us-state-departmentAffirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin

On December 26, 2014, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) started prioritizing asylum applications for interview scheduling. Based on this, the USCIS publishes Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin with monthly updates. The purpose of the Bulletin is to give asylum applicants an estimated time that they might expect their asylum interview to be scheduled.

On December 16, 2016, USCIS published the next Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin which demonstrates how pending affirmative asylum applications are prioritized. The Bulletin is based on the current caseload and volume of applications waiting in line for interview scheduling. According to the Bulletin, the Asylum Offices throughout the country prioritize the asylum interviews as follows:

  • Arlington Asylum Office: Asylum applications filed in January 2014 were scheduled to September, October, and November 2016;
  • Chicago Asylum Office: Asylum applications filed in November and December 2013, were scheduled to September, October, and November 2016;
  • Houston Asylum Office: Asylum applications filed in April and May 2014 were scheduled to September, October, and November 2016;
  • Los Angeles Asylum Office: Asylum applications filed in August 2011 were scheduled to September, October, and November 2016;
  • Miami Asylum Office: Asylum applications filed in May 2013 were scheduled to September, October, and November 2016;
  • Newark Asylum Office: Asylum applications filed in November 2013 were scheduled to September, October, and November 2016;
  • New York Asylum Office: Asylum applications filed in September 2014 were scheduled to September, October, and November 2016;
  • San Francisco Asylum Office: Asylum applications filed in September, October and November 2014 were scheduled to September, October, and November 2016.

However, despite the Bulletin, the interviews for affirmative asylum applications have been scheduled in a sporadic order. In our asylum cases, we have experienced different order of scheduling for different cases. For example, if you look at the Arlington Asylum Office, you will see that as of November 2016, the office interviewed applicants who filed their cases in January, 2014. However, interview scheduling for our clients in the Arlington Asylum Office has varied.

Even though we have had several interviews scheduled in 2016 for applications filed in 2014, we cannot say this order was consistent. For example, while we have received the interview notice in October 2016 for the application filed in July 2016, we have still had several clients whose applications have been pending since 2014 in the same office and there is still no interview scheduled for those applicants.

Asylum offices also accept expedited interview requests if there are urgent circumstances. We have succeeded in our expedited interview requests on several occasions. Asylum offices accept these requests on a case-by-case basis and the asylum offices have full discretion in making the decision regarding the request.

The asylum applicants, individually or through their lawyer, can also submit an inquiry with the asylum offices regarding the status of their cases. Sometime the asylum offices give standard responses such as the case is still in process and the applicant would be informed about the scheduled interview date through the notice. However, these inquiries are recommended and can give you idea about estimated time to wait for the interview.

Related links:

By | 2016-12-21T13:01:49+00:00 December 21st, 2016|asylum, Immigration|Comments Off on USCIS Posts New Asylum Interview Scheduling Bulletin

About the Author: