What to Expect After you File your Asylum Application

The Affirmative Asylum Process


The USCIS regional office will send you a notice by email stating that your case has been received. You will then receive a notice in the mail stating you need to undergo biometrics. This is to collect your photo and fingerprints.

It will allow USCIS to run background checks and verify your identity, as well as to possibly provide you with Work Authorization.


Interview Notice

You will receive a notice with your interview date and time. An interview should take place within 45 days after you submit your application. However, due to a lack of staff at USCIS, it can sometimes take years for your interview to be scheduled. This should not be a terrible inconvenience in most cases if you have work authorization and can live life normally.

The Asylum Division of USCIS will give priority to the most recently filed affirmative asylum applications.

Interviews are scheduled based on their priority:

  • 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.

This can be a long and complicated process. It is very difficult to predict an accurate timeline for each individual case.

Allan Scott Lolly

managing attorney


Work Authorization 

A work permit is a benefit that allows the applicant to obtain a social security number, lawful employment, a valid driver’s license, bank accounts, and credit cards in their name. The applicant has the right to apply for work authorization if the application remains pending at least 150 days. Once issued, the applicant may obtain a work permit every subsequent year while their asylum case is pending. 

A work permit will not be issued if there is a problem with the application. It is important that you not make errors in the asylum process. In some cases, this can result in a delay in work authorization. Additionally, a case can be rejected if there are major errors.

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