Drastic changes in procedures for filing for asylum

The Immigration Service announced last week that anyone who files for asylum as of this date, and moving forward, will have an interview scheduled within 21 days.

All persons who have already filed for asylum will be considered “non-priority” and will continue to have to wait for an interview until the new cases that are being filed have been adjudicated.

What does this mean?

  1. Persons waiting for an interview will have to continue to wait.  Cases filed as of 2018 and moving forward are first priority.  The lengthy delay for interviews will continue for those with older filings.
  2. When a person initiates a case, the entire case with all of its supporting evidence must be included in the INITIAL filing.  This is necessary, as the interview will be scheduled so quickly.
  3. The former procedure, where the initial asylum form is filed, and the supporting packet and evidence are submitted at a much later date, no longer is operative.
  4. Therefore, persons who wish to file for asylum are being forced to have their cases prepared under a much faster time frame, and will not be obtaining work permits 150 days after the initial filing period.  It basically makes it almost impossible to prepare an asylum case adequately, given the impossible time frame imposed to prepare a case.
  5. The fee structure for attorney’s fees will have to change as well, as the entire case must be paid for in full within a very short period of time.
  6. If the case is denied, it will be forwarded to the Immigration Court and the applicant will be in removal proceedings.  Another new rule has been announced that all cases filed with the Immigration Court in 2018 are considered to be top priority, and must be scheduled and heard within one year.  This will severely, severely limit the ability to obtain a work permit.  Work permits are issued only if 180 days pass between the first court date (master calendar) and the final hearing date.

In layman’s terms, this basically means that this new system has been designed to effectively curtail and discourage persons from seeking asylum, and prevent their obtaining a work permit.  The current administration is of the belief that a large majority of asylum seekers have fraudulent claims and are using the system for the simple purpose of obtaining work permits, which could not be further from the truth.