Changed Country Conditions: Filing Asylum After One Year Deadline
Author: New York Asylum Attorney Alena Shautsova
Under the current law, a person seeking asylum must file his/her claim within one year of entering the US. An entry to the U.S. can be verified by evidence of inspection and admission; documents proving that the undocumented person was stopped at the border or by presenting a detailed affidavit describing the circumstances and a way of entry (in case if a person did not enter the county ‘legally’).
However, it is not uncommon that a person misses the deadline for filing of asylum application. In this situation, It is still possible to file for asylum if certain exceptions apply. See: Can I File My Asylum Application After The One Year Deadline?
One of the reason the US government can excuse the late filing, is when the country conditions in the country the person claiming asylum form have changed so that now a person may present a valid asylum claim. In other words, person’s eligibility for asylum “renewed” from the time the conditions in the country changed. Sometimes, it is not that easy to prove that country conditions have changed.
The change of conditions must be material and significant from the time when the applicant was supposed to file for asylum on the first place. The changed country conditions exception can apply even if the relevant circumstances do not create a new basis for asylum but simply provide further evidence of the type of persecution already suffered. Singh v. Holder, 656 F. 3d 1047, 1053-54 ((th Cir, 2011). Sometimes, it is worsen situation with the human rights; sometimes it is a totally new regime in the country; sometimes the government of the country starts a persecution complain against persons practicing certain religion…
For example, in the recent decision, Board of Immigration Appeals recognized changed country conditions in Ukraine when granted person’s motion to reopen the removal proceedings and allowed the person to present his asylum claim: BIA Decision, October 30, 2014.
Please note that a person has to apply for asylum or file a motion to reopen without delays after the conditions in the country has changed. Usually, six months beyond the changed circumstances would not be presumptively reasonable.
How much evidence an applicant has to put forward to prove changed country conditions? Many “showings” in Immigration court must be done by clear and convincing evidence. But this particular one, the demonstration of the changed country conditions does not need to comply with this standard. If the applicant presents sufficient evidence of the changed country conditions to the Immigration Judge satisfaction, the exception can be applied. 8 CFR §1208.4(a)(2)(i)(B).
This exception can save someone’s asylum claim and help one to stay in the U.S. legally. Therefore, it is important to consult with an attorney in each case of possible asylum claim, even if the filing deadline has been missed.