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