After you interview at an asylum office, you will not get a decision on the same day. Instead, you will be given a document indicating how you will get your decision on the case. Most of the time, you will be asked to return to the office in two weeks to pick up the decision. This period of being suspended is no doubt extremely stressful, and this blog post provides information about what you might encounter on the return date and what it means.
On your return date, you will very likely receive one of the following decisions:
Congratulations! You have been granted asylum by the Immigration Services. This means that you are now an asylee and are entitled to the benefits entailed. Most importantly, you have been granted permission to stay in the United States indefinitely due to the dangers that would face you if you returned home. Additionally, you are now eligible to apply for your immediate family members abroad so that they can join you in the United States as derivative asylees. The clock has also begun for you to be able to apply for legal permanent residency (your green card) in one year.
(2) Recommended Approval
For the most part, this is good news. A recommended approval means that the Immigration Services have determined that you qualify for asylum. However, the agency still has to complete running its background and security checks before it can grant you asylum. The time this can take can vary greatly and may very well take several months. While it has been determined that you qualify for asylum, if information arises during your background checks that negatively affect your claim, your case could later be referred to Immigration Court or denied. Also, since this is not a grant for asylum, the clock has not started for the one year towards applying for permanent residency and you also cannot petition for your immediate relatives abroad, at this time.
If the asylum office does not find you qualify for asylum and you do not have legal status, you will be referred to Immigration Court where you can present your case before an Immigration Judge. While this is certainly not the news you were hoping for, please remember that this does not mean your case has been denied. People whose cases are referred to Immigration Court can be granted asylum before a Judge and, depending on what you presented at your asylum interview, you may have to accumulate more evidence to prove your case. You also are eligible for other forms of relief; for example, withholding of removal, if your case was referred because you did not meet the one-year filing deadline. You might also be able to apply for other defenses before the Immigration Judge.
(4) Notice of Intent to Deny
If you have a form of legal immigration status when you applied for asylum and the asylum office finds that you do not qualify for asylum, you will be issued a notice of intent to deny where the office will ask for additional evidence or information. If your response is not sufficient, the asylum office will then deny your claim. You do not have a second chance in front of an Immigration Judge because Immigration Court is for individuals could otherwise be deported, and since you hold a lawful status, you would not be referred to Court.
Other situations can arise after your interview. Sometimes individuals are sent requests for additional evidence shortly after their interview. Other times, individuals are requested to return to the asylum office to answer additional questions.
In all cases, it is important to submit a full and complete asylum application from the beginning to best ensure your chances of properly presenting your case. If you have any questions about the asylum application process, please contact us. We are here to help. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Tumblr for up-to-date immigration news.
Rasoulpour Torregoza is the law firm for immigrants, by immigrants. We are founded on the motto of LegalEase: we do away with the legal jargon and make law easy to understand, so you can focus on what’s important to you – going for your American Dream.
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