Bye Bye Scheduling Bulletin, Hello Chaos!

by Jason Dzubow on February 1, 2018

By now, you may have heard that the Asylum Division–in a surprise move–has changed the order in which cases will be interviewed. This means that new cases, filed after January 29, 2018, will be interviewed before older, pending cases.

“Sorry, the front of the line is now over there… I guess…”

To understand what’s happening, let’s review a bit of history. Since the mid-1990s, when an asylum case was submitted, the Asylum Office attempted to interview the applicant within a couple months. But as the number of applicants increased, the Asylum Office was less able to handle the volume. Further, starting in maybe 2011 or 2012, large number of asylum seekers began arriving at the U.S./Mexico border and requesting protection (many of these applicants were “unaccompanied minors” – i.e., children without parents – whose cases received priority). In addition to their normal workload, Asylum Officers were assigned to assess these border cases and administer a credible fear interview (an initial evaluation of asylum eligibility). All this resulted in an inability to keep up with affirmative asylum applications. The result was The Backlog.

In my part of the country, the backlog began in probably 2012. We would mail asylum cases as normal. Some applicants would be interviewed within two months; other cases disappeared. Of the cases we mailed, about 60% were interviewed and 40% disappeared.

Although the Asylum Division recognized the problem, they were reluctant to change the way they processed cases. Their fear was that if they interviewed cases in the order received, all cases would move slowly. This would create an incentive for more people to submit fraudulent applications, knowing that their interview would be delayed and that they could remain in the United States for years with a work permit (150 days after she files for asylum, an applicant can apply for an employment authorization document). The problem, of course, was that cases in the backlog (the ones that “disappeared”) would never be adjudicated, and would remain in limbo forever.

Then, in December 2014, the Asylum Division decided to try a new approach: They would interview the oldest cases first. In a sense, this was more fair, as it gave people with “disappeared” cases a chance for an interview. At about the same time, the Asylum Division created the Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin. Now, for each asylum office, we could see who was being interviewed based on the date the application was filed. This at least gave applicants some sense of how their cases were progressing.

Whether the new system worked, or whether it encouraged fraudulent applicants who only wanted work permits, I do not know. I do know that cases have been moving very slowly since December 2014. I believe this is largely due to the prioritization of cases–unaccompanied minors and credible fear interviews received priority over “regular” asylum applicants, and since there were a lot of these, the Asylum Office has been crawling through its backlog of regular cases. We could see what was happening (or not happening) on the Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin.

Enter, the Trump Administration, which views asylum seekers as fraudsters. USCIS (which oversees the Asylum Division) announced the change in policy yesterday, and the change is retroactive–all cases filed on or after January 29, 2018 will (supposedly) be interviewed within 21 days. There is, of course, a caveat: “Workload priorities related to border enforcement may affect our ability to schedule all new applications for an interview within 21 days,” says USCIS.

According to USCIS, the new priorities are as follows:

  • First priority: Applications that were scheduled for an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the applicant’s request or the needs of USCIS.
  • Second priority: Applications that have been pending 21 days or less.
  • Third priority: All other pending affirmative asylum applications will be scheduled for interviews starting with newer filings and working back towards older filings

From this, it appears that unaccompanied minors will no longer be a priority, which may make things faster for “regular” applicants. Also, it appears that the system for requesting expedited interviews will remain in place: “Asylum office directors may consider, on a case-by-case basis, an urgent request to be scheduled for an interview outside of the priority order listed above” (I previously wrote about expediting affirmative asylum cases here). Finally, since cases are being interviewed on a “last in, first out” basis, there is no longer a need for the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin, and so USCIS has eliminated it (though wouldn’t it be nice if they used that website to provided updated information about what they are doing?).

USCIS has made the reasons for the change pretty clear: “Returning to a ‘last in, first out’ interview schedule will allow USCIS to identify frivolous, fraudulent or otherwise non-meritorious asylum claims earlier and place those individuals into removal proceedings.” Presumably, it will also allow legitimate cases to be granted more quickly, which may be good news for people planning to file for asylum in the near future.

Rumor has it that other changes are coming to the asylum system, but what they are, we do not yet know. Given the government’s view that many asylum seekers are fraudsters, I can’t imagine that such changes–if any–will be positive, but we shall see.

There is a lot to say about this new change, but for now, I want to urge people to remain cautious. We will have to see how this plays out in the coming weeks and months. Obviously, if you are a new asylum seeker, or if you filed recently, you need to complete your entire case now, so that you are ready if an interview is scheduled quickly. If you have a case in the backlog, and are now losing hope of ever receiving an interview, you should try to be patient–it may be that because unaccompanied minors are no longer a priority, and because fewer asylum seekers are arriving at the Southern border, cases will begin moving more quickly. Only time will tell, and if I have any news, I will try to post it here.

{ 184 comments… read them below or add one }

Austin February 23, 2018 at 8:04 pm

Hello, Jason

Do you think “the last in first out” rule will cause more delay to someone who submitted his asylum application around April 2017? Especially, if the administration wants to deport DACA recipients, does this mean there will be new asylum applications?

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Alena February 21, 2018 at 5:33 pm

With the new interview order, how do we make sure our case did not get lost? When we had schedule list, we knew at least approximately when to expect an interview, now we dont know anything. I am talking about those who filed in 2014-2017…

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Jason Dzubow February 22, 2018 at 7:26 am

There is really no way to know. If they start moving through the backlog, I imagine will get info about that and I will try to post it here. Otherwise, I guess you can contact the asylum office directly to ask. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Tony February 19, 2018 at 6:12 pm

Hello Jason, as always I want to thank you for being the first reference online for asylee seekers.
I have a question. If I have asylum granted also I received the green card conditional for two years in base marriage.
May I ask to change for an unrestricted GC when I got a year with the asylum granted?

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2018 at 7:22 am

It’s a good question. I suspect that you could, but I am not sure. Rather than risk the filing fee based on my guess, you might want to have a lawyer research this to make sure there is no conflict. Take care, Jason

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Tony February 21, 2018 at 9:34 am

Thanks So much!
One last question. Due to the long wait. Submitting the forms 60 before the year can be accepted to USCIS?

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Jason Dzubow February 21, 2018 at 6:45 pm

Sorry, I do not understand the question, Jason

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Tony February 21, 2018 at 11:02 pm

Sorry , I didn’t express clearly.
I mean, to apply for the GC base on asylum we have to wait 1 year after being granted.
Do you think May I apply for a GC 60 days before have 1 year regarding the long wait?

Asylee February 19, 2018 at 5:09 pm

Hi Jason,

I am here in US (SFO-AO area) with my family on B1/B2 visa, and our status is expiring in one month. Should we apply for affirmative asylum before that or can wait up to one year (or until our complete readiness for the paper work and interview)? Do you really think that we can be called for interview within 21 days after applying? or our attorney will be able to prepare well for the same.

Thank you so much.

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2018 at 7:17 am

As long as you apply within one year of arrival, you should be eligible for asylum. If you go out of status, there are some disadvantages to that (including the possibility that ICE will detain you), but the only issue for asylum is the one-year bar. It is possible that you will get a fast interview if you apply soon, but we do not yet know how the new system is working, and so we will see how many people get fast interviews, and how many land in the backlog. Take care, Jason

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Asylee February 20, 2018 at 4:21 pm

Thank you Sir.

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Asylee February 20, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Dear Sir,

One more question, how long usually it takes to get the receipt of the filed application, and will that receipt be good enough to avoid possible ICE detention?

Thank you so much for your valuable advise.

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2018 at 6:48 pm

The receipt usually arrives in 3 or 4 weeks. It is probably enough to avoid ICE detention, but there is no guarantee. I wrote about that issue on May 3, 2017. Take care, Jason

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Vitali February 19, 2018 at 1:35 pm

What about US Courts? A friend of mine should had a Hearing in court on February 6 in NYC but it was canceled and the court have changed a Judge. So now he is waiting for new Master Hearing. Does someone have any information about courts?

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2018 at 7:10 am

The schedule in court varies depending on the court and the Immigration Judge. There has been a lot of movement – judges coming and going from different courts – and that has played some havoc with the schedule. Take care, Jason

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castor February 15, 2018 at 5:54 pm

Dear Jason,
Cases from people coming form countries like Venezuela, where they experience violence, threats and even kidnapping. Would those case be granted under the Credible Fear?

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Jason Dzubow February 16, 2018 at 7:28 am

Such cases can be granted. If you are talking about a Credible Fear Interview, that is easier to “win” than asylum, but if you win, you then go to an Immigration Court where you can apply for asylum. Take care, Jason

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Gjon. February 12, 2018 at 5:18 am

Dear,

Thank you in advance

Currently, How long will take to reunite with his spouse a green card holder Merry in his home county?

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2018 at 7:31 am

Google “DOS Visa Bulletin” and you can see the wait times. My guess is that, all together, it will take about 2 years, but wait times vary depending on the case, so it might be more or less. Take care, Jason

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Devdas February 11, 2018 at 4:20 am

Hi

What is the logic behind this new weird policy it doesn’t make sense!

Can i apply again for asylum since I already applied on jan 2016

Another question i crossed the red light does this affect my case?

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Jason Dzubow February 11, 2018 at 8:25 am

I wrote about the logic of the policy last week. Under the new policy, it would not work for the same person to re-apply to get a faster interview. Running a red light would not normally be a criminal offense. You should have a copy of the ticket in case it is needed, and if you are worried, talk to a lawyer, but I doubt this would have any effect on an asylum case. Take care, Jason

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Tina February 11, 2018 at 1:37 am

Hi Jason,

I`ve just gotten my asylum approval and want to petition the
i-730 for my husband,could you please inform me of the documents I need to prepare,the correct form to use and do I apply electronically or print and submit a hard copy?

Many thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 11, 2018 at 8:19 am

Sorry, I cannot provide specific info like that, as I do not know they case. You are right that the form is the I-730, available at http://www.uscis.gov. The instructions to the form describe what evidence is needed. If you need help, talk to a lawyer about the specifics of the case. Take care, Jason

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Broken February 11, 2018 at 10:33 am

Congratulations Tina.
Hope you finally got peace of mind

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Sara February 11, 2018 at 10:38 am

Congrats to this Tina. Our Tina, the one who posts regularly and I think is the one you meant this for, is still waiting to get interviewed.

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Tina February 15, 2018 at 5:30 pm

😊😤

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Thomas February 20, 2018 at 4:46 am

When did u applied your asylum

JN February 11, 2018 at 11:41 pm

Congs Tina

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Ralf February 10, 2018 at 5:33 pm

hi Jason, what steps the asylum process could go through?
I know the first step is an interview with an immigration asylum officer, then after that a hearing in front of a judge.
Are there any other steps and what happens if the application were denied on each step?
and what steps are affected by the new changes ?
thank you for your future answers

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Jason Dzubow February 11, 2018 at 8:08 am

It really depends on the case. If you lose a court case, you can appeal to the BIA (appeals court), and if you lose there, potentially you can go to a federal court. The only effect of the new policy is to make newly filed asylum cases faster (for most people at least). Otherwise, the system is the same. Take care, Jason

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Asylumist February 10, 2018 at 4:13 pm

Hello Jason, thank you for your efforts!
Did the time frame for applying for asylum change under the new system? Do they have to apply earlier or in less than a year? And will decisions for those applicants be faster?

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Jason Dzubow February 11, 2018 at 8:03 am

The law is the same – you still have to file within a year or meet an exception. Decision for new applicants (or at least some new applicants) should be faster. We will have to see how the new system plays out over the coming months. Take care, Jason

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A.G February 10, 2018 at 12:09 am

I have filed my asylum case on April 2014 in Boston, and since I have been waiting for my interview. According to old bulletin, Boston office was scheduling interviews for people who filed on January 2014, so I was just 3 months away to be scheduled after 4 years of waiting. Now that the policy changed, I don’t know how much longer I will wait for an interview? Another 4 years? With this new policy, I might be the last to be scheduled for interview. That seems forever and I feel depressed as I think about it. I have never tried to expedite or contact congressman before, since there is no more bulletin showing the timeframe, I have no clue when I might be interviewed. My lawyer doesn’t seem to be willing to make any kind of inquiry, he thinks that it won’t help. I am planning to write to congressman and also going uscis Boston office to request expedite. If anyone has done it before, do you think it helps? Do I have to let my lawyer be aware of my intention of expediting and contacting?

After learning about this new policy, I feel really stressed and depressed, I am losing patience and hope. Please everyone, any kind of information or help will be appreciated.

Thank you all

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E February 10, 2018 at 6:50 am

As Jason suggested before, there is no harm to ask. If you have a situation that might apply for expediting your file and, like being apart from family or health reason, you can ask. But Jason should answer your question.
My case was both health reason and being apart from family. I could get my interview sooner and I am waiting for a decision.

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A.G February 10, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Hi E,

Thank you for your reply.
I don’t have urgent health issue beside the fact that I feel stressed and depressed after waiting for 4years and still don’t know how much longer I will be waiting. I am away from my parents but my spouse and kid are with me, I guess that may not be valid reason for making expedite request. I don’t know if it’s a good move to do request anyway in this circumstances or not.

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Broken February 10, 2018 at 10:24 am

Hey A.G,
I am not a lawyer but I reckon, you should always let your lawyer know before you could do anything related to your case. I never knew about asylum till I meet my lawyer and found out that good lawyers are kinds of eyes of the US government in this matter
Hope this proves helpfull

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A.G February 10, 2018 at 4:08 pm

Broken, thank you very much for your advice.
My lawyer doesn’t want to make any inquiries, maybe he thinks it doesn’t help. However after reading a lot of posts here, I plan to contact congressman and try everything that I can. At the same time I wasn’t sure if it’s good idea to make any move without making my lawyer aware. Thank you for your advice, I will talk to my lawyer about my frustrations and my intention, then I will take action accordingly.

Thank you

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Jason Dzubow February 10, 2018 at 8:56 pm

I do think that the new policy will be harmful in your case – it will cause more delay for you. You can try to expedite – I wrote about that on March 30, 2017, and that may help. I certainly do think that you should tell your lawyer – you two need to be on the same page about the case; otherwise, it may create a mess. Good luck, Jason

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A.G February 11, 2018 at 7:55 am

Jason,thank you very much for your advice, its always good to hear your opinion.
To expedite, should I do the request myself or its my lawyer who makes request, or we both can?
What do you think about writing to my local congressmen/women? Do you think it’s worth to try as well?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Thank you very much

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Jason Dzubow February 11, 2018 at 8:26 am

I think you or the lawyer could do it – maybe the lawyer can present the request better, but aside from that, it should not matter who does it. As for the Congressional office, I think it won’t hurt, but generally, for situations like this, they are pretty useless. Take care, Jason

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Marisa February 9, 2018 at 8:10 am

Hi Jason,

Thanks for your time and information

I have just read a change regarding organization looking after I730 ref to this link:

https://www.uscis.gov/i-730

How would that affect pending I730? In general how long would an I730 take, is that following the timeline on charts, i.e 5 months or is there a back log on that as well?

Much appreciate your help.

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Jason Dzubow February 9, 2018 at 5:28 pm

I think they have changed the offices that processes I-730 forms. I do not know if it will make it faster or slower. The time frame on these is not predictable. We have done cases (I-730 and consular processing) in 4 months; other cases take over a year. Take care, Jason

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Fady February 8, 2018 at 11:14 pm

Hi Jason,

I am trying to apply for asylum now! but i am confused where to apply! coz i heard that SF office has higher approval rate is that right?

thank you.

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Jason Dzubow February 9, 2018 at 7:29 am

I wrote something about that a couple days ago and I also wrote a post on February 25, 2016 that might help. Remember that you have to apply based on where you live, so if you want the SF office, you have to live in their jurisdiction. Take care, Jason

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Timothy February 8, 2018 at 5:43 am

Jason,
Even if you get your i-730 approved, is there still a possibility of VISA denial at the consulate?
If so, what can be done afterwards
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2018 at 6:33 pm

We have not had that happen – yet. But we have had a case where the I-730 for the children was approved and they came to the US, but 4 or 5 months later, the husband is still waiting for his visa. We contacted the embassy about it, which was useless. I think if the embassy denies the visa, the case will return to USCIS where we can try to respond to whatever concerns they had. We may also try reaching out to the embassy again if the case remains in limbo. Take care, Jason

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Carl February 7, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Hi Jason,
Today I went to the Asylum office for interview and surprisingly the interview time was only 1 hour.what does it mean?

And after the interview the officer told me and my wife to come both of you after two weeks and took the result.is it necessary to go everybody to took the result.

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2018 at 7:36 am

It is pretty fast, but I suppose you will have to see what happens in two weeks. Good luck, Jason

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Sumaya February 8, 2018 at 4:11 pm

Would you please let us know what happens after 2 weeks in a separate comment?

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Carl February 9, 2018 at 5:41 pm

Sure Sunday’s….

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Carl February 9, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Sure sumaya……

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Naghme February 16, 2018 at 1:23 am

Hey Carl
may I ask u when u applied?

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Lui February 7, 2018 at 7:29 pm

Hello Guys, i know many of you are experiencing a high level of anxiety due to the new procedures for scheduling interviews. Just dont loose hope and pray that with this new changes you might get a faster response or schedule for interview.

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faith February 7, 2018 at 4:32 pm

hi Jason Dzubow , hope you are doing great.Jason i am frustrated.i did applied for asylum back in dec 2015 from arlington , now they changed everything.please Jason that means that i have to wait for long again? nice day

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2018 at 7:04 am

For someone who filed in December 2015, it is likely that you will wait longer under the new system. You can short list your case or try to expedite. I wrote about that on March 30, 2017. Take care, Jason

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Josh February 7, 2018 at 10:36 am

Hi Jason, for F-1 visa students with an asylum-pending-derived EAD, when applying for OPT-based EAD, the first question: I am applying for: 1) Permission to accept employment; 2) Replacement; 3) Renewal of my permission to accept employment.
Which one should I choose? (Assuming I only have I-589 derived EAD, and never had an OPT-based EAD.)

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Holly February 7, 2018 at 3:12 pm

I was in the same situation. I was explained that since it’s a new category, you should put “New application”. Hope that helps.

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm

If you are changing to a different EAD category, I believe it would be # 1, but double check the instructions. I think the form requires you to list your prior/current EAD, so you need to do that as well. Take care, Jason

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Mohammad February 7, 2018 at 7:12 am

Good morning.i want to ask due to current situation shall i apply for work permit within 150 days or after 180 days? Regards.

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Daniel February 7, 2018 at 12:53 am

So Jason, what do you think of this idea to help the people in the backlog who have no prospect of interviews?

A person with a pending asylum application in the backlog files for an advance parole. She visits the Bahamas for a couple of days and returns to the USA, resetting the one-year deadline clock to zero. Then she files a new asylum application, which falls under the new rule, and gets her interview within 21 days.

I realize any untried procedural maneuver is risky, and especially that advance parole is not a guarantee of re-entry (although if worse comes to worst and her advance parole is dishonored, she can always renew her asylum claim at the border if she’s willing to go into detention). I would also be worried that USCIS might interpret Matter of Arrabally to say that since a trip abroad on an advance parole isn’t a “departure” for purpose of the 3-year and 10-year bars, it’s also not an “arrival” that resets the 1-year deadline. In that case, the new asylum claim would get referred to Immigration Court, and I think that means USCIS loses jurisdiction over the first asylum claim too under 8 CFR 208.2(b) (“Immigration judges shall have exclusive jurisdiction over asylum applications filed by an alien who has been served a…Notice to Appear”).

Given the uncertainty, I don’t think I would ever recommend this to someone who wasn’t truly desperate. Staying in America permanently without ever having an interview, renewing your EAD every 2 years isn’t necessarily too bad; it sure beats being tortured and murdered in your home country. But for the people who are separated from family abroad and simply can’t put up with it, maybe desperate times call for desperate measures.

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Thomas February 7, 2018 at 1:55 am

Theoretically, if she was to leave and come back with no problems, the one year clock would not be reset. Leaving and entering does not reset it, but arriving to the US with any other immigration status does (supposedly she is using her national passport, which is also bad for her.) The advance parole she is using does not pause or stop the processing of her current application with USCIS. Also, if she was to file another asylum application, it would automatically be referred to court (if not immediately rejected) because of her already ongoing and existing application. USCIS will see her current pending one in their sigma sytem while attempting to enter her new one, thus referring/rejecting the second application (and maybe the first one, too.) Filling for an immigration benefit with several applications at the same time will not make it faster, but instead jeopardize any remote favorable discretion USCIS might have had.

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Daniel February 7, 2018 at 9:55 pm

I’m sorry, but it just isn’t true that leaving and re-entering in the sane status doesn’t reset the one-year deadline. The regulation is very clear that you must file within one year of your *last* arrival; it says nothing about status. I have had two clients who left and re-entered the USA in the same status, and filed for asylum within one year of the last entry but not the first. Both won, and neither had any issues with the one-year deadline. Reasonable fear is always an issue in those cases, since you have to explain why you didn’t file the first time you were here, but the deadline isn’t.

The more difficult question is whether returning on an advance parole in particular counts as a new arrival. Joaquin-Porras v. Gonzales suggests no, but Matter of FGP disapproves of that decision, and would likely get Chevron deference on appeal. But even Matter of FGP said it would wait for another day to decide whether leaving and re-entering for the *purpose* of avoiding the one year deadline would count as an “arrival.” So the answer is very unclear.

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 7:23 am

I don’t think it would work – if the person has a pending asylum case, travels on AP, and returns, she cannot file a new asylum case. At least I do not think so. I am wondering what happens if a dependent spouse files for asylum – will the dependent spouse, with the new case, be interviewed quickly? I expect some people will be trying this, so maybe we will hear how it works. For others, stuck in the backlog, I am not sure what to do besides request to expedite. However, I certainly agree that desperate times require desperate measures, and it is great to try to think of creative ways to get interviews. Take care, Jason

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Rita February 7, 2018 at 12:39 am

Hello Jason,
If you have recently been to Arlington office can you please share which month is being interviewed Right now

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 7:19 am

They have changed the system and will now interview most recently filed cases first. Take care, Jason

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Samir February 7, 2018 at 12:26 am

Dear Jason I applied for asylum back in 2016 based on fear of harm and religious and sactarian conflicts in Lebanon ,personally I faced some threats .until now Lebanon is still facing the danger of a new civil war example last week militants spread the streets and clashed with other religion..so things are getting worse especially in the area that I used to live ,can I add to my case all what’s still happening to my neighborhood ?

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 7:19 am

You can add evidence to your case in accordance with the rules of your local asylum office. In our office (Virginia), all evidence must be submitted at least one week in advance. Take care, Jason

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Saber February 6, 2018 at 11:31 pm

Dear Jason hope your doing well , my EAD expire in October 2018 which date i renew my EAD ? I heard 3 mounts before expiration we have to update it’s right ?
Many thanks .

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 7:13 am

You can file up to 180 days before the old card expires. Take care, Jason

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Broken February 6, 2018 at 9:00 pm

Good evening Jason,
Does USCIS notify lawyers or applicants of a case sent to HQs for review or for security checks? I am asking this because my lawyer told me that USCIS will very rarely divulge suck information ? How would you react to this?

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 7:12 am

If you ask them by email or in-person, they sometimes tell you, but not always. I wrote a post about cases that are likely to go to HQ on October 20, 2015. Take care, Jason

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Allen February 6, 2018 at 6:34 pm

Hi Jason,
One of my friends was just scheduled for an interview after two years of filing. one week prior to receiving schedule notice, he received a mail notification from the asylum office just informing that his finger print is used for background check purpose. I guess these two notice do not really related to each other. does this finger print notice mean his background check is just started or completed according to your experience? is everyone get this kind of notice?

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 7:07 am

The notices are probably related – it just means they need to update his fingerprints. That is normal. He should get that done and go to the interview. Take care, Jason

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Allen February 7, 2018 at 8:37 am

Thanks, They didn’t ask him to update the finger print. They just informed him that his finger print was used for background check purpose.

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Jah February 6, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Hi Jason,

I applied for Asylum in 2016 and am pending. I got married in 2017 and have my marriage based GC interview next week. If approved, how do I go about withdrawing my asylum petition? Are there any consequences to withdrawing?

Thanks!

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Janiv February 6, 2018 at 9:33 pm

Hi jah.Good evening.I married us citizen.i applied asylum in 2015 newark.Haven’t got Interview yet.I am thinking to apply through my wife.How long did they took for gc?also can you give me some idea!It is possible to share your email.Thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 7:12 am

It varies, but I would be surprised if that process took less than a year. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 7:01 am

You would probably only be able to withdraw the asylum case once your green card is approved. Contact/email the asylum office and give them a copy of the new green card, and ask to withdraw the case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Sarah February 8, 2018 at 9:41 am

Hello Jah,
Please can you give me an email to contact you on pertaining to a similar case like yours.
Thanks in anticipation.
Best regards.

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JRT February 6, 2018 at 2:02 pm

For anyone who has a case pending with the Chicago asylum office, here’s some recent info from the National Immigrant Justice Center’s website:
“02/02/2018 update: the Chicago Asylum Office has informed NIJC that they will start conducting interviews under the last-in-first-out system the week of February 19th and that attorneys can assume any cases filed in the last week and going forward will be in the new scheduling paradigm. The Chicago Asylum Office also states that as they are better able to manage the new scheduling system, they will continue to call in older cases in addition to the most recent filings. Although it remains difficult to predict when older cases will receive interview dates, this response seems to indicate that for the immediate future, the asylum office does not anticipate interviewing older cases unless they were rescheduling requests.”

I’m not an attorney, nor do I have any additional information about the above, but I thought it might be useful to someone.

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Allen February 6, 2018 at 6:40 pm

link to the source please?

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JRT February 6, 2018 at 6:56 pm
JN February 6, 2018 at 10:56 pm

Thanks JRT and keep posting anything about Chicago.

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 6:57 am

Thank you – we will just have to see what happens. Each office can control its own schedule to a certain extent, and so they may be doing things differently in different offices, at least until this mess is sorted out. Take care, Jason

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E February 10, 2018 at 7:02 am

Hi Jason,
Does this announcement apply to the interview result as well?
I mean if you already had your interview, you will receive your response in this new order, last comes first??

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Jason Dzubow February 10, 2018 at 9:01 pm

The policy change does not affect decisions. However, if they are focusing on new cases, it might cause some delay with pending cases, but we will have to see. Good luck, Jason

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Mark February 6, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Hi Jason,

How long will it take get the EAD after the date they received my I-765 application?

regards,
Mark

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Hasan Ali February 6, 2018 at 10:10 pm

If it is based on Asylum and it is your first application, 30-75 days.

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 6:56 am

First time EADs range from 1 to 4 months. Renewals can take up to 7 months (but you get an automatic extension, which I wrote about on January 25, 2017). Take care, Jason

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Doobsie February 6, 2018 at 4:32 am

I should say there is ‘never a dull moment’ with the new administration. This announcement was indeed ‘out left field’.
While a 21 day window might seem like a good idea for new applicants, this is definitely a case of dangling a carrot before a donkey.
Think of it this way:
– Can one get a lawyer to understand a case and represent an applicant in this short space of time
– Can an applicant manage to get all the evidence, and his/her papers in order within this time-frame
I believe the administration has something up its sleeve; if an applicant get can to a hearing unprepared, then chances are that the case will be denied and referred to Immigration Court.
I can bet, the next changes will come to the Immigration Court procedures; all applications referred to Immigration Court after January 28, 2018 will be given preference.
My gut-feel tells me that the administration wants to make sure that all new applications are concluded within the EAD clock limit, so that no new EAD ever have to be issued to asylum applicants.

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Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:43 am

I agree that their intention is to get these cases done quickly, but given the high number of cases that keep piling up, I doubt they will be able to do that for most people. We shall see. Take care, Jason

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Davids February 6, 2018 at 11:17 am

I believe this 21 days window is once the asylum application has been filed,so one can get prepared while in status before applying
Jason will correct me if i am wrong .

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 6:51 am

Correct, but in some offices, documents must be submitted a week (or maybe more in advance), so there is not much time after filing. Also, at least in my office, they habitually lose documents that we file, so it is better to send as much as possible together in the beginning. Take care, Jason

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Sami February 6, 2018 at 12:41 am

Hi Jason, I applied for my asylum in Jan 2016 at San Francisco and it’s over Two years now. I was hoping for an interview call sooner but this new scheduled with ‘last in’and ‘first out’ had put me in worrisome situation yet again. Do you think it wil gonna be another couple of years wait now? I am thinking of submitting expedited letter (reason: stress and depression from long await). Can I just submit a letter without an evidences. Consulting a doctor results in piling up bills which I am not in a state to pay. Please help.

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Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:37 am

I suspect it will caused more delays for someone who filed in 2016, but it is difficult to know – we will have to wait and see. You can submit a request to expedite with no evidence, but it is more likely to work if you have evidence. You may look around to see whether there are any free services available. A good place to start is by Googling “Catholic Charities” + your city. They help everyone regardless of religion and could maybe refer you to some free services. Take care, Jason

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Khalil February 6, 2018 at 10:45 am

Hi Sam
All asylum seeker is eligible for Medicaid program through special units in their particular state. Why don’t you go and ask them.

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Levy February 7, 2018 at 3:14 am

For example which states ? Texas ?

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Asylum applicant February 5, 2018 at 8:40 pm

Hello Jason,
I received today notice from USCIS for interview by end of this month, i was surprised that it is written on it – rescheduling at my own request- and also that my 150 days clock has stopped at the date of schedule (which is the date of the interview itself after 3 weeks) and it stopped at 93 days (which I am surprised because my case is pending almost 3 years and I have an EAD based on pending asylum and I applied to renew it? Can the clock stop and go back?
It is really confusing.

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santon February 5, 2018 at 9:23 pm

Hi Asylum Applicant,
Can you share your time line please.

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Asylum applicant February 5, 2018 at 9:42 pm

Applying in Los Angeles 1 March 2015

Bio-metric 15 March 2015

Notice for Rescheduling ( which I am surprised from using word rescheduling) on my own request is 1 Feb 2018

Interview 26 February 2018

The notice mentioned your EAD click was stopped at 93 days on 26 Feb 2018 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I have an EAD which Its renewal is pending for 120 days

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Liz February 5, 2018 at 10:58 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your information.
Good luck in your interview.
I am really thankful for caring asylum officers who work hard to call us whom waited for so long for interview. God bless them. I am praying they continue their good work.
Thank you so much Dear Mr. Jason for your great website which helping us tremendously.
Grace and peace.

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Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:32 am

I think the info about the clock is wrong. You might ask about that at the end of your interview, as it could affect renewing the EAD if that is necessary (but it might have no effect – in reality, it should not, but they keep changing things, so it is difficult to know). Alternatively, if you get a decision and it is positive, you do not need to worry about the clock, but if you get sent to court, you will need to renew your EAD, so you could ask the asylum office at that time, if it happens. Take care, Jason

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Val February 5, 2018 at 7:37 pm

Hi Jason, I applied for asylum back in 2015 and just today I got a notice that I missed my interview back in October 2017. The thing is I have never received any interview notices from the asylum office (Chicago). I have moved to a new apartment in August 2017 but I changed my address on USCIS website and received 2 confirmations in mail from them. The notice says that 45 days have passed and I have to prove exceptional circumstances, also that I will not be eligible for EAD renewal. What should I do? Thanks!

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EF February 5, 2018 at 11:07 pm

It is the same thing that happened to me in 2016 and I had to go there and I explained what happened . I also submitted a letter mentioning that I did not receive the notice nor did my lawyer . They sent me a notice informing me that they would reschedule my interview and I waited for more than a year to hear back from them and they finally sent me another notice of interview that was at the end of January .

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Val February 5, 2018 at 11:41 pm

EF, thanks. Good luck on your interview!

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Val February 5, 2018 at 11:43 pm

EF, also, did you submit any evidence of address change or other kind of proof with your letter to them? Thanks

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EF February 6, 2018 at 11:33 pm

Actually they did not send us any notice of interview , there are some critical mistakes that are being made by the Asylum office but u still hold responsible I don’t know why . And by the way when they sent me the notice they mentioned my interview was rescheduled based on my request , just go in person because they do not usually reply to emails and it is also good to go to break the ice

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Mohamed February 5, 2018 at 11:31 pm

Witch month you applied on 2015 ?

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Val February 5, 2018 at 11:38 pm

Mohamed, June 2015

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Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:27 am

Contact the asylum office directly and tell them what happened. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. You may need to go in person and ask about this, but you can start by emailing them and include a scanned copy of the change of address receipts. Take care, Jason

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Chris February 6, 2018 at 3:04 pm

I may be wrong, but u can’t change your address online for asylum application. U have to email them or mail the form ar-11 to asylum office not to USCIS. If u have a pending EAD than u have to do both, change online for EAD(uscis) and email/mail asylum office about your address change. That’s the stupidest and the most confusing system.

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 6:59 am

You do now have an option to change the address online for I-589. The problem is that the asylum office does not always seem to get the change. For this reason, it is a good idea to follow up with them by email to make sure they are sending mail to the new address, or to move the case to a new office if that is appropriate. Unfortunately, they are not always very responsive. Also, make sure if you make the change, to keep a copy of the confirmation notice, so you have proof that you changed your address. Take care, Jason

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Sara Hope February 5, 2018 at 6:14 pm

Four years journey of hope pain and uncertainty, I have received my final approval today , I pray for everyone here, especially those who are separated from their family just like me . thank you Jason for keeping me hanging out there , my journey :
1- applies for Asylum Feb 2014 at Chicago office
2- interviewed Feb 2017
3- final decesion Feb 2018

May god bless you all,

SaraHope

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Kaka February 5, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Congratulation, did your approval came wuth i-94 card and new ead

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Sara Hope February 5, 2018 at 7:21 pm

Thank you yes received I-94?

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Nevadi February 5, 2018 at 9:02 pm

Now do you need to apply for new ead card ? Im not sure because dmv wants me to bring ead card with no expiration date to remove my temperory vistor condition.

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Sara Hope February 6, 2018 at 12:14 am

I am not sure yet , will keep you posted

Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:33 am

If you win asylum, they should automatically send you a new EAD card. However, all EAD cards have expiration dates. Take care, Jason

Mohamed February 5, 2018 at 11:35 pm

Congratulations
Are u from any ban cantry ?
Im grom syria stll wait for interview and i appled on Dec 2015

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Sara Hope February 6, 2018 at 12:11 am

hang on there .. if your case is jenuin and true you will be granted

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Alex February 6, 2018 at 12:14 am

I also applied in Dec 2015 to Chicago office.I do not received invitation yet an interview.But I am from Belarus.

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Sara Hope February 6, 2018 at 12:24 am

I applied Feb 2014 , hang on there

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Nada February 6, 2018 at 2:49 am

Congratulation Sara,
Question for your : do you have to wait 12 month to apply for green card or the decision dated Feb 2017 ” Interview date”

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Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:25 am

A huge Congratulations to you! It is great to hear good news and we wish you the best in the USA, Jason

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Jamie February 6, 2018 at 11:07 am

OMG, Sara! Congrats! I am soooo happy for you.

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Nevadi February 6, 2018 at 6:36 pm

Thank you for your reply Jason and sara. So Jason immigration judge granted me asylum in jully 2017 and i got my new i94 card after 3 week from my case granted. But now its been almost 7 months i didnt get a new Ead card. My old Ead valid until april 2019. My question is do i need to contact uscis about it.

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 7:10 am

You need to make an Info Pass appointment (at http://www.uscis.gov) with USCIS and bring your court order and I-94. Then they will send you a new EAD (though technically, you are eligible to work only with the I-94, but many employers and the DMV do not recognize that). This website should help: https://www.uscis.gov/laws/immigration-benefits-eoir-removal-proceedings
Go to post order benefits and follow the instructions. Take care, Jason

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Nevadi February 7, 2018 at 8:09 pm

Thank you so much and i really appreciate it. Will do it as you directed.

PM February 5, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Jason and others,
Any ideas on how this change might affect people who already had their interview but are still waiting on a decision?
I had my interview 5 months ago and I am still waiting for any decision.

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Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:21 am

There is no official effect, so hopefully you will get a good decision soon. Since they are now focusing on new cases, other work may slow down (such as issuing decisions on old cases), but we will have to see what happens. Take care, Jason

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Joe February 5, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Allen,

What asylum office did you apply to?

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Alex February 5, 2018 at 4:56 pm

If you asking me it is new orleans Metairie office .

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Alex February 5, 2018 at 3:20 pm

Hi
Thank for your support and knowledge that you provide and the hope that you extend,
I came to United States from UAE I applied for asylum with my wife and kids because i lost my jordanian citizenship and when you lose your passport you cant remain in Dubai (UEA),because you need your passport to keep working viza on it however i left (USE) after my country (jordan )stripped me of my citizenship,and denied my right to renew my travel document and they banned me from entering the country, i got my first interview in July 2016 and it went very will in Metairie ,Louisiana,after 7 month i got my second interview and it went very well but the focus was on my Palestinian heritage,month later they call me for the third interview,but the focus this time was about my life in dubai (UAE) and if I could go back if jordan hipothically or any country give me a travel documents,I replied am not afraid of going back i just lost my passport and am stateless and (UAE) doesn’t grant me legal status as permanent residency or passport and my lawyer and me make it very clear that i have never stated as legal status granted in (UAE) ,
Tow weeks later they send me the answer tha asylum office told me that am statless and native of syria (since i was born in syria) but the chocking thing was that they considered staining in (UAE ) using renewable work visa as a legal status,and that was to tally wrong .they reffred my cace to the immigration jusg and after the first hearing he give me a hearing session in mars 2021 .
Dear jason
Do you think what is a normal handling of my case or it has to do with the new prospective of this administration towards people from the middle east ,and is it normal to consider workink for 12 years in (UAE) as a legal status ,
Finially am moving to Washington DC to persuade my carrier again as a journalist (and this was part of my case)is it better on your opinion to keep my case in New Orleans and come bake in 2021for hearing or you thing it could be for better to move the case to DC office where I could face more fairly treatment.
Manny thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:18 am

I have not seen that before – we do many cases where the person lived in the Gulf with a work visa, and it has never been considered permanent residence. So I think the asylum office is simply wrong on the law. You should have evidence about that to show the judges, as that obviously was a point the asylum officer did not understand. Usually, the judges correct such errors. As for moving, you have to do the case where you live, and so if you live in DC, you will do the case here (you have to change your address with the court using form EOIR-33). I do not know about the court in New Orleans, but the court in Virginia (which covers DC) is very good. You can Google “TRAC Immigration” to get some idea about that. Take care, Jason

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Alex February 6, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Thanks
It was absolutely clear to the offecer that (UAE)is not a permanent resident and in the third interview me and my lawyer made it so clear and i had the viry clear evidence my case that the officer has included with a copy af all pages of my passport and other evidence but the officer ask me again for my travel document and make copyes thin ask me if am afraid to go back to (UAE) so i think they know the law .
In this case should i wait till 2021 to correct this error can i do any thing in this regarrd .
My second question i will inform the court about changing my address to Virginia and my lawyer said i can come to New Orleans if i keep the case in New Orleans or i can move the case to (DC) and he could come .
Do you recommend to hire new lawyer in (DC)
Sence i have to pay my lawyer for the new contract that cover the appeal process,do you think it is for the best to start the appeal in (D C ) with new lawyer and could the hearing if i moved the case be sooner or later.
Thanks and apologize for the long post .

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2018 at 7:05 am

You can try to expedite the court case – I wrote about that on April 20, 2017. Whether you use the old lawyer or a new lawyer is up to you. The advantage of using a lawyer in DC is that he/she is familiar with the judge and the court. The advantage of using your old lawyer is that he knows your case best. So I think that depends on how much you want to use the lawyer you have, and on what the costs are for each. Take care, Jason

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Allen February 5, 2018 at 3:02 pm

Jason! I was just scheduled for an interview today. It looks like USCIS is randomly scheduling people for interview in all time intervals. I filed in November 2016 and they should be scheduling people for October 2015 this month if they follow the good old scheduling bulletin. I am happy and at the same time it feels really strange because my friends that filed before me are still waiting for the interview.

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Allen February 5, 2018 at 3:21 pm

I am just told that one of my friends applied in October 2015 also received schedule notice today (which is still scheduled under the old system). There must be something happened to the cases from 2015.10 to 2016.11. one assumption: based on some one-year applicants received interview waiver request from USICS, they may have prioritized cases that filed within one year for old cases. no one knows what is going on with USCIS scheduling now .

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Joe February 5, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Allen,

What Asylum office did you apply to?

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JN February 5, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Which asylum office Allen. I filled in august 2016 Chicago office. I am happy for you

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Allen February 5, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Newark

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Yousaf February 5, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Hello,
I applied in April 2016 at Newark and still waiting for interview call. This seems confusing that you are scheduled for interview cause its not either of the pattern followed in your case – “Last in First out, First in First out.”
It would be great if I receive a miraculous interview call.
Wishing you all the best 🙂

Regards,
Yousaf

Allen February 5, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Thanks Yousaf. just curious, did you file within one year entry of USA or later?

JN February 5, 2018 at 5:51 pm

Allen,
Do you information that it’s those who applied within one year first or or you are anticipating. If there’s any info please share. Thanks

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Yousaf February 5, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Allen,
Yes, I filed within one year period.

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Allen February 5, 2018 at 7:45 pm

sorry, It was just my personal assumption but looks like it is wrong and I still don’t know how I am scheduled for an interview one year in advance from the old scheduling bulletin. I have tried to expedite my case almost 10 months ago but was denied expedite, instead I was placed on short notice after that. Again, I was called for short weeks just one month after that but I wasn’t able to make it to the short notice scheduled date because they asked me whether I can come for tomorrow,so I had to reject the offer. almost 6 months have passed after that and today I received an official schedule notice together with someone that filed one year before me.

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JRT February 5, 2018 at 8:34 pm

I think both the fact that you had been placed on the short-notice list and that you couldn’t make it to the interview, causing USCIS to reschedule it, explains well why you have an interview coming up. That would put you in the category of “First priority”. Per USCIS, “First priority: Applications that were scheduled for an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the applicant’s request or the needs of USCIS.”

Allen February 5, 2018 at 9:45 pm

I don’t think short list will put you in priory . They also didn’t actually schedule me for an interview, someone just called and if I can come for tomorrow otherwise she will call the person behind me on the short list, which should be pretty long. Also, you don’t get schedule notice for short list , they just call you few days before. Most probable scenario is that , during these caoes days with system change. There might be some unfilled space for which they might have reconsidered recent expedite requests. Jason also suggested this is a good time for expedite request. So this scenario makes more sense

Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:28 am

It could be that you got the interview due to the short list – sometimes, even when a person simply inquires about the case, they get placed on the short list without knowing it. On the other hand, it might just be a random interview. Who knows? Take care, Jason

Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:14 am

We have a case like that from Newark. It is really not clear how or in what order they are scheduling people. We will have to see how things go, and hopefully there will be some order to their system. Take care, Jason

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Ali February 5, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Hi Jason,
Thank you for answering to our questions.
Jason if my wife file the petition form i_730 but it happens that I am away from my country in a neighbouring country for business and will only go back after 3 months. Will that affect the outcome of the petition? Knowing that it sometimes take up to 5 months to be approved and send to the embassy for further processing.please advice whether I should go back to my country immediately or after
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:13 am

It does not matter where you are, though I believe the I-730 asks which consulate you will go to for your visa. The I-730 is processed in the US. Once it is approved, then you do the consular processing (in your country or a third country). So if you are outside your country but want to process in your country, you can do that – just return to your country when you have the appointment with the consulate. Take care, Jason

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Levy February 5, 2018 at 1:50 pm

Dear Jason

What do you think about cases which filed in July 2017 ? Does this new USCIS’s approach effect these case for early interview scheduling ?

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Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:10 am

They will be affected, but whether they will be faster or slower than the old system, we do not yet know. Take care, Jason

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patrick February 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Hi I regularly check your website and there are questions i can never find answers in the internet so i wanted to write to you :

When i change address with AR11- Do they send confirmation? how to be sure they have received it ? is there any way to check if they have recieved my mail regarding AR11 form?

The recent last in first out policy, this news is confusing to the one you have wrote above, in the uscis They have not written anywhere that says “This rules to start from 21st jan and after” but in your post you have mentioned : “filed after January 29, 2018” which one is correct i am confused.

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Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:09 am

I have hyperlinked the date, and that shows the USCIS memo where it lists January 29. As for the address, they do not send confirmation (though if you file electronically, they send you an acknowledgment). You can contact the asylum office to ask whether they have your new address. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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TS February 5, 2018 at 11:57 am

Hi Jason, I filled my assylum application in July 2017. I did not know I could not include my family because they were not present in the US so, their applications were rejected and returned to me. Now, mine was not but I did not get the notice of receipt they send to prove that you filed when applying for the work authorization. What do I do because my 150 days are over

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Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:07 am

You can use the biometric appointment notice if you do not have the receipt – that should work. You can also request a copy of your entire file, which will include receipts, by filing a form G-639, available at http://www.uscis.gov. This is free, but it may take 5 or 6 months. You might also go to the asylum office or contact them to ask whether they can give you some document to show you have a pending case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Allen February 6, 2018 at 9:13 am

Email and mail a request letter for proof your asylum application. Tell them that you did t received your asylum receipt so far and you desperately need a proof for EAD application. I did it and they sent me both scanned copy by email and a hard copy by mail.

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Anonymous February 5, 2018 at 1:38 am

Thank you Guys for all your support and advice. I have been following this website since the date i filed for my asylum.
Timeline of my case:
May 2014- Submitted my application for asylum in LAX
Nov 2017- First Interview (Things did not work out well , requested to be reschedule)
Dec 2017- Second Interview(Officer asked me to come back within 2 weeks to pick my decision)
2 weeks later – By Jan 2018 Result for Approval. Asylum was approved.

Los angeles is moving fast. My friend applied in 2015 and they called him now for interview

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Liz February 5, 2018 at 5:20 am

Congratulations,
Thank you so much for the information.
It’s heartwarming to see Los Angeles calling 2015 for the interview. I am praying they continue to interview old cases from 2015 above and end our suffering. I pray all old cases to be interviewed soon.
God bless.

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Jason Dzubow February 5, 2018 at 7:29 am

Congratulations – it is nice to hear good news! And welcome to the US of A! Take care, Jason

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Moe February 5, 2018 at 11:53 pm

Congratulations, so happy, how was your second interviy? Did you had any conflicts with your answers with the first interview? Because i did my second interview last week in Los angeles office and my answers had 2 conflicts with last year but those questions was minor and not the major one, I would appreciate if you answer me

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Anonymous February 18, 2018 at 9:17 pm

Moe , second interview went smoothly well. First interview was a mess. They had to reassign my case to someone else. I recomend you to have a lawyer.

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Joe February 5, 2018 at 12:28 am

Dear jason

I applied to my family ( wife & 2 kids ) i 730 and got approved from deparment of state and they send it to the embassy of US in my country now more than 172 day and they didnt call them for interview , am grant asylee ,i mailled the embassy there 2 times no response what shall i do ??? And i spplied for my green caed more than 4 month and they didnt call me for interview or to do my medical is that normal ?
Thanks for your concern

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Jason Dzubow February 5, 2018 at 7:28 am

The wait for your family seems very long. Maybe you should find a lawyer to help you, but otherwise, you can email the embassy, consular section (the email should be on the embassy website). When I have done that, they normally respond (even if the response is useless). Otherwise, maybe contact your Congress person for help. As for your own GC, such cases are taking 10+ months and there is normally no interview, so your situation seems normal to me (as long as you got your receipt). Take care, Jason

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Sarah February 4, 2018 at 9:32 pm

Hello Jason, thanks for the prompt update on your website.
I filed for asylum in November 2017 and did my finger print on the 22nd of December 2017.
I have not filed for work authorization because it’s not up to 150 days yet but with this latest uscis news concerning asylum interview do you think I’ll be having my interview anytime soon and will this new rule affect applications of EAD. Thanks for your prompt response.

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Jason Dzubow February 5, 2018 at 7:26 am

You may have your interview soon, and so you should make sure your case is complete and ready to go. Take care, Jason

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Michael February 4, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Jason how do you think it will effect the decisions that are issued for all the cases that had their interviews but did not receive their decisions. I personally know a person who was interviewed in May of 2017 and there is still no decision on that case. So that would lead me to believe that the backlog for decisions is at least 8 months.

If USCIS will be conducting interviews within 21 days it would only make sense that they would issue decisions for those cases first to maintain their flawed strategy.

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Jason Dzubow February 5, 2018 at 7:25 am

The wait time for decision is very unpredictable – we see people waiting for 2 weeks; others are waiting for 2 years with no end in sight. The change does not officially affect wait times, but if they are now prioritizing new cases, I imagine fewer resources will go towards reaching decisions in older cases, and so that may slow things down even more. We will have to wait to see. Take care, Jason

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Ali February 4, 2018 at 5:49 pm

Please Jason,could you help me out.now that my wife has gotten her asylum approved what is the way forward to get me to join in U.S.A. or does she has to wait till she get her green card before she could petition for me.
Thank you

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Michael February 4, 2018 at 6:22 pm

As long as you were married prior the date that her asylum was approved and she filled out part 2 information about you, all she has to do is file form i730 to petition for you to receive asylum status based on the fact that you were married at the time her asylum was granted.

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Jason Dzubow February 5, 2018 at 7:21 am

She files a form I-730, available at http://www.uscis.gov. Once that is approved, you will process your case at the US consulate and come to the US. Take care, Jason

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Rchad February 4, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Hi Jason,

I filed my application in December 2016. According to previous scheduling bulletin, the office where I filed was scheduling July 2014. with this new change, how it would work? Am I going to wait for longer time or shorter than previous scheduling bulletin?
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 5, 2018 at 7:07 am

They are now going to do cases in reverse order, so the old Scheduling Bulletin is of no help. Whether the new policy will make your case faster or slower, I do not know. We will have to see how things go. Take care, Jason

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HA February 4, 2018 at 11:33 am

Hi,
I did online inquiry and this is the reply I got

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) records indicate your application is currently pending and has been pre-adjudicated. Final review by an officer is dependent upon additional reviews on your case. Please keep your mailing address current to avoid missing any correspondence or notices.

Would you tell me what do you think?
Thank you.

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Josh February 4, 2018 at 6:40 pm

I think it means nothing, either good or bad news.

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Jason Dzubow February 5, 2018 at 7:05 am

It doesn’t tell you much and certain gives no idea when a decision will be issued. I don’t think it is very helpful. There is not much else I can say about it. Take care, Jason

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Freddy February 4, 2018 at 5:17 am

If someone files a petition online and get many people to sign it, can that prompt congress to ask USCIS to revise this decision? If so how many signatures are needed before we can get the congress to look into it? It looks to me like they don’t realize they are dealing with people’s lives and they decision affects families that have been separated for years. Asylum seekers don’t probably mean anything to many of those decision makers but they are humans and deserve some decency. Anyone have info on the power of a petition to the USCIS.

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Jason Dzubow February 4, 2018 at 8:03 am

I am not sure what the best political response is. I have been thinking about this too. There are many sympathetic Congress people, but I d onto know if any of them are taking this issue on. I would encourage you to reach out to Congress offices – maybe if they hear from asylum seekers, and hear their stories, they will be moved to act. Take care, Jason

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pal February 5, 2018 at 10:26 am

I think that is unwise thing to do, what if they reject all of us for forcing them to reverse their action. let not forget we are all on their mercy, on the current atmosphere, it not wise thing to do, at the end, it is us, who safety our life depends on it, we have everything to lose.

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bruce February 6, 2018 at 7:48 pm

I support you

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Jason Dzubow February 6, 2018 at 7:29 am

Good theory – that may be it. Though their internal workings are real mystery…

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Jason Dzubow February 22, 2018 at 6:25 pm

We used to apply 30 days early, but then USCIS rejected an application because we filed too early (which ends up causing delay since it takes some time for USCIS to reject the case). We now file on or after the one-year period. Take care, Jason

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