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Is an individual whose case was administratively closed under Morton memo eligible to renew employment authorization?

Flushing, NY |

Is an individual whose case was administratively closed under Morton memo eligible to renew employment authorization (as initially promised by the government)? The original employment authorization was issued based on an affirmative asylum application. Is asylum application considered pending after case is administratively closed?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

As you appear to recognize, when a case is administratively closed, it remains "pending" with the immigration court, although the scheduling of future hearings is suspended indefinitely.

Which means that any application you filed with the immigration court remains technically pending if and when your case is administratively closed.

If you have a pending application for relief before the immigration court that supports an application for a work permit, then you will continue to be eligibile to apply for renewals of that work permit while your case is in a period of administrative closure.

Conversely, if your case was administratively closed before you had submitted any relief applications, then you would have no basis on which to apply for work authorization.

So, the mere fact that a case was administratively closed does not give an individual a basis to apply for work authorization. But a pending relief application that supports a work permit will continue to do so during the period of administrative closure.

So, in your case, if you were able to get an EAD in the past based on your affirmative asyum application, AND you notified the immigration court of your plan to renew that application in proceedings prior to your case being administratively closed, then you should remain eligible to renew that work authorization until there is a final decision on the asylum application.

Make sense?


The "Morton Memos" refer to directions given DHS attorneys in use of its prosecutorial discretion. The memos primarily reiterate prior guidance on the use of resources. The choice of DHS to close a file on a case does nothing in the way of granting legal status to seek work authorization.

I would consult an immigration attorney to determine the current status of your asylum petition.
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Yes and Yes; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.For legal advice please contact us directly through one of the above.


Why not have a consultation with a lawyer about this matter? You will benefit enormously from obtaining professional assistance. Good luck to you.
Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
560 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
(Office located within minutes of the George Washington Bridge)
T: (201)875-2600
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Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during a face to face attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private consultation with an attorney. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, and attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual.