By Attorney Farhad Sethna © 2015
The USCIS Asylum Office issues status updates on the processing times at its various asylum offices throughout the nation. In the latest update (December 2015), the Asylum Office is backlogged by as much as four years in some locations, and as little as one and a half in others.
The Asylum Office is a division of the USCIS. It has prioritized asylum cases that are filed affirmatively (as a first time application) by order of priority as follows:
What does this mean? This means that asylum seekers who file “affirmative” asylum applications will have a wait of at least one and one-half to four years before their applications will be scheduled for interview at an asylum office. During that time, asylum applicants can apply for and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which in turn allows them to request a Social Security Number, driver’s license, and other benefits, including health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
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About the author: Attorney Farhad Sethna has practiced law for over 20 years. Since 1996, he has been an adjunct professor of Immigration Law at the University of Akron, School of Law, in Akron, Ohio. He is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education and professional development seminars on various immigration-related topics. His practice is limited to immigration and small business. With offices in Cuyahoga Falls, Akron and Dover, Ohio, Attorney Sethna represents clients in all types of immigration cases. Our number is: (330)-384-8000. Please send your general immigration questions to AttorneySethna@immigration-america.com. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.
This is only general legal information. Please consult a qualified immigration attorney for advice on your specific case.