USCIS News Release: USCIS to Take Action to Address Asylum Backlog
Agency Will Focus on Processing Recently Filed Applications
Release Date: January 31, 2018
USCIS has announced a plan to reduce the significant backlog for asylum interviews that has increased dramatically over the past 3-4 years as a result of a spike in asylum applications that have been filed across the country. There are currently over 300,000 applicants waiting to be interviewed.
This is great news for genuine asylum applicants, who currently can wait over 3 years for an asylum interview! Long wait times can mean evidence gets stale, memories become fuzzy and even country conditions can change.
The plan is for USCIS to focus on recently filed applications by immediately scheduling interviews upon receipt of asylum applications and then working backwards through the backlog. The basis for this change is to protect the integrity of the asylum system and prevent fraud. The backlog has allowed both legitimate and illegitimate asylum seekers alike to remain in the country for years while they wait AND receive employment authorization.
So if you file today, you are going to have your asylum interview scheduled very soon, but if you filed in 2014 and are still waiting for an interview, then you are likely going to wait now for a few more years. Fortunately, applicants who have been waiting for 6 months or more for their interviews are eligible to apply for a renewable 2-year employment authorization document (EAD). To read the News Release from USCIS click here.
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