For each person who is applying for political asylum, there is a deadline for filing the asylum application with the Government.
That deadline is exactly one year after the last entry into the United States.
For most of our clients who are crossing the border or applying for asylum at a bridge at the border, the law says that they must submit their entire asylum application before they have been inside the United States for one year.
Why Is There An Asylum Deadline In The First Place?
In the year after entering the United States, an asylum seeker will have more evidence of recent things that have happened in their home country.
Of all the backlogs in immigration court now that doesn’t exist, so in theory, the one-year deadline is to ensure that all people filing applications and evidence do so as soon as possible.
This has to do with conditions in your home country, but now as there are backlogs, there is not much sense in the deadline.
Can I Apply For Asylum If I Have Been In The Country For Several Years?
There is an automatically extended deadline, so if a person has more than one year in the United States and they have not yet submitted their asylum application, they have about five days to submit it.
Those people have to do everything on the application and mail it in, there are no electronic applications that we can submit on the immigration website.
People who have more than one year here have 5 days to prepare the entire application and mail it in.
Will This Deadline Affect Newcomers Who Want To Apply For Asylum?
For newcomers not if they have less than 1 year in the United States.
The rule applies if a person entered in June 2021, in which case they must submit their asylum application before June of this year.
What Comes After Asylum?
Five months after submitting the asylum application, the eligible person applies for a Work Permit, which is normally the next step.
If a person has had an asylum application pending for several years and still does not have a Work Permit, there is probably an error, or the person did not know it was time to apply for a work permit.
We never know when we’re going to have court hearings, so we can’t say if we are going to have a hearing every few months after the application is filed, because it could be years.
Can I Apply For Asylum If I Have A Tourist Visa?
Yes, no matter the manner of entry, a person who entered with a Tourist Visa still has the same one-year deadline to apply and also the automatic extension.
If the person entered with a Visa that means that the person will have an affirmative asylum process, then those persons should mail the application to USCIS and not to the court.
What Is The Asylum Application?
The asylum application is the form called I-589, which is the form that a person has to fill out completely and sign under oath.
This is the document that the applicant must send to the immigration agency.
There is a deadline of one year after entering the United States, there is now an automatic extension until April 20, 2022, to submit the asylum application.
This applies to persons who have already submitted their asylum applications.
Can I Return To My Country Of Origin After Having Asylee Status?
Individuals should not travel to their country of origin until they receive citizenship in the United States.
This procedure can take at least 6 years, as it usually takes 10 years.
The entire process of submitting an asylum application is based on the immigrant’s fear of returning to their country of origin and the need for U.S. protection.
If a person wins their Asylum case and immediately returns to their home country for a vacation, that protection they applied for is not necessary for the opinion of the Government.
The immigrant should never travel outside the U.S. while in an open immigration court proceeding.
Defensive asylum cases should also not travel to their home country without consulting with Lincoln-Goldfinch Law.
If I Have An Asylum Case Pending Can’t I Be Deported?
The judge has the final decision in the case regarding deportation, and when a person is in proceedings with the immigration court they are already in the most terrible situation we have in our legal system.
It is a part of the process that we would always like to avoid, we never want to see our clients in immigration court in front of a judge.
If a person is already in defensive asylum proceedings in court, that person can still be arrested for driving under the influence, for an assault, or whatever, and ICE can arrest the person again.
Normally, the judge has the final decision, and there is protection from deportation but if something changes, if the person has an arrest, the person can be detained.
If the person is detained, they have to continue their defensive asylum case inside the jail and that is a situation that can happen.
Is There Any Way To Accelerate The Asylum Process?
No, there’s no way to speed up the process, in theory, one can file a petition with the judge at the immigration court and ask for an earlier date, but the court is probably full of cases.
All judges now have full schedules for the next few years and it is very difficult to speed up the process.
In the change of policies made by former President Trump, new cases are more accelerated than old cases.
Many people are waiting up to 10 years but now the people who have been here longer have more accelerated processes.
If a person is inside the United States since 2019 they are probably going to have their hearing very soon.
People who have already initiated the process in 2005 have not yet had a court date, and unfortunately, this is normal.
Will It Hurt Me If I Wait Until The Last Minute To Apply For Asylum?
Those people have until April 22 but something can always happen with the mail, there can be an error in the form, and the window clerks at the immigration courts have the job of organizing and processing these applications.
If there is a mistake they will not accept your package, so they will return the package to your home.
In that case, you have to resend it, and in such a situation the deadline has already passed, that’s why you should not wait until the last minute.
What Is An Asylum Interview Like?
There are 2 different things that many of our clients associate with an asylum interview, there is a credible fear interview that the asylum officer conducts with people who are in detention.
That is part of the interview process, in which these officials want to determine if the person can leave the facility and move forward with their asylum case.
That process is different from the interview that the officers at the border do when a person arrives at the border and immigration catches them, they are going to want to know what their full name is, who is the person, is this person their child, how old, are they afraid to return to their country, what countries do they have citizenship from, do they have family here or not, and that is the interview just to process the person and let them in.
Some of our clients have this interview at the border with the officers which is very short, after that, the officers let them in with appointments, sometimes in San Antonio they put immigrants in shackles as part of the process to monitor people.
So, we have the credible fear interview at the detention center and there is another interview that is conducted in Houston for people living in Austin, which is the Asylum interview and it’s the last interview.
Normally, a benefit reserved for children who entered unaccompanied alone, they have the opportunity of having this interview in the affirmative asylum process before they start the immigration court process, or sometimes in the court process already started.
They don’t have to do the court with the judge in defensive asylum first, they have this opportunity to do the interview, and it’s a more relaxed interview with the asylum officer.
This interview is also available for people who have entered with says they have the opportunity to present their case to an asylum officer first and if the case is denied then the officer will refer the case to the immigration court.
What Can You Do If The Deadline Is Approaching?
Our recommendation is to consult with us as soon as possible, there are clinics in several places in the state of Texas helping people fill their asylum cases because there are more and more applicants, and many lawyers cannot handle all the asylum cases.
It’s fine to initially ask for help at a clinic that is doing this as work and volunteering to help the immigrant community so that they are not going through the process alone to deliver their case.
That gives people more time to locate a law firm after submitting their application by the April 22 deadline.
In case you have additional questions about your interview, the asylum, or your specific case, you can contact us at (855) 502-0555. After a short 10 minute evaluation of your case over the phone we will let you know what options you have. You can also follow us on our social networks so you won’t miss our weekly broadcasts via Facebook, YouTube & Twitch.
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