My immigration court case was “dismissed.” What will happen now?

Last updated on July 15, 2022

In the last year, the U.S. government decided to “dismiss” thousands of immigration court cases for immigrants across the country. Many asylum seekers received phone calls or learned at an immigration court hearing that the government wanted to dismiss (or close) their cases. Most of the dismissed cases belonged to people who had arrived in the United States before November 2020.

For many asylum seekers in immigration court, it could be good news that your case was dismissed. It means that the government is no longer trying to deport you and they are ending your case in immigration court.

If you applied for asylum in immigration court and your case was dismissed, your asylum case has also ended, without a final decision.  But if you want to continue seeking asylum, you can still apply with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

If your immigration court case was dismissed, keep reading this post for more information! However, this post is not relevant to all asylum seekers. If you are already applying for asylum with USCIS or you still have an active immigration court case, this post is not applicable to you.

What will happen to my work permit?

The answer depends on the status of your work permit when your immigration court case was dismissed.

  • If you had an active work permit when your immigration court case was dismissed, your work permit is still valid until the expiration date.
  • If you applied to renew your work permit before your immigration court case was dismissed and before your work permit expired, you can still use your work permit for 540 days after the expiration date.
  • If you did not apply to renew your work permit before your immigration court case was dismissed and your work permit is based on seeking asylum, you will not be able to automatically renew your work permit. However, you may be able to apply for a work permit again if you decide to submit another asylum application to USCIS. Unfortunately, we do not know the details of how this will work yet. We will update this page with more information when we learn more.

What will happen to my asylum case?

If you applied for asylum in immigration court and your case was dismissed, your asylum case has also ended, without a final decision. Your next steps depend on whether or not you want to continue seeking asylum or not.

  • If you do NOT want to continue seeking asylum, you do not need to take any action. It may still be a good idea for you to speak with an attorney to determine if you qualify for other immigration status.
  • If you DO want to continue seeking asylum, you should submit a new asylum application to USCIS as soon as possible! You must send a new asylum application to USCIS, even if you already submitted one to the immigration court. This will begin the process of seeking asylum with USCIS instead of immigration court.
  • If you are unsure about whether to continue seeking asylum with USCIS, you can read this post for more information or talk to an attorney about your options. Find legal assistance here.

When should I submit my asylum application if I decide to seek asylum with USCIS?

If you decide to seek asylum with USCIS after your immigration court case is dismissed, you should submit your asylum application as soon as possible!

  • If you already submitted your asylum application to immigration court, you should submit your new application to USCIS as soon as you can. If you wait too long, USCIS may say that your application is late. Unfortunately, we do not know what USCIS would consider to be too late, so it is best to submit your application as soon as possible.
  • If you did not already submit an asylum application before your immigration court case was dismissed, you should submit your application to USCIS within one year of arriving in the United States.

How do I submit my asylum application if I decide to seek asylum with USCIS?

If you decide to seek asylum with USCIS after your immigration court case is dismissed, you should submit an asylum application (Form I-589) to USCIS.

  • Follow these general instructions.
  • Include a letter explaining that you had an immigration court case and that it was dismissed.
  • Send your application to one of the special mailing addresses below.

If you are sending your application by the United States Postal Service (USPS):

USCIS Asylum Vetting Center
P.O. Box 57100
Atlanta, GA 30308-0506

If sending by FedEx, UPS or DHL:

DHS-USCIS Asylum Vetting Center
401 W. Peachtree St. NW, Suite 1000
Atlanta, GA 30308

Learn more about the process of seeking asylum with USCIS here.

Note: This information is not a substitute for advice from an attorney.