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USCIS announces "last in-first out" processing for affirmative asylum interviews

  1. Date Announced

    Jan. 26, 2018

    USCIS announces it will interview the most recent affirmative asylum applicants first. This policy is intended to reduce incentives to file frivolous or non-meritorious asylum applications in order to obtain work authorization. Individuals not granted asylum will be promptly placed into removal proceedings. Obama administration had switched to processing claims based on date of filing to reduce the backlogs.

    [ID #28]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Jan. 29, 2018
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Change in Practice
Subject Matter: Asylum, Withholding and CAT
Agencies Affected: USCIS

Prior Policies

  • Beginning in Dec. 2014, USCIS had prioritized asylum interviews in chronological order, hearing the oldest cases first. Before this change, INS/DHS would interview the most recent cases first. The change was made to interview older applications first because the backlog had become overbearing—with applicants waiting five years or more for an asylum interview.

    USCIS: The Affirmative Asylum Process

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