Skip to main content

DHS and DOJ issue joint third country asylum final rule

  1. Original Date Announced

    December 17, 2020

    DOJ (EOIR) and DHS (USCIS) issue a final rule establishing a mandatory bar to asylum eligibility for individuals who transit through a third country and then enter or attempt to enter the U.S. across the southern border without having applied for protection in at least one of the third countries through which they transited. The Departments previously issued an IFR with request for comment on July 16, 2019, 84 FR 33829. The final rule makes minor technical and typographic changes to the IFR and is effective on January 19, 2021.

    The IFR was signed by Acting Secretary McAleenan and AG Barr.

    The final rule was signed by Chad Mizelle, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the General Counsel for DHS, on behalf of Acting Secretary Wolf, and James McHenry, EOIR Director.

    [ID #83]

    Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications, 85 Fed. Reg. 82260
  2. Effective Date

    January 19, 2021

Current Status

Not in effect

Original Trump Policy Status

Trump Administration Action: Rule
Agencies Affected: ICE EOIR USCIS CBP

Pre Trump-Era Policies

  • July 16, 2019

    Section 208(2)(A) established an exception to asylum and allowed return to a "safe third country" only if: "the alien's life or freedom would not be threatened" and "the alien would have a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection." The United States and Canada signed a Safe Third Country Agreement on December 5, 2002, based on mutual acknowledgement of the international legal obligations of the Parties under the principle of non-refoulement set forth in the Convention and Protocol and recognition that both countries offer generous systems of refugee protection, recalling both countries’ traditions of assistance to refugees and displaced persons abroad.

    Safe Third Country Agreement between United States and Canada


We require registration to leave feedback. You may either:

  • Sign in with your current user name and password.

  • Register if you don't have a user name and password.