Do you have to apply for asylum within one-year of the changed circumstances?

Sigalle Barness | June 26, 2014

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Every week, Sigalle Barness shares some of the top answers faculty have supplied to subscriber questions.  These questions are from real Lawline subscribers viewing Lawline on-demand courses.

Seeking Refuge: How to Prepare Your First Asylum Case

Question: "Do have to apply for asylum within 1 year of the changed circumstances?"

Answer by Jack Herzig: Once an applicant establishes the existence of such a changed or extraordinary circumstance, the applicant must demonstrate that the application was filed within a reasonable period given those circumstances.  8 C.F.R. § 1208.4(a)(4)(ii) (2010).

What constitutes a "reasonable period"? The answers vary from asylum office to asylum office, from judge to judge.  Some asylum officers have interpreted the term so restrictively that even a period of three months has been considered an unreasonable delay.

In Matter of T-M-H- & S-W-C- 25 I&N Dec. 193 (BIA 2010), the Board of Immigration Appeals suggested that a period of up to six months would constitute a reasonable period of time following the existence of changed or extraordinary circumstances, and that a delay of one year or more would only be justified in "rare cases."

I would suggest that where there has been an exception to the one-year filing deadline that the client detail in her asylum affidavit the steps she took in order to find an attorney to represent her, showing how the delay was reasonable, given the particular facts of her case.


This was taken from the Lawline Immigration Law CLE Program entitled "Seeking Refuge: How to Prepare Your First Asylum Case" presented by Lawline Faculty member Jack Herzig.


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About the Author

Written by Sigalle Barness

Sigalle Barness is Lawline's Chief Operating Officer. Sigalle provides leadership and vision to ensure companies have the proper processes and people in place to effectively grow while ensuring financial strength, stability, and profitability. Sigalle approaches her work with respect, candor, and a balance of decisiveness and flexibility as she furthers the objectives of the company. Sigalle is also an avid lover of music, video games, blogging, asking questions, and all things food. She is also fluent in Hebrew and enjoys writing fiction, traveling and scuba diving. Sigalle provides business strategy and leadership to the company and directly manages Lawline’s accreditation, programming and production operations. Sigalle also analyzes market trends and applies insights to develop and execute written and video content including online educational programming, email marketing, social media campaigns, press releases, blog articles and large scale live events. Sigalle graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University and holds a B.A. in English. She received her J.D. in 2010 from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, NY. Sigalle is admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey. She is also an active member of the Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA), and is the former Chair of ACLEA’s Programming Special Interest Group (2013 – 2015) and National Provider Special Interest Group (2015 - 2017). Before joining Lawline in March 2012, Sigalle litigated civil claims in areas such as landlord tenant, breach of contract and tax lien and mortgage foreclosures actions. She also handled transactional matters such as drafting residential and commercial leases, demand letters, and client conflict waivers. Sigalle is an avid lover of music, video games, blogging, asking questions and all things food. She is also fluent in Hebrew and enjoys writing fiction, traveling and scuba diving.


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