Asylum Backlog – Processing Changes
USCIS announced on 01/31/2018 that it will begin scheduling asylum interviews for recent applications filed before it processes older applications. This last in, first out approach will mean very fast processing and interviews for I-589 applicants who file in January 2018 or after.
USCIS says it will work back toward older filings. It is unclear what this will mean for estimated processing timelines. Some people who applied for asylum as early as 2013 and 2014 have still not been interviewed.
Applying for asylum
If you are considering applying for asylum, do not delay! Generally, applicants must apply within 1 year of arriving in the U.S. With the new processing schedule, we expect to see interviews coming very fast for new applicants.
Changes for law firm
In the past, our law office has worked on asylum applications in stages, and waited to send certain evidence and legal briefs. However, in light of USCIS’s announcement, we will be working with clients to prepare all evidence and submit complete cases with legal arguments, evidence, and country conditions.