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ASYLUM Decision Pending 430 DAYS

Washington, DC |

I had my asylum interview in October 2011, but decision has been pending since. When I last asked the asylum office, I was told that they were waiting for a background check.
Is it common for asylum decision to take that long?
Given the amount of time they have taken, are they more likely to approve or reject my application?
Background information: My employer has filed I-140 and I filed I-485 concurrently. I-140 is pending 6 months. RFE response received by USCIS a couple of weeks ago. Please advise.

Attorney Answers 3


This is an unusually long time. While several years ago FBI background checks used to sometimes take many months or years, this is no longer the case. The delay most likely means that either 1) your case requires review by headquarters based on your being potentially high-profile, the case involves domestic violence, you or a family member are citizens of Mexico or Canada, or some other reason; or 2) there are questions as whether you may be subject to a bar based on some affiliation with a political party or organization that is considered to have connections with terrorism or persecution. We have successfully intervened in a variety of "stuck" asylum cases with the Arlington Asylum Office, Headquarters in DC, and the Terrorism-related Inadmissibility Grounds (TRIG)working group as appropriate. An attorney can often be helpful with this. If the delay is TRIG-related, your I-485 will also be "stuck." If the issue is headquarters review, that should not affect the I-485. Best of luck.

This general information does not establish any attorney-client relationship. There may well be factors not mentioned in the question which could and should be addressed in an attorney consultation.

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Yes, cases do stay pending at the asylum office that long. The only recourse is to sue sometimes. You might as well wait to get your green card from your adjustment.

The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.

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2 lawyers agree


Yes, this is not an unusual delay for the background check in asylum cases. Some take shorter, but it sounds like yours is on the longer side. This does not give any indication as to whether it will be granted or denied. Good luck!

The statement above does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended as general information only and it is not a substitute for legal advice. You should consult with a licensed attorney to discuss the specific facts and circumstances of your case.

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