Asylum seekers should file their asylum application within one year of entering the United States. If they file their application after that, they will have to prove that they are entitled to an exception to the one-year deadline, which can be very difficult to do. Asylum seekers who file their application after one year still have the right to have their interview with an Asylum Officer, and their case can still be granted.
Last week, the asylum offices started sending letters to some asylum seekers who filed their applications after the one-year deadline. The letter is called Notice of Evidence of Untimely Filing and Optional Waiver of Asylum Interview, and explains that the asylum seeker did not provide enough evidence for an exception to the one-year deadline. The letter provides the asylum seeker with a waiver form, which the asylum seeker can sign and mail to the Asylum Office. The waiver form will give up the asylum seeker's right to have an asylum interview. The asylum seeker will then be placed in removal proceedings with the Immigration Court, where they will have to defend themselves from being deported to their home country.
Asylum seekers are not required to sign the waiver form. If they receive it, they can ignore it and wait for their interview to be scheduled. They should not sign the waiver form without first speaking with an immigration attorney.
If an asylum seeker receives this letter, they should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss their case and options for providing evidence for an exception to the one-year deadline.
Note: RIF provides information, support, and access to resources for asylum seekers in New York. None of our written publications should be construed as providing legal advice to asylum seekers or creating an attorney-client relationship. We encourage asylum seekers to attend RIF's legal workshops, where they can seek legal advice from volunteer asylum attorneys.