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Immigration Law Associates, PC

Changes to Work Permit Eligibility for Asylum Seekers

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The Department of Homeland Security has proposed a new regulation that would drastically change eligibility for asylum seekers to obtain employment authorization.


1)A person seeking asylum will be denied a work permit if they entered the U.S. without inspection at a port of entry.

This rule would apply not only to new work permit applicants, but to renewal applicants as well. This would apply to all applications filed on or after the regulation changed.

If this regulation passes, it means all those who entered the U.S. without inspection will not ineligible to file for employment authorization until their cases were completed and their status changed.

2)Any asylum seeker who does not apply for asylum within one year of entering the U.S. will automatically have their work permit applications denied. USCIS will determine on a case-by-case basis if the applicant qualifies for an exemption – but they still wont be eligible to work while their case is under review for the exemption.

3)There would be changes to the required waiting period for asylum seekers to apply for employment authorization. Currently, asylum seekers can apply for a work permit after 180 days of filing their asylum applications.

The new regulation would extend the waiting period to 365 calendar days post filing the application.

Should the proposed regulation go into effect, it will greatly discourage asylum applicants from settling down in the U.S.

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