In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the New York Asylum Office and the Newark Asylum Office has, effective March 12 until further notice, cancelled decision pick-up appointments. Instead the decisions will be mailed to the applicant instead. This decision comes after a flurry of executive decisions in response to the virus outbreak. The US has already banned travel directly from China and Iran and imposed visa restrictions. Additional delays and cancellations from different government agencies should be expected.
Asylum is a humanitarian immigration benefit applied for by individuals who fear severe harm or persecution if they return to their country of origin. For more information on asylum and other humanitarian relief, please click here. In order to successfully apply for asylum, an applicant has to pass a “credible fear interview”. In this interview, an USCIS officer will sit down with the applicant and discuss the details of the applicant’s claim. Currently, in-person credible fear interviews are still being held.
There are three possible outcomes for the interview. 1. Granted, where the asylum application is approved and the applicant can now apply for adjustment of status based on an approved asylum applicant. This is very rare, less than 5% of the applicants are approved. 2. Denied, where the officer does not believe that there is credible fear. This is also very rare. And 3, deferred to the immigration courts. This is the most likely outcome where the officer was not able to determine credible fear and the case is deferred to the immigration courts to go through the master and individuals hearing processes with an immigration judge.
We have provided a number of links with key immigration information related to the Corona Virus.
- Top 10 Covid-19 Immigration Questions
- Implications of Layoffs for employers who have employees on H-1B and/or E-3 Visas
- USCIS announces flexibility for request for evidence (RFE) and Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)
- Information on Consular closures during Covid-19
- USCIS issues guidance on Remote 1-9 verification during Covid-19
- USCIS office closures due to Covid-19
- Can I apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits while on a Visa?
- Canada/U.S. Border Closures
- USCIS announces temporary suspension of premium processing
- What can you do if your ESTA is running out?
- Travel Ban for Europe
- Stimulus Bill (All 800 pages)
- Information on Small Business Loans related to the Stimulus package
- USCIS to accept scanned/reproduced signatures instead of “wet” signatures on immigration petitions and forms
- Implications of furlough or termination if you are on a TN visa
- Does the Stimulus Bill impact my immigration status? Is there a public charge concern?
- Understanding the Stimulus Package for Small Businesses and the Paycheck Protection Program
- Small Business Administration COVID-19 Loans
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