Case Status Update: Asylum Clock Restarted - Work Permits Approved
Asylum Clock Restarted - Work Permits Approved: Yesterday we received two more work permit approvals for a husband and wife who are natives and citizens of Indonesia, (hereinafter Clients "X" and "Y"). X and Y have never had a work permit before despite applying for asylum 10 years ago because they did not know they were eligible to apply. When X and Y applied for asylum, less than 150 days elapsed before their case was referred to the immigration court by the asylum office. An asylum applicant must wait 150 days to after submitting an asylum application before applying for a work permit. If your case is denied or the clock is stopped, you are not eligible for a work permit.
There are many different reasons that the 150 day clock can be stopped. In X and Y's case, their asylum application was denied by the Immigration Judge before they reached 150 days (*today, it can take 3+ years to have your interview with the asylum officer so applicants are reaching 150 days well in advance of a potential denial. But keep in mind that there are other reasons your clock can be stopped, like missing your biometrics appointment).
After the Immigration Judge denied the case and entered an order of removal/ deportation against X and Y, the couple appealed the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). X and Y won the appeal and their removal/ deportation was remanded back to the Immigration Court where it was eventually administratively closed.
X and Y came to our office after unsuccessfully applying for a work permit to see if there was anything that we could do to help them. Upon review of their file, we noticed that the time between the appeal to the BIA and the remand back to the Immigration Judge exceeded 150 days and the BIA has ruled that the asylum clock restarts upon a successful remand from the BIA and includes all the days that the case was on appeal awaiting a decision.
So, we wrote a letter to USCIS explaining that the system was not updated to reflect the correct amount of days on the clock and sent it with the application for employment authorization. In just 3 weeks, X and Y's applications for employment authorization were granted!
(*please note that all identification information has been removed in order to protect our clients' privacy and in order to fully comply with attorney advertising rules and regulations*)