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USCIS Falls Way Behind on Asylum Interview Scheduling

Until fairly recently, USCIS’s Asylum Office in Arlington, VA, which covers applications from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, DC, was scheduling interview within 3 months or so of filing.  However, due to a huge increase in applications from Central American and Middle East nationals, the Office has fallen behind by 3 years.

According to USCIS’ Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin, interviews are now being scheduled 2 1/2 to 3 years after filing.  This problem is not confined to the Arlington Asylum Office, which decides around around 8% of the Asylum applications filed nationwide.  Interviews are taking around 5 years to schedule in the Los Angeles, CA Asylum Office, and at least 1 1/2 years everywhere else.

Most Asylum applicants whose cases are not decided within 5 months are eligible to apply for employment authorization.  Contact Deutsch, Killea & Eapen if interested in exploring these issues.

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