about this issue from several people, including a few clients. I do not know if it makes much difference to the case or the EAD, but it is worth checking with the asylum office to see whether they can give you a fingerprint appointment. Take care, Jason


Mo December 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Hi Jason,
I am from the sixth trace ban countries,
Could I still apply i730 for my family? What
Is the waiver? I appreciate any update?


Jason Dzubow December 11, 2017 at 7:34 am

You can – the State Department has indicated that I-730 petitions are not blocked by the ban, at least that is my understanding for now. I wrote about this on October 5, 2017, and the very last paragraph of that piece has info about the State Department. Take care, Jason


Alex December 10, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Hello, Jason
If an asylum seeker doesn’t file the application within 1 year after arrival in the US, and he doesn’t have any extraordinary circumstances to justify this, will he still be interviewed by an asylum officer at an asylum office or will his case be referred to court without the interview? Thank you


Jason Dzubow December 11, 2017 at 7:32 am

He will still be interviewed. Unless he can find an exception to the one-year rule, though, he will most likely be referred to court for that reason. Take care, Jason


Alex December 11, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Thank you very much, Jason. HAve a good day!


Asylee December 10, 2017 at 5:53 am

Dear Jason,

I had my interview on the 27th of November. At the end of the interview the officer said they will mail me the decision. She didn’t say in two weeks. Does it mean it will take longer? Or we may expect it in two weeks?


Jason Dzubow December 10, 2017 at 8:08 am

There is no time frame for this – we have seen cases take 3 days (including the weekend) and we have cases pending 3+ years and counting. Most decision come in a few months. If you do not hear anything in a couple months, you can contact the asylum office to inquire about your case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason


Suleman Javed December 9, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Hi Jason once again got a need to ask your suggestion,my Ead pending since May 2017 didn’t get yet and have a expired passport even more than a year ,only I’d I got is NYC ID with my picture and what I need is travel to Arizona for a ten days what you recommend is it safe to travel?I mean will be any trouble I can face while I’m traveling or it can be alright?actully I travled with expired passport before but it wasn’t a year period just let me know what you think.
Thanks much and happy snow day from NYC.


Nyc December 10, 2017 at 12:11 am

NYC ID is not a ID so you can not take an airplane or poof of your identity


Jason Dzubow December 10, 2017 at 8:06 am

You may know more than me – Call the airline to check about this. Take care, Jason


Nyc December 10, 2017 at 12:14 am

Even you buy some beer or cigarettes they dont allow


Jason Dzubow December 10, 2017 at 8:03 am

I think you should be able to travel domestically, as long as you have the valid state ID. You should also keep with you a copy of your asylum receipt, in case you are asked about your status. Talk to the airline if you are flying in order to be certain about what documents they will need. We are seeing EADs take 7 months for some people, so hopefully, you will get yours soon. Take care, Jason


Suleman Javed December 10, 2017 at 6:19 pm

Thank you and appreciate you,going to ask from airline crew.
You have a wonderful Sunday.


El December 9, 2017 at 2:03 am

Sara, the fun story is that, she is saying that she send my new address, but I didn’t receive any notification. And when I asked her did you send a form, she shouted at me; I will check, so I wonder if I send that form myself and not telling her dose that affect anything in my application, while I’m not sure if she already sent the AR 11 form.
Anther thing I was able to change my address online, so with this update again I am not sure what is the consequence? I lost my interview date because of a ridicules negligence, and God knows how much time and effort did i spent personally to expedite my file without any help from my lawyer.


Sara December 9, 2017 at 11:02 am

If I were you, that shouting incident would have had her butt fired. At the very least, I would make sure she knows very well that it’s something that wouldn’t ever be tolerated in the future. You’re her client, and this is a professional relationship where both parties must be courteous. She’s not doing you any favors. If anything, she never informed you of the interview notice that she supposedly received as well! I would be livid if I were you.
As for the AR-11, the asylum office doesn’t send a confirmation of receipt, but she should be able to tell you if she has filed one for you or not. Jason has also mentioned before that you can send an email inquiry to the asylum office to make sure they received the form, or to call them by phone about it which could be wiser given the urgency here. I sent my office one such email in March that I have yet to receive a reply for (they did have the correct address after all, since this is where I received my interview notice).
I hope you find a resolution for this soon.


Sara December 8, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Hi Jason, I just saw in my email that you had replied to my question already. I hadn’t seen the reply when I sent the message, so I apologize for that. Thanks again for your help! 🙂


L.F December 8, 2017 at 7:49 pm

Hi Sara !
I don’t like winter at all , I’m more summer guy lol…
I’m not thinking about the decision anymore, it’s just I can’t wait anymore longer, for example 2021-2022, to go in court. This period that I’m separated with my wife and family (plus 3-4 more years) it’s not worth… imagine 10 years without your half, you know this just killing me…
Than I don’t know how long is gonna take to introduce with judge, and than he/she to make a court date.. if I’m not wrong & I don’t know what’s the timeline.. if you know something let me know


Sara December 8, 2017 at 8:04 pm

I’m learning to like winter because of how long it drags on here — I’d like to hold onto whatever is left of my sanity 🙂
I’m very sorry about you being separated from your wife. That’s definitely very difficult to bear, and my heart goes out to you both for having to wait as long as you have being apart. Waiting on the decision is torturous without the possibility of a court referral being thrown in the mix. You’re right about that route taking a long time (at least from my humble knowledge), but I would rather you didn’t waste your energy worrying about that now. Try to stay positive, and hopefully you will get the grant that will have you reunited with your wife very soon.
I’m sure that everyone here reading your post will be sending their best wishes along with mine your way 🙂


L.F December 9, 2017 at 12:31 am

I really appreciate Sara.
First when i came I didn’t know nothing about timelines here, because my lawyer lied to me & I lied my wife .. because if I knewed this in the beginning i never ask for asylum… I prefer to live in danger but close with ky family, not like this 😢.. 4 years now is gone, lost … dreaming for better future…hopefully they get this right


Sara December 9, 2017 at 1:34 am

Actually, my lawyer gave me a very different timeline as well, and it’s not because she intended to lie to me: things really did go much faster at the time. We’re the end of 2014/ early 2015 wave that first got hit by the backlog which wasn’t accounted for. We suffered because of that “little” miscalculation, but we’re still here and so are you.
I hope things go well for you, and that some day you’ll look back with pride on these 4 years that you sacrificed to secure your family’s safety.

Jason Dzubow December 10, 2017 at 7:53 am

I agree with Sara on this – the backlog crept up on us and even the government did not know what to do about it. It appeared differently in different places. For example, in my area (DC), we knew something was not right in 2012 or 2013, but we kept expecting things to start moving again, but by 2014, we basically knew what was going on, and at the end of 2014, the government changed the system and then created the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin. In any case, hopefully you get a good decision soon and can be reunited with your family. Take care, Jason

El December 12, 2017 at 10:52 pm

Sara, I wonder if i can send you an email?


Sara December 13, 2017 at 9:49 am

Hey El,
I apologize but I can’t give out my personal email on a public forum. I am here to help any way I can, though, and I will always tell people that Jason is their best resource.
Moral support and pep talk is more my speed. 🙂

Sara Hope December 9, 2017 at 1:49 am

L.F have you received your decision ? I thought you said in earlier post you will get it in Dec 14 th ?


L.F December 9, 2017 at 8:21 pm

Hi !
Yes i have decision day 14th !! I’m talking in general and what my lier lawyer told me ..


Jason Dzubow December 10, 2017 at 7:49 am

The time line varies a lot depending on the judge. Hopefully, you will never find out, but if you do go to court, it may be worthwhile to at least go the first time to see whether the time frame is acceptable, before deciding to leave the US. Good luck, Jason


L.F December 10, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Jason I really appreciate it . God Bless you & your family 🙏🙏🙏


Rsv December 11, 2017 at 1:24 am

Hi L.F.
Just writing this to let you know that we have been waiting eagerly for the good decision for you just as Sara and all our good wishes are with you. Hope you get granted and very good luck. Thanks for always posting your concerns on this website that helps lot of other people understand many things. Best rgds.

Joe December 8, 2017 at 12:03 am


I want to ask you about the new travel ban. My brother, Syrian, is coming to visit me here next week. Does the ban on the 6 countries effect his visit? CBP won’t let him in? he took the visa more than 1 year ago.

Thank you,


Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 6:06 pm

I actually have not read the entire ban – only the part related to asylum. I do not know if current visa holders are exempt. He may want to contact the US embassy (in Jordan or Lebanon, since I think there is none in Syria) and ask about this. Take care, Jason


AS December 9, 2017 at 11:24 am

Sec. 6. (e) This proclamation shall not apply to an individual who has been granted asylum by the United States, to a refugee who has already been admitted to the United States, or to an individual granted withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture. Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to limit the ability of an individual to seek asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture, consistent with the laws of the United States.

the first exeption part is clear, that this ban doesnt apply on people who has been already granted asylum or who already admitted into the US as refugee, but nothing was said about pending asylum, the only thing in the second part that this ban doesnt prevent the right for nationals from the banned countries to seek asylum or refugee status ( does it means that notianal from the banned countries have the right to apply for asylum or refugee but decision will still pending till we have another order ?



Jason Dzubow December 10, 2017 at 8:01 am

I wrote about this on October 5, 2017 – I think the EO does not affect asylum seekers, as I discuss in that post. But of course, things keep changing, so we need to keep an eye on this. Take care, Jason


Yene December 7, 2017 at 10:28 pm

Hi guys really enjoying the comments and the forum which is hosting on the Jonson’s web and telling you the best guide for the asylum seekers which are confused on this messed situations of the new adminstration , really appreciating Jonson and preying for his and his family’s and wishing all the best in this messed world
Any how I have some question
As I mention earlier I had my interview 4 months back and still I could get my dission yet , yesterday I was in asylum office to ask and to know my status , I have asked and they telling me that the case is on the supervisor he is checking and he has not finished , when he finished we will mail out to your address , I am confused why the case is transfer to the supervisor is that good or what I taught the case was dessided by AO , So can any one predict why that happen bcz most my friends are getting their discussion soon , but mine still Hanging , moreover I do not know when they are gonna send the decision , thanks for you unlimited help
Good bless all asylum with asylum seeker father Jonson


Tina December 7, 2017 at 10:57 pm

God bless you too.We all really appreciate JASON for his dedication to this forum.Best of luck.


Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 6:02 pm

All cases go to the supervisor after the asylum office finishes with them, so maybe that is what happened with your case. I do not think there is any relationship between a long delay and the outcome of the case, so I think it is nothing to worry about – many cases take more than four months. Hopefully, you get a good decision soon. Take care, Jason


Broken December 7, 2017 at 9:50 pm

One more question Jason,
Do you think that adding dependents to my case can prolong the delay?


Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:44 am

I do not know – I can imagine that it would (since they need their own security background checks), but I have not seen that in one of my cases (though we rarely add dependents once the case is started, so I really would not see it anyway). Take care, Jason


Broken December 8, 2017 at 8:17 am

I owe you one Jason. You are incredible and really compassionate. You and your family will remain blessed


steve December 7, 2017 at 6:43 pm


I’m an asylee who have been granted asylum in April 2017 in the U.S.
I applied for a refugee travel document (1-571) and I’m planning to go to Germany for a vacation at christmas, my nationality is Syrian and I’m scared to leave and be not able to come back because of the travel ban for Syrian or for any other reason that I might not be aware of.
what do you recommend me to do?


Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:41 am

As I understand the travel ban, you should be ok – I wrote about this on October 5, 2017. The problem is that things keep changing sand it is difficult to know what is best. Obviously, staying in the US until you are a citizen is safest, but as I read the travel ban, you should be able to go. Look at that post I did and maybe talk to a lawyer about your specific situation. Finally, to get the refugee travel document is form I-131, available at, and it usually takes 4 to 6 months to get it. Take care, Jason


Aylum Seeker December 8, 2017 at 10:59 am

Hi Steve,

i’m a Syrian too, do you mind sharing your timeline, i conducted my interview 4 months ago and still waiting for a decision?

you response is highly appreciated .


Joe December 7, 2017 at 7:08 am

Hi Jason,

I applied for my first EAD on 25th october 2017, my daughters card was approved 29th novemer and i just received it in the mail yesterday 6th december, left with my wife and myself.

Is it common for them to approval my childs EAD and still delay mine.

i also noticed it didnt come with SSN as expected.


Sim December 7, 2017 at 10:36 pm

Joe ,
Will you be able to share which office did u apply for ur ead?


Joe December 8, 2017 at 10:27 am

Hi Sim,

Texas service center


Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:27 am

I doubt they will deny yours, but we have seen family members apply at the same time and get their cards at different times. Maybe the SS card will come separately (as long as you requested it when you prepared the I-765 form). Take care, Jason


Tom December 7, 2017 at 12:25 am

Hi Jason! I just got two letters from USCIS. Both with the same acknowledgement of receipt. However, there is no notice to appear for fingerprints. As I know fingerprints appointment is something you very unlikely want to skip. I’m afraid I will skip iit.


Tom December 7, 2017 at 12:31 am

Please hint me where will I have notice on fingerprints appointment? Thank you so much in advance!


Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:23 am

Usually the fingerprint notices comes a week or two after the receipt. Take care, Jason


Tom December 11, 2017 at 11:08 am

Thank you so much Jason!!


El December 6, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Dear Jason, Hi.
I got a letter for my interview date just today afternoon, and my interview date was today morning at8:15. I missed my date just because the post office delivered it so late to me. The letter was sent to my previous address on November 16, this date was on the letter,and the post office send it to my new address today, December 6th. I am just so desperate and don’t know what to do? And what does that mean? I went to the post office and asked them to give me a note that I got this letter today. Do you have any idea how long does it take for them to reschedule my interview date.
I am just trusting God for his plan in our lives, no blame, no worries but was so shocking.
And you are such a great man, helping people and spending your time for us. Thank you so much.
God bless.


Sara December 6, 2017 at 10:17 pm

I’m very sorry this happened to you.
Did you update USCIS on your address change when you moved via an AR-11 form?


El December 6, 2017 at 11:55 pm

I gave them call twice and they received my information and They told me no need to write. And my lawyer did that also. I personally didn’t fill any form.


Sara December 7, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Hey EI,
Someone asked about rescheduling in the comments below. You can read that until Jason posts a reply.
I’m confused as to why your lawyer didn’t advise you to file an AR-11. People leave or move all the time at the asylum offices, and I wouldn’t trust someone to take down your details and tell you that you don’t need to go about things the right way, by filing a change of address form.
What’s done is done, though, and you need to contact them ASAP and see what they can do for you.
Of course, as always, Jason is the only one who can steer you in the right direction on here.
Good luck.


Sara December 7, 2017 at 12:51 pm

I meant to say that Jason is best equipped to steer you in the right direction. I see folks on here with an impressive wealth of knowledge on all things immigration/ asylum, so maybe someone can chime in too until you hear from the expert.

El December 8, 2017 at 1:22 am

Thank you so much Sara,
What you are saying is right. I am not sure if I should call myself, my lawyer said to me earlier that she called and they are supposed to reschedule. Is that possible?should I call to get the confirmation??is it offensive to the lawyer?
By the way, I couldn’t find the paret you mentioned that I need to read, could you please show me the note??

El December 9, 2017 at 1:52 am

Sara, the fun story is that, she is saying that she send my new address, but I didn’t receive any notification. And when I asked her did you send a form, she shouted at me; I will check, so I wonder if I send that form myself and not telling her dose that affect anything in my application, while I’m not sure if she already sent the AR 11 form.
Anther thing I was able to change my address online, so with this update again I am not sure what is the consequence? I lost my interview date because of a ridicules negligence, and God knows how much time and effort did i spent personally to expedite my file without any help from my lawyer.

Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:22 am

If you have a lawyer for your case, he/she should also receive notice of the interview, and presumably tell you about it. Take care, Jason


Sara December 8, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Hey EI, I meant NYC’s post below asking about how long reschedules usually take. I figured that could give you a rough idea on when to expect your interview.

Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:17 am

Contact the asylum office and tell them what happened. You might have to go in person if they do not reply. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Also, make sure to file a change of address form – AR-11, available at – to be sure they have your correct address. Take care, Jason


El December 8, 2017 at 11:23 pm

God bless you Jason,


Hope December 6, 2017 at 3:42 pm

Hello Jason,

Thanks for keeping up this blog! It’s been really helpful for me reading your articles and responses.

My question is related to this topic. I applied for asylum in January of 2017 and I had my interview beginning of November 2017 at the SF office. My officer told me to pick my decision at the end of the interview but she called the same day and explained that the decision isn’t ready yet. I am wondering if the recent ban is having an effect on asylum decisions as I am from Syria and also if it is common for decisions not to be ready.


Scopa December 6, 2017 at 7:04 pm

Dear Hope,
Sorry I am writing not to answer your question but rather to ask a question based on your question it self (excuse me for that!!)
How did you got inteeview in such short time. Did you expedite your case? I know SF has shortest backlog but your is a bit surprising.


Jason Dzubow December 7, 2017 at 7:38 am

I do not think the recent ban is affecting asylum cases, but I also do not recall us receiving a decision in a “banned country” case lately. Delays are common for many applicant, and Syria is one of the countries where we often see delays. You can contact the SF office and inquire about the case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason


janclude December 7, 2017 at 6:36 pm

The travel ban is obviously affecting VISAs.

Asylum case is not a visa, so it will not be affected. But Jason, what about the benefits derived from the pending asylum case, like renewing work permit (EAD)? are they visas and going to be suspended, no?


Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:39 am

I have not seen the travel ban affecting asylum seekers or their EADs in any way. I wrote more about this on October 5, 2017 – maybe that would be of interest. Take care, Jason


Sara Hope December 6, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Hi Jason , could you write something about President Trump new decision on immigration reform and how it would impact asylam seekers, refugees and their families in USA or outside of the USA


Jason Dzubow December 7, 2017 at 7:37 am

I am not sure which decision you are referring to. Let me know, Jason


A-Dreamer December 6, 2017 at 10:42 am

Hi Jason. Please allow me to share this interesting news on your page.
“Pilots refuse to deport asylum seekers who were denied asylum in Germany.”
God Bless You!


Jason Dzubow December 7, 2017 at 7:23 am

Thank you – I would love to see that happen here, given the over-aggressive approach of the US government and the humanitarian harm it is causing. Take care, Jason


Ahmet December 6, 2017 at 8:57 am

Hi! Jason
I hope you’re doing good. After I got my EAD I have found a job, I moved to another state from my previous address. Should I send a letter to USCIS and tell them that my address has changed or should I ask my lawyer to tell to the USCIS? thanks!


Jason Dzubow December 7, 2017 at 7:21 am

You can do it yourself or ask your lawyer (form AR-11, available at However, if you do it yourself, you should tell your lawyer what you are doing. Take care, Jason


Ahmet December 7, 2017 at 9:07 am

Thank you so much!


Alee December 6, 2017 at 4:13 am

Hi Jason,
Can you please write something about pending decisions and waiting time? Atleast in light of new administration.


Celia December 6, 2017 at 10:54 am

Jason wrote a blog post on October 20, 2015 about possible delay factors. I doubt that many things has changed.


Jason Dzubow December 7, 2017 at 7:20 am

I last wrote about that on October 25, 2016, and really, not much has changed at the asylum office. I will write about that again, but I will probably wait to have more data, which is published periodically. Take care, Jason


janclude December 5, 2017 at 11:41 pm

Thank you very much
When we send e-mail to the asylum office to request a status of pending decision since 3 years although I conducted 2 interviews. So when sending our request, can we explain how much is keeping the decision in pending harming my family really bad, psychologically and physically? Or the request should be briefed in one or two lines asking where my case is standing at now? If I need to explain my situation, I will need to write down almost 2 pages. Do you think this is OK?


janclude December 6, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Forgot to ask, do SF office responds to e-mail inquiries? I tried to call them, answer machine opened, left a message, they never called me back..


Jason Dzubow December 7, 2017 at 7:23 am

I don’t deal with them all that often, but they have been fairly responsive. Anyway, it is worth a try. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow December 7, 2017 at 7:15 am

I think for the first inquiry at least, it is better to be brief. Maybe include one sentence about the fact that you and your family are suffering severe hardship. At least maybe you can get some info from them. Take care, Jason


Alex December 5, 2017 at 11:11 pm

Dear Jason,

I deeply appreciate all your attempt here for people.

Do you have any news from Arlington short notice list? I have entered the list 6 months ago. Do you have any speculation for interview invitation via short notice list?


Jason Dzubow December 6, 2017 at 6:52 pm

It is supposedly still operating, but it probably takes more than a year to get to the front of the line. Take care, Jason


Broken December 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Hi Jason,
Your flog 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?


Broken December 5, 2017 at 1:17 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


Sumaya December 5, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Hey Broken, how did your family joined you, while you were not receiving your decision?
I just want to have my family here to join me. As am interviewed and waiting for result.


Broken December 5, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Before I even went for interview, one of my kids fell very sick and I applied for a humanitarian parole that was approved 4 months later. I added them to my application lately


Jason Dzubow December 6, 2017 at 6:47 pm

Impressive – it is not easy to get humanitarian parole (for those who are interested, it is form I-131, available at – check the instructions about how to apply, but it is generally only for people who have been denied a visa and who have a health problem, but maybe it could be used in other circumstances). Thank you, Jason

Sumaya December 5, 2017 at 3:53 pm

When did you applied for the parole, which was approved in Apr?


Broken December 5, 2017 at 8:54 pm

I applied at the end of December


Sara Hope December 5, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Congratulation Broken , my kids haven’t seen their father for more than 4 years , they almost forgot how he looks like , please advise on how you were able to bring your family here ? Thank you


Broken December 5, 2017 at 6:57 pm

Thank you Sara but I did not bring over. I have not seen some of my kids for about 3 years now. I only brought my wife and 2 minor kids


Broken December 5, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Thank you Sara but I did not bring over all my kids. I have not seen some of my kids for about 3 years now. I only brought my wife and 2 minor kids. In fact, Before I even went for interview, one of my kids fell very sick and I applied for a humanitarian parole that was approved 4 months later. I added them to my application lately

Nasir December 6, 2017 at 5:58 am

Hi Broken Hope you are doing well , my father intrview was June 15th 2017 Arlington asylum office still waiting for decision and we are really in bad situtation can you help me how he apply for humanitarian parole ?


Broken December 6, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Hi Nasir,
First I would like you to be well prepared for this since they only grant 25% of the requests they receive.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security seal
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Explore
Explore More Options Print Email
Humanitarian Parole
Humanitarian parole is used sparingly to bring someone who is otherwise inadmissible, into the United States for a temporary period of time due to a compelling emergency. There must be an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit for the parole to be granted.

Ready to Apply?
Humanitarian Parole tile
Who is eligible? How to Apply What Happens After You Apply Forms and Fees

Who is eligible?
If you do not have an urgent humanitarian reason for your visit, you must follow the normal visa issuing procedures set by the Department of State. You cannot use parole to avoid normal visa-issuing procedures or to bypass immigration procedures.

Anyone can file an application for humanitarian parole.

You may file an application for parole if you cannot obtain the necessary admission documents from the Department of State.

You cannot use parole to avoid normal visa-issuing procedures or to bypass immigration procedures. There must be an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit for the parole to be granted.

To see if you can obtain the necessary admission documents from the Department of State, see the “Department of State Visa Information” on the Department of State website.

If you are currently in removal proceedings or have been previously removed from the United States, you will need to submit your request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Please refer to Form I-131 instructions for further details.

How to Apply
To apply for parole you must:

Complete a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and include the filing fee for each parole applicant (refer to Form I-131 instructions for further details);

Complete a Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, for each applicant in order to demonstrate that you will not become a public charge (refer to Form I-134 instructions for further details); and

Include detailed explanation and evidence of your circumstances.

To apply for an extension of parole (re-parole request) you must:

File a request for re-parole at least 90 days before the expiration date on your Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record;

Have received your humanitarian parole from USCIS;

File Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and include the filing fee (refer to Form I-131 instructions for further details);

File a Form I-134, Affidavit of Support (refer to Form I-134 instructions for further details; and

Include a copy of your Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record that you were issued upon parole into the United States.

To apply for medical parole, you must submit:

An explanation from a medical doctor stating the diagnosis and prognosis, and how long the treatment is expected to last;

Information on the reasons why you cannot obtain treatment in your home country or in a neighboring country;

The estimated cost of the treatment and an explanation on how the treatment will be paid for; and

How you will pay to return to your country.

To apply for parole for children with Medical Needs:

Parole of children, including for medical needs, requires the consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Parolees must depart the United States before the expiration of their parole. You may submit a request for reparole, which must be approved by USCIS. Parole does not grant any immigration benefits.

What Happens After You Apply
Once USCIS receives your Form I-131 and Form I-134, we will process your application and then you will receive:

A written notice that USCIS received your application and.

A notice of a decision in writing.

If you do not receive a response within 120 business days, then you may contact the Parole Branch in writing.

Forms and Fees
Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, $575 filing fee

Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, no filing fee


Jason Dzubow December 6, 2017 at 6:41 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


L.f December 5, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Hi !
I don’t know what is happening with my EAD!? 7 months now waiting and nothing.. plus now waiting for decision, this is just painful…
Take care


Jason Dzubow December 6, 2017 at 6:40 pm

You are not alone. The delays are getting longer and longer. Did you try calling USCIS? Or making an Info Pass appointment? Hopefully, it will arrive soon. Take care, Jason


Nasir December 5, 2017 at 1:21 am

Dear Jason hope you are doing well , it’s almost six mount that my father wait for decision he was interviewed in Arlignton AO, recipt 4, 4, 2016 interviwe June 15th 2017 but still waiting for decision what you think when USCIS send decision to him?
Many thanks .


Jason Dzubow December 5, 2017 at 7:29 am

Some cases have very long delays after the interview. I did a posting on October 20, 2015 where I discuss some possible reasons. He can contact the asylum office and inquire about his case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason


Nasir December 7, 2017 at 9:40 am

Dear Jason , my father send email to Arlington AO regarding decision of his application and they reply Thank you for e-mailing the Arlington Asylum Office. Your e-mail has been received.

Please note that if your inquiry concerns the following items, you will not receive a response:

· If your inquiry concerns a credible or reasonable fear case,
pleas re-send your inquiry to ZAR-APSO.ZAR-

· If you are sending an address update, we will not send a response unless we are unable to update your address.

· If you are updating your case to add or change an attorney, we will not send a response unless we are unable to update your case.

· If you are writing regarding a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request, our office does not process requests. Please refer to the USCIS website for more information about submitting a FOIA request:

· If you have received an interview notice and are requesting a reschedule, please email for your request to be considered.

· If you have a question that does not relate to an I-589 or I-881, please contact the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283. The NCSC will assist you with your case related inquiry. When you call, you will need to have your receipt number, A-number, type of application filed, and the date the application was filed.

For all other inquiries, please allow 21 days to receive a response.

Please note that we must verify your identity before we are able to respond to you. If you have not already included information that will allow us to verify your identity, please resubmit your inquiry with the following information:
· Your name
· Relationship to the pending case (e.g. applicant, attorney, third party)
· Alien Number
· Date of Birth of applicant
· Country of Citizenship of applicant
· Any other relevant identifying information (receipt number, address, etc.)
· A copy of your G-28 if you are an attorney and have not already submitted one

If you are the applicant or attorney, we will respond through e-mail to your inquiry. If you are not the applicant or attorney, the applicant must sign a letter authorizing us to provide information to you. Our office will then evaluate this letter prior to releasing information.

USCIS schedules asylum interviews as soon as resources permit. Currently, our resources are stretched, as the USCIS Asylum Division has received a significant increase in all caseloads over the last several years, which has led to longer processing times for the affirmative asylum caseload. We are actively addressing this increased workload by hiring and training additional personnel.

The Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin available on explains how the Asylum Division prioritizes the adjudication of affirmative applications for asylum. Since December 26, 2014, we have been prioritizing asylum applications for interview scheduling as follows:

Applications that were scheduled for an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the applicant’s request or the needs of USCIS;
Applications filed by children; and
All other pending affirmative asylum applications in the order they were received, with oldest cases scheduled first.

Generally, applicants in the first and second categories are scheduled promptly. For applicants in the third category, the table on the Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin lists how the asylum offices are currently scheduling asylum interviews for applications pending in the third category. It provides the filing dates (month and year) of most asylum applications scheduled for local interviews during that particular month. We have created this system to provide applicants in the third category an estimate for when they might expect their interview to be scheduled. The approximations provided in the table are based on interviews scheduled during the listed month and future movement will be determined by each office’s caseload and resources.

Asylum applicants may be eligible to apply for employment authorization if their asylum cases have been pending for 150 days or more, minus stoppages caused by the applicant. This system balances multiple public policy objectives, including the goal of making the asylum program more accessible, the need to provide employment authorization to asylum applicants, and the agency’s obligation to protect the integrity of the asylum process.

When the Asylum Office is prepared to schedule the interview, the Asylum Office will send a written appointment notice to the address on record with the date, place and time of the interview. The Asylum Office will also send a copy to your legal representative if the Asylum Office has on file a G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative.

If you wish to request an expedited interview due to emergent circumstances, you may contact the Asylum Office in writing, articulating the reasons underlying the request. You may be asked to submit additional documents in support of your request.

If your inquiry is urgent, please contact our office by fax at (703) 812-8455 or in person during our office hours.

We hope that this information if helpful. General immigration information, forms, and instructions are available free of charge at

Thank you,

Arlington Asylum Office

This is Automatic reply what he should do ?


Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:30 am

I think this is automatic and hopefully you will get a substance response within a few weeks. If not, you can try again. Maybe after the holidays. Take care, Jason


Clive December 5, 2017 at 1:03 am

Thank you very much for responding to all requests. I was wondering, I have a valid refugee traveling document but no green card and I am from Zimbabwe. I am visiting UK for Christmas for a week . Will I have issues with the new travel ban that is to take effect. Is it a wise idea to continue with the trip ?

Thank you


Jason Dzubow December 5, 2017 at 7:28 am

Zimbabwe is not a “banned” country, and even if it was, the ban should not apply to people who already have asylum. I do not see why you would have any problem with this trip. Take care, Jason


Jaff December 5, 2017 at 12:49 am

HI Jason, first of thank you for all the help you are providing.

I lived in Spain for 8 years and later went back to my country, and discontinued my Spanish resident card.

i came here 2 years ago on 5 years tourist visa, and applied for asylum. my case is pending. Now i want to leave this country and go back to Spain, and get my green card ( if i live in spain for 2 more years , i will get spanish passport. My question is can i get the tourist visa again (or re enter )after i get my spanish card, or will i be barred? Also if i get the spanish passport can i travel here without any issues?

Thank you


Jason Dzubow December 5, 2017 at 7:27 am

Unfortunately, it is not so easy to withdraw an asylum case without getting a deportation order. You can contact the asylum office and ask about that. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. However, we just had a case where the person moved to Canada and the asylum office agreed to close the case, but then (6 months later), they sent the person to court. Since he is in Canada, he will likely end up with a deportation order, which will make it much harder to visit the US. It may be possible to avoid this, but it won’t be easy and I recommend you talk to a lawyer about it for some guidance on the specific situation. Take care, Jason


Alex December 4, 2017 at 6:38 pm

Hi Dear Jason

I heard the third Travel ban is going to take place from today , And I was wondered what will be the effects on Pending asylum or asylees from baned countries who have pennding cases for adjusting their status to green card ? Are they going to kept on hold or this will just gonna effects the people who want to get into United States
Thanks in advance and wish you a wonderful evening


Jason Dzubow December 4, 2017 at 11:02 pm

I think such people will not be affected. And in any case, this is just an order allowing the ban to go into effect while some other courts decide the legality of the ban, so this is a temporary situation for maybe a few weeks. The danger is that the Supreme Court will eventually allow the ban to go into effect permanently (or that we will then get a worse ban), but even if that happens, I believe people in the US will not be affected, and – at least as the law is being implemented so far – relatives of asylees will still be able to come to the US based on approved I-730 petitions. But if the ban is found lawful, you can imagine that the Trump Administration may try for an even harsher ban. Let’s hope not. Take care, Jason


Alex December 5, 2017 at 1:52 am

Appreciate your quick respond that means alot , Thank you and God bless you


Nyc December 4, 2017 at 4:04 pm

I got an interview date that is in a couple week
So my lawyer want to extend the date do you kkow how long will be schedule for a new interview?


L.f December 4, 2017 at 5:26 pm

It depends, but usually takes 2 months.
Take care & good luck


bass December 4, 2017 at 6:39 pm

Hi NYC wish you all the best with your interview .
Would you please if you don:t mind share your case timeline and what office
Thank you and good luck also with the reschedule of the interview


Nyc December 5, 2017 at 2:12 pm

I applied September 2015
Interview the end of December 2017
Newark offic


Jason Dzubow December 4, 2017 at 10:55 pm

In offices where I have asked for an extension (Virginia, New Jersey), it usually takes between 1 and 4 weeks to reschedule, though it may be a bit slower since the holidays are coming up soon. Take care, Jason


Nyc December 5, 2017 at 2:10 pm

My office is Newark.


Nyc December 5, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Thank you Jason


Celia December 4, 2017 at 8:29 am

Good morning all!

Our interview is 7:45am, I just found out there are no trains running from the 5boros in NY before 8:05am that day, so we rented a car. Any advice how soon we should arrive? Like 6:45 is too early or is it okay?


Sara December 4, 2017 at 8:38 am

Hi Celia,
We rented a car, too. It’s the safer option, and you will be in full control of your departure and arrival times, so less stress that way.
Our lawyer wanted us to meet 30 minutes to 15 minutes prior in the parking lot — she set a range to allow for a delay by either one of us. Your lawyer should agree with you on the time and meeting point, as well.
7.45 am is just your place in line. You won’t actually get called in at that exact time, and there may be a little wait before you’re called in after you get through security and get fingerprinted.
Hope this helped. Is your interview this week?


Celia December 4, 2017 at 11:38 am

Next Wednesday, we started preparation today!


Sara December 4, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Sounds good. Also refer to Jason’s blog post dated 09/08/16.
Good luck!


Celia December 4, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Thank you, I will!

Celia December 4, 2017 at 7:33 pm

I keep re-reading that blog post and it is very similar to what my attorney says.
My attorney might not be able to be there so we will might end up with a different one from the same office and I still have to make arrangements how and when and who will go there. My spouse wants to be there early like 7ish, I don’t know if that’s necessary.

Sara December 5, 2017 at 6:12 pm

What the principal applicant says, goes 🙂 I had the squad up at 5 am! No one complained, not even the little one. It’s like she knew that mommy had enough to worry about as it was lol
All the best with the prep work. I hope your lawyer is including the person who will be filling in on the day, in your rehearsal session(s). It’s good to walk in there with a familiar face, one that you know for a fact knows your case inside out.

L.f December 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm

One friend of mine got a theory for AOF in NY : people who are invited to pick up the decision before noon, they’re not approved. People who are invited to pick up the decision after noon, they’re approved!? That’s what happened with you Sara , wich I’m soooo happy for you..
I’m invited to go at 2pm … but i know i faild idk why, even the officer was nice and didn’t give me a hard time and no to much question…
Hope I’m not getting that call in last minute
Celia good luck…
Sara appreciate


Sara December 5, 2017 at 10:13 pm

Hey L.F.,
I was there for my 1 pm pick-up time, and while we were waiting we saw people getting called to the windows. Some won and some were referred to court.
Try to stay as positive as you can. The fact that the officer was nice/ didn’t ask about every incident in your statement doesn’t sound like a bad indicator to me. My officer didn’t ask about everything on my statement, but he asked about my case from every possible angle, and asked all the right questions.
Will be keeping my fingers crossed for you.
Is your decision day before the holidays?


L.f December 5, 2017 at 11:32 pm

Thanks Sara
Yes its next Thursday, December 14, at 2 pm !??

Sara December 6, 2017 at 12:25 am

Yeah, I realized after posting that it has to be before the holidays. I’m glad it is!
Hope this year leaves us with good (and final!) decisions 🙂

Jason Dzubow December 6, 2017 at 6:48 pm

I think that theory is wrong – you get the pick up time before the final decision is even made, but hopefully it works for you and you get a good decision. Good luck, Jason


L.F December 7, 2017 at 8:17 pm

. I mean they maybe can have a little decision in the head before interview even start, because they already read the case and know something about what is going to happen…and based on that and how the interview goes they can tell to pick up or mailed the decision… if decision is positive for me, that’s the best Christmas gift ever ☺️. Hope they hearts are good on this holiday season…
my heart is ticking so hard now… one more week to decision… God Help me & everybody
Take care Jason

Sara December 8, 2017 at 3:26 pm

It’s going to be hard not to hyper analyze everything from the answers you gave to your perception of what the officer must have thought about them, while you’re waiting, but I’m going to advise you to try to block all thoughts of the interview if you can. Find a distraction, enjoy the first snow of the season tomorrow and just try to get the coming week to pass until decision day.


Jason Dzubow December 4, 2017 at 10:45 pm

You probably want to arrive early – you don’t know how bad traffic will be, whether you might have trouble finding the place, and how long it will take through security, so early is good – one hour early seems perfectly reasonable, especially if it avoid the stress of arriving on time. Good luck, Jason


XY December 6, 2017 at 3:40 am

Leave as early as possible. If possible stay in a hotel close to the interview office.
I had my interview almost 8 months ago. I needed to drive 90 miles to the asylum office; almost 1 and half hour drive. My interview was on 8:30 am. I left home on 5:00 am hoping to reach there around 7:00 am. But I got stuck in early morning traffic on bay-area bridge in San Francisco. It was horrible and I missed the interview that day, although I was rescheduled two months later ( next time I stayed in hotel for the interview) and I got my approval two weeks after the interview. But the writing for the second interview notice was hard than the 2 years wait for the initial interview.
Hope it could help


Joe December 4, 2017 at 1:11 am

Do you advice me to seek asylum in New York or in California?
I’m from middle eastern country
I heard and read some statistics that Immigration officers and Judges in New York are more understanding and sensitive handling cases
Thank you


Jason Dzubow December 4, 2017 at 6:44 pm

I did a post about this on February 25, 2016 – maybe that would help. The short answer is, live where you want to live and don’t worry too much about the asylum office statistics, at least that is my opinion. Take care, Jason


memo December 3, 2017 at 9:52 pm

Hello Jason,
I am going to apply for Green card under Granted Asylum after 1 year. I have couple question if you can help me
First, I am receiving unemployment from state, could I request a waiver fee of the the I-485 application?
Second, How can I proof them that I lived in US for 1 year since I got my Asylum?
Thank you so much


Jason Dzubow December 4, 2017 at 6:43 pm

You can try – form I-912, available at I think you just need to file one year after you got asylum. If you were outside the US for much of that time, USCIS should know, and that may render you ineligible for the GC, but I am not sure about the residency requirements in that situation – talk to a lawyer if you were outside the US for a long time during the year since you won asylum. Take care, Jason


Tarek December 2, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Hi Jason,
Thank you for you continuous efforts in helping others.

I got my conditional GC this year through marriage to a US citizen and my asylum file is moving back to the asylum office, and my initial asylum interview is hopefully coming soon, too. What are the odds of winning asylum after getting a GC? Or should I just cancel my case? I don’t know what to do and just want to be safe with the current government…

Thank you,


Jason Dzubow December 4, 2017 at 7:25 am

I think the asylum office will want you to cancel the case – you can do that by contacting them and giving them a copy of your GC. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. On the other hand, some people with a GC need asylum too – for example, if they cannot get a passport and want a refugee travel document, or if they are afraid that the marriage may not work out. So if you feel you want asylum as well as the GC, you can try to continue your case, though I am not 100% they will allow you to do that once they discover you have a GC. Take care, Jason


L.f December 1, 2017 at 8:05 pm

In my statement i said: ( my dad contributed on that company more than 26 years ), yesterday i was asked about dad and I said: because of my dad who worked on that company more than 26 years! And the “problem” starts here. Officer said: explain to me why on your statement you said something else, i told her with contribute i meant the same thing.. and she was telling me that this in not the same thing.. in my opinion it’s the same ?!!
Appreciate your comment Jason !
Take care all


Jason Dzubow December 4, 2017 at 7:19 am

Some officers look for a small difference and try to challenge you on it. In this case, it seems ridiculous, and it may not mean anything in terms of the decision, but it is frustrating, especially considering English may not be your first language. In any case, it was just her challenging your story, which is her job, and you explained yourself, so hopefully it will have no negative effect. Take care, Jason


L.f December 4, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Appreciate Jason ! In my heart deep somewhere i feel that she’s gonna approve my case, idk why ! But my mind said No, because she didn’t give me a hard time you know by asking me ridiculous question, or maybe insisting on one thing, except two times… but she didn’t ask me for some cases when my dad was hurt, my house was shot and my mom and dad where inside… and for this i have proves, 10 affidavits, doc from
Doctor etc… for this idk what gonna happen.. hopefully I don’t get that call in last minute
Take care


Jason Dzubow December 4, 2017 at 10:56 pm

Good luck – we just got an approval today in a case where I was having some doubts, so hopefully you will get good news as well. Take care, Jason


John December 1, 2017 at 7:46 pm

I heard that Trump has suspended the asylum cases for 11 countries
and Egypt was mentioned, Is it true ?

or these for refugees outside the US ?

I’m an Egyptian and has been prosecuted in my country and still in valid status will end after 1 month but I’m afraid to go back to my country
can I still apply for asylum ?


Jason Dzubow December 4, 2017 at 7:16 am

It is not true – you can apply for asylum normally. I did a blog post on October 5, 2017 that discusses the latest ban. Take care, Jason


OC December 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Hi Jason

I really need your advise , I received my Green Card 1 year after my Asylum approval , and now I want to apply for the travel document . Do I need to apply for more documents than refugee travel document ? How long do you think it takes for them to issue it ? What’s the validity of the travel document and when should you submit for a new one after you got your first one ?

Most important question : I m from the 6 countries ( Travel Ban ) and I want to go to the third country to visit my family . Do you think is it risky even with GC and travel document ( and not using my home country passport and not going to my home country ) ?

Do you have clients with the same situation who traveled abroad ?

Thank you so much


Jason Dzubow December 1, 2017 at 6:32 pm

You can apply for the RTD (form I-131, available at and use it to travel, in lieu of a passport. Not all countries except the RTD; you would have to check with the embassy. The RTD should be valid for one year. I think you should be safe to travel, even if you are from a “banned” country, but keep an eye on the news – if the government modifies the ban, maybe that will change. I have had many clients travel with the green card after winning asylum. I always recommend the RTD, but not everyone gets it. No one has yet had a problem due to travel to a third country, and I have not heard of that from other lawyers either. Take care, Jason


OC December 6, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Thank you so much for you reply , ok I m confuse here and again I need your help and I m sure your answer will help lots of more people.

I asked my attorney and he said I shouldn’t apply for the RTD because I m a GC holder and instead I have to apply for RP.

Well I know you use RTD instead of passport to travel ( because we have no passport ) but can you use RP in replacement of passport too ? For example to go to Germany or Canada ?

I know there are countries that don’t accept RTD and some don’t accept RP and some don’t accept both but which one really should I get ? I know RTD is cheaper but valid for 1 year and RP is more expensive and it’s valid for 2 years . I don’t care about the money here as much as I care to have a safe return to USA after travel abroad and also I do care that which one ( RTD or RP ) is more accepted internationally.

Should we apply for both ? can we apply for both ? Whats’s the timeline to get each one ?

Again thank you so much for your help


Jason Dzubow December 7, 2017 at 7:34 am

For refugees (even if they have a GC now) who do not have a passport, I think the more appropriate choice is the RTD. I do not know whether you can travel only using the RP, but you can check with the embassy of the country you plan to visit. Whether you can get both documents, I do not know, but I do not see why not. I do not know about the time frame for these documents, as we have not done it lately, and time frames have gotten longer. Also, remember that I can only give general advice. Your lawyer knows your case and you, and can give more specific advice, so if he thinks the RP is more appropriate maybe that is better – you can ask him why he prefers that to the RTD; maybe there is a good reason. Take care, Jason


Ali December 1, 2017 at 9:35 am

Good Morning Jason
Thank you so much for replying my queries. I have a few more. I would really appreciate your help.
1-as I wanted to add my spouse and children in my case so if I do so at the time if interview when they ask you to make amendments, is it a good idea to do it at that time.
2- If I add my spouse at the time of interview and my decision gets a delay as it is happening to almost everyone. will my spouse be able to apply for a work permit after 180 days?
3-by adding your family in your case and if you are granted asylum will your family b able to travel to your country from where you are seeking asylum? because the fear belongs to me not my family.
thanks in advance
take care


Jason Dzubow December 1, 2017 at 6:06 pm

1 – I think you should do that beforehand, as that is a big change – did you not list them on your form? Or did you list them and they were not applying with you? Either way, you may want to do that before the interview, as the officer should know about that in advance. 2 – If you add your spouse as a dependent, the spouse can file for a work permit as soon as you are eligible. 3 – Maybe, but it depends on the case. If they have no threat there, they may be able to travel there without a problem, but these days, there is more uncertainty, so it is best to be careful and not travel if possible. Take care, Jason


sumaya November 30, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Hey Jason and all,
Thanks for all the support and help.
does any one know if how long is it taking to approve I-730 nowadays, especially in Miami or Texas office?


Rsv December 1, 2017 at 3:47 am

I730 form is for derivatives or follow to join refugees. If that is what about your question is then Mr.Jason earlier replied to someone this, copy pasting “It is very unpredictable, depending on the consulate and the case. But normally it is more than a month and less than 6 months. Take care, Jason” . Hope this helps.


Sumaya December 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Thanks RSV, yes I was asking the same, you answered. Thanks to you Jason and all here reading and posting.


Jason Dzubow December 1, 2017 at 5:50 pm

We are seeing them take 2 to 4 months, and then the get sent to the embassy for processing, which can take a month or two, or many months, depending on the case and the embassy. Take care, Jason


Sumaya December 2, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Thanks for responding.


Hunter November 30, 2017 at 10:48 pm

Hello Jason!
Hello everyone!

I have a couple questions.

My family and I we came a United State with a visa b1/b2, we got a legal presence for 6 month like a turist. 10 days before the year of arrival, I sent a application for asylum for me and my family, we don’t have a lawyer, I made our file myself, because don’t had have a money and don’t found help pro-bono.

My questions?

1- Is there any punishment for illegal presence less than six months after the expiration of a B1 / B2 visa? Are we elegible.

2- Are my children in high school eligible for college loans or college scholarships?

3- If I have more evidence to strengthen my case, can I send them by mail and request an expedited interview for my case?

Thank you for your help.



Jason Dzubow December 1, 2017 at 7:41 am

1 – No, but if you had 6 months or more of unlawful presence and then you left the US, you could not return for 3 years. Less than that, and there is no legal bar to returning. 2 – Maybe, there are all kinds of loans and scholarships – you/they should talk to the school for help on this. 3- Yes, all additional evidence must be submitted according to the asylum office rules (in our office, evidence must be submitted a week or more before the interview). You can contact the asylum office to ask about expediting and/or submitting additional evidence. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason


Hunter December 8, 2017 at 10:29 pm

Thank you Jason! You are great.


Fetta November 30, 2017 at 7:56 pm

Hi Jason

I want to thank you for your blog and encouraging articles. I have few questions if you don’t mind. Whenever I check the status of Arlington asylum office, they still are on June 2014. Is it because they are not updating the scheduling bulletin correctly or are they truly processing cases filed on June 2014? Do you encourage me to transfer my case to another offices like New Orleans or San Francisco which have better processing time to get early interview? FYI, my case is filed on April 2015.


Jason Dzubow December 1, 2017 at 7:22 am

They are still processing cases from June 2014 – we have 2 interviews next week for people who filed at that time. Some cases from 2014 are already finished, so we may see a jump in the dates being interviewed in VA (but I am not sure about that, as I think we have a couple cases pending from July and August 2014). I doubt transferring your case would make a lot of difference, and you can only do that if you move. My feeling is that it is not worth it, but you could try, I suppose. Take care, Jason


Aryan November 30, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Congratulation Sara
May I ask which Part of the world do you belong , If you don’t mind ??


Rsv November 30, 2017 at 7:37 pm



Aryan December 1, 2017 at 1:28 am

I mean to ask which country is she belong originally to claim asylum in states?


Rsv December 1, 2017 at 3:35 am

I know what you mean buddy. Sorry but i dont think she will tell you that on a public forum. You are most welcome to ask any general question you may have. Thanks.


Aryan December 1, 2017 at 9:07 am

O’Right No Worries at all.
I thought she might belong the country I belong too, but I may be wrong as well. Just needed some ideas, thoughts & info about the Lawyer she had been associated to AND nothing more than that.
@RSV. Thanks for being spokeman anyways on her behalf.

Sara December 1, 2017 at 9:23 am

Thanks for looking out for me there, Rsv 🙂
I’m very reluctant to give any info about myself online, but I’ve gone against my Internet protocol several times on here already because I want to help as best as I can.

Sara December 1, 2017 at 9:21 am

Thank you, Aryan! And apologize for missing your comment. USA by way of Egypt.


Aryan December 1, 2017 at 9:45 am

Be Blessed Sara along with your family.


Sara December 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm

Thank you so much, Aryan. I wish you the best with your case.


Mohammad November 30, 2017 at 6:06 pm

Dear jason thank you for your work
How long does it take to get MCH notice in
Arlington case reffered to court in
June 2017, yet i didnt get any update.checked it
Over the 1800 hotline says No future hearing date


Jason Dzubow November 30, 2017 at 6:47 pm

It usually takes a few months, but sometimes it is longer. Keep checking the 800 number and eventually, you will get a date. They should also send you the date by mail. Some new judges are coming in, and so maybe they are holding certain cases until they arrive – we expect that will be in the next couple months. Take care, Jason


Sara November 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm

I got recommended approval!!!! I’m so so happy right now!!
I’m typing in the car because I wanted to update you all right away. Thank you so much Jason and everyone on here that showed me support and sent positivity my way. Love and best wishes to you all from me and my little family 🙂


JRT November 30, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Congratulations, Sara! I’m not a big poster, but have been following your updates on this blog all along, hoping for a positive resolution for you and your family.


Sara November 30, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Thank you so much! 🙂


Rsv November 30, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Congrats and welcome yo USA.


Sara November 30, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Thanks, Rsv! I hope you get your interview notice soon and a swift approval. Good luck!


Rsv November 30, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Thanks Sara.


Jason Dzubow November 30, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Congratulations – I was watching the computer to see whether there was news. That is great – hopefully, the final approval will come soon, but RA means you will (eventually) get the final approval and so it is a big relief. Now, we will need to recruit you to write a blog post about your experience, but that will have to wait until after the final approval. Congratulations again! And thank you for all your contributions to this website. Take care, Jason


Sara November 30, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Thank you so much, Jason 🙂 Your blog and advice and your sense of humor have been a great help to me on days when the wait got too unbearable, or when the news was pushing us to lose hope.
Thank you for being awesome!


Rsv December 1, 2017 at 1:47 am

I can suggest a name of the post “An Asylum seeker’s journey thru”


Jason Dzubow December 1, 2017 at 5:52 pm

Methinks there are more interesting journeys out there…


Shazia Shahzad November 30, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Congratulations! sara


Sara November 30, 2017 at 9:54 pm

Thank you! 🙂


Davids December 1, 2017 at 4:47 am

Congratulations Sara!


Sara December 1, 2017 at 9:26 am

Thank you so much 🙂

Bae November 30, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Congrats so happy for you


Sara November 30, 2017 at 9:54 pm

Thank you so much 🙂
I like your name btw!


L.f November 30, 2017 at 9:06 pm

Hey Sara congrats, inwas looking for you today over there lol…
I had interview today, officer (lady) needed to make 5 corrections, we start the interview, in the middle of that, she was saying something that i never said, on that moment my lawyer told her that i never said that, and they start arguing on the office. She told to my lawyer nit to talk without her permission because she’s just trying to finish quick as possible and not to make me go back again over there.For with i thank the Officer. I explained my situation, one the end my lawyer talk about 10 min… than Officer told me to pick up the decision in two weeks and to have an interpreter with me???!!! Maybe because i said I don’t speak English. Because i was scared and i don’t understand (law language).!
After we finish my lawyer told me that 90% i lost the interview… hell I don’t know what the outcome is gonna be. No hopes


Sara November 30, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Hey L.F.!
I’m sorry your interview didn’t go very smoothly, but you need to remain hopeful. I’ve read about lots of cases where people felt that they messed up, and ended up getting granted. I’m surprised that your lawyer let things escalate with the officer, though; that could not have been very helpful for you while you were trying to remain calm in an already stressful situation.
Try to stay as positive as you can until the decision pick-up day. It’s a tough wait, I know.
All the best.


L.f November 30, 2017 at 10:22 pm

The officer was than nervous, i saw that & i told maybe I missed some thing in statement because of stres and presion from the situation in the past , but for that im here to explain for you whatever you need,. And she said thanks to me


Sara November 30, 2017 at 10:33 pm

Sounds like you managed to defuse the situation. Either way, the way your lawyer acted is on him/ her; it has no bearing on your case and its outcome.
I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you to hear some good news very soon.

Jason Dzubow December 1, 2017 at 7:38 am

From a lawyer’s point of view, it sometimes takes a lot of self control not to escalate the situation. We see a lot of errors and arrogance on the part of immigration officials. Most are quite good, but some are not, and our frustration at the “bad apples” tends to grow over time. I usually apologize for the interruption in an effort to make the officer feel that he or she was in the right, but at least they got my point, and that generally works pretty well. It sounds like you did the right thing also – hopefully you will get a good result. Take care, Jason

Jason Dzubow December 1, 2017 at 7:26 am

I have seen this before, where the officer asks a question that clearly misinterprets what the person says. Most people are not able to make the correction (usually because these things happen quickly and it is a confusing and somewhat intimidating environment). I think your lawyer probably did the right thing in pointing out the officer’s error – I would have probably done that as well. Unfortunately, the officer was not receptive. Some officers are better than others, and some feel a need to be in charge. Hopefully, it will be alright. I have seen many cases where I felt that it did not go do well, and the person got approved. So hopefully that will be you. Good luck, Jason


Tina December 4, 2017 at 11:07 pm

Honestly Jason,

I have been contemplating moving closer to you to have you handle my case. I know you handle out of state cases, but I want to tell you my story in person.It is long and complicated and I did the application myself. I have been waiting since 2015 and no sign of an interview in the next year. My jurisdiction is Miami. Just thinking aloud, here.


Jason Dzubow December 5, 2017 at 7:20 am

There are plenty of good lawyers in Miami, plus you’ve got the better weather and music down there. If you check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin, a link is at right, it will give you a rough idea about the time frame for your interview. Take care, Jason

Sim December 1, 2017 at 10:25 am

Congrats Sara really happy for you..


Sara December 1, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Thank you!


XY December 2, 2017 at 12:36 am

Hey Sara,
Congratulations on your recommended approval. It is a big step forward. Hope you will get approval soon.


Sara December 2, 2017 at 3:02 am

Thank you, XY! Nice hearing from you. You’re like the OG asylee around here haha For real though, I believe yours was one of the first success stories I came across, and it gave me hope.


Anonymous December 2, 2017 at 5:04 pm

Congratulations sara. Have been following your updates since I started reading post on asylumist. Am really happy for. Pls pray for those of us that are still on the pending list. You are welcome to the land of opportunities.


Sara December 3, 2017 at 1:03 am

Thank you so much! I wish you the best with your case, and hope to hear a good news update from you soon 🙂 Stay strong!


Jamie December 2, 2017 at 6:37 pm

OMG, Sara!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am especially happy for you!!! I have tears in my eyes. Congrats! I am so happy for you!


Sara December 3, 2017 at 1:08 am

Awwww thank you so much, Jamie!! 🙂
Your message has me smiling from ear to ear!


Raj December 5, 2017 at 3:27 am

Hey, Congrats Sara !!! Good wishes to all !!!
My asylum case is pending in LA. I put my case in Dec 2016. If you get any update of LA office please update me .
Thank You


Sara December 5, 2017 at 6:06 pm

Thank you so much, Raj! I think Jason mentioned that things seem to be moving along faster at the slower offices, so hopefully you will get your notice soon. Good luck 🙂

Samira December 4, 2017 at 9:43 pm

I’ve been following this blog and your posts. I was thinking about you today so I check right away and I’m so happy for you. Wish you’ll get your final approval soon. It’s give hope to us who waiting. Congratulations again Sara


Sara December 5, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Aww thanks a lot, Samira! 🙂 I wish you the best with your case!


Samira December 5, 2017 at 8:06 pm

Thank you


Tina December 4, 2017 at 11:00 pm

Your secret fan! Somehow, I just had this feeling that you will be approved. Congrats.


Sara December 5, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Thank you so much, Tina! Hope to hear happy news from you very soon 🙂


KIUS MELAKU November 29, 2017 at 9:20 pm

how long is the time frame that the consulate is going to notify the beneficiaries to schedule an interview after the NVC transferred the I-730 refuge asylum relative petition to the consulate?


Jason Dzubow November 30, 2017 at 7:25 am

It is very unpredictable, depending on the consulate and the case. But normally it is more than a month and less than 6 months. Take care, Jason


Joe November 30, 2017 at 11:11 pm

Congratulations Sara. welcome to USA


Sara December 1, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Thanks, Joe!


JohnDev November 29, 2017 at 5:07 pm

Hi Sir!!!!
I am asylum applicant from Nepal. And, my individual hearing is next year 2018. Very soon I am going get married to US Born US citizen man. Actually , it’s a gay marriage. So , I don’t know what should I do ? Do I have to withdraw my asylum cause in order to get married or what? What is the better way for me? What should I do? Plz help me ? Plz explain me and the nest to do.


Jason Dzubow November 30, 2017 at 7:18 am

Your husband can file the I-130 petition for the marriage (available at – this form is used to verify that the marriage is true). Once that is filed, you have to tell the court. Once it is approved, there is a procedure to terminate the case in court and apply for a green card. I recommend you use a lawyer for this, as there are pitfalls, and not everyone is eligible for a GC this way, depending on the case. Take care, Jason


Joe November 29, 2017 at 12:34 pm


This is a very interesting piece , I think the best option for TPS applicants is to file for asylum, You are one of the smartest lawyers around , I love the point you made as regards those who want to file for asylum pending when a new admin comes in the united states. i have always shared the same sentiment with my friends, as long as am concerned the most important thing for me is getting the EAD and SSN , the interview can be 5 years for all i care, we just have to live life. As long as one can work and make a living legally then i dont see the rush, file for asylum get to stay legally in a safe and secured environment . ” live today and expect the best of tomorrow”.


Jason Dzubow November 29, 2017 at 6:45 pm

I don’t really like the idea of using asylum in this way, but given how the government is acting, it seems there are few options for people, and so for those who fear harm in the home country, even if it is a weak case, it is probably better than returning to a dangerous situation. We can hope for a more rational federal government one day. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 5:59 pm

If you are planning to call, it is best at least to tell your lawyer, so that you are on the same page. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow December 10, 2017 at 7:55 am

If you feel your lawyer is not treating you (or your case) properly, you should dump the lawyer, and – if appropriate – make a bar complaint by contacting the state bar association. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow December 13, 2017 at 6:45 pm

There are a lot of stupid rules that we need to deal with, and this is definitely one of them, but it is one of the rules. I do think the attorney had an obligation to know about this rule, as we are obliged to know about all rules. However, I think I would have made the same mistake, and so I cannot be too critical. Perhaps the lawyer will feel bad and make a strong effort to expedite your case in the court. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow December 13, 2017 at 6:50 pm

Check the I-589 form instructions – search the instructions for the word “waiver” and you will find it. They will send the case to court where the judge will give you a decision. Sorry for this, Jason


Jason Dzubow December 13, 2017 at 6:48 pm

This is right – it is often easier to win at the court than the asylum office. The rule is unfair. As a great asylum lawyer once said, “No country is safe for everyone, all the time” – even a VW country. Unfortunately, that is the law, and the decision at the asylum office is correct, in that the officer is following the (very stupid) law. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow December 13, 2017 at 6:49 pm

It is in the instructions to the I-589. Search the document for the word “waiver” and you will find it. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow December 14, 2017 at 7:19 am

It’s actually pretty terrible – there are these obscure rules and USCIS sometimes seems to take delight in enforcing them. Anyway, I hope you will have good (and fast) luck in court. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow December 14, 2017 at 7:23 am

Probably you were scheduled for an interview because they did not check for your visa category beforehand, and they are not that organized, but that is only my guess. Congress has limited certain benefits for these categories of entrants, and the limits on asylum are one of them. Maybe there is some explanation in the Congressional record, but I have not seen that. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow December 14, 2017 at 7:24 am

I am not sure what they mean by “asylum only hearing” and I think the lawyer needs to check that. It should be in the CFR – the Code of Federal Regulations. Take care, Jason


Sara December 14, 2017 at 8:47 am

I paused at that, too. Maybe they mean asylum-only relief and not withholding of removal? Who knows. The lawyer will need to check this, for sure.


Jason Dzubow December 14, 2017 at 6:33 pm

I am glad to hear you are resolved to keep going. The system tries very hard to beat you down, and you have to keep going. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow December 14, 2017 at 6:35 pm

The government is good at finding the obscure laws that screw up people’s lives, that is for sure…


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