Problem 1: Judges postponing hearings without details.
Immigration Judges must now clearly state the reasons why the case is being postponed to a later date and the consequences of postponing the case. For instance, the judge must state: "the case is being postponed because the applicant needs additional time to prepare his or her case. This will now stop the asylum clock and prohibit applicant from accruing the time necessary to apply for a work permit."
Problem 2: Applicants in Court must file their case at a hearing.
Now, applicants can file their asylum application with the clerk before their hearing date. The case will be considered "lodged not filed." The 150 days needed for employments authorization will start running from the lodging date.
Problem 3: Applicants did not understand the consequence of failure to appear.
Applicants who fail to appear at an asylum interview will now be given a written warning letter. This letter will describe the consequences of failing to appear on their ability to apply for a work permit. It will also list steps the applicant may take to provide "good cause" for not appearing. Examples of "good cause" are the illness of the applicant, illness of an immediate family member, or failure to receive proper notice.
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The changes that will be implemented will have a monumental impact on the times applicants must wait to receive a work permit. Asylum applicants with pending applications should contact an experienced immigration attorney to learn their options.
Although the author is a Board-certified immigration expert, this guide is intended as general information and not specific legal advice. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. Schedule a consultation with an attorney to address individual concerns.