What status does a closed immigration case get?

Asked over 2 years ago - Chelsea, NY

Let's say an individual filed a case for asylum. The person was illegally in the United States. The judge in the case decides on administrative closure on the case based on prosecutorial discretion. The individual then files for a work permit and a social security number. My question is, during the time this case is closed, what status does the individual have? I figure it has to be some sort of status since the individual is allowed to work. Is the individual considered an illegal immigrant?

Additional information

Apologies, it was prosecutorial discretion, not administrative closure.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Rosy H Cho


    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyer agrees

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . Administrative closure (AC) based on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion does not confer any new status to the person in proceedings. AC simply "freezes" the case and maintains the status quo. So a person who was permitted to work prior to AC (e.g., you had a cancellation, adjustment or qualifying asylum application pending) will be able to renew work authorization each year. The individual's status is more or less the same as what it was prior to AC. Since the case was closed without a final removal order, the person is not subject to removal. At any time in the future, either party may move the court to reopen the case for further proceedings. So if the individual becomes eligible say in the future to adjust based on marriage or becomes eligible for benefits under DREAM Act legislation, that person may file a motion to reopen the case to pursue the benefit.

  2. Daniel E. Green

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . I agree with Elizabeth. If you have the requisite 180 days on your asylum clock, you can apply for a work permit. But you don't have legal status in the U.S. If you leave the U.S, you will be abandoning your asylum claim and won't have any permission to reenter the U.S. If you don't have work authorization, you will be in limbo. You won't have permission to work, but ICE won't be coming after you (until they change their mind). If you do have permission to work in the U.S, congratulations, prosecutorial discretion has worked out for you (unlike many other people)).

    Consult with a competent attorney or BIA-accredited representative to evaluate your asylum clock, work authorization eligibility, and conduct that you should avoid.

    Daniel Green, Esq.
    Serving the Hudson Valley, Northeast, and the World Beyond
    Location: 684 Aaron Court, Kingston, NY
    Mailing Address: PO Box 3238, Kingston, NY 12402

  3. Elizabeth Clare Surin


    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . A closed case for admini reasons does not mean the removal proceedings go away -- just means you are allowed to process your case outside court on some basis -- asylum in your example. You are still considered illegal, The case in court can be reopened...

    An attorney-client relationship is not formed by my responses to questions on Avvo. My responses are not intended... more

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