Lodged Asylum Application: New Procedure for Asylum Applicants in the Immigration Court
Author: Asylum Attorney Alena Shautsova
To reflect changes caused by the Asylum class action law suit, Immigration Court practice Manual has been updated to include new definition and procedure for a lodged asylum application. The changes help asylum applicants to lock in the date from which their time for employment application will start to run (asylum clock).
First, it is important to distinguish between a filed asylum application and lodged one. An asylum application can be filed only (1) with the DHS or with Immigration Court, (2) in open court (3) during a Master hearing. An asylum application submitted with the Immigration court through a public window or via mail, is not FILED, but LODGED.
Second, an asylum clock starts running either from the date when the asylum application is filed with the Court or DHS, or lodged, whatever earlier.
Third, an asylum application can be lodged only once, only in defensive proceedings, and only before it is filed with the Immigration court.
Finally, the lodged date is not the filing date. Why is it important? Mainly, for the purposes of unlawful presence, as a person with the pending (filed) asylum application does not accumulate unlawful presence time.
When the application is lodged, the Immigration Court places a date stamp and a "lodged not filed" stamp on the application, and returns the application to the alien. The court does not retain a copy of the lodged application, and it is not placed in the record of proceedings; however, the date that the application was lodged with the court is electronically transmitted to DHS. In addition, a service of the copy on the Chief Counsel is not necessary in the case of lodging of an asylum application.
One may read a full version of the new rules at Immigration Court Practice Manual
If you have questions regarding asylum process, please visit our ASYLUM PAGE