Work permits for ASAP members

Last updated on September 14, 2020

ASAP is currently challenging two new rules designed to prevent many asylum seekers from working legally in the United States. You can read more about our lawsuit, CASA v. Wolf, here.

On September 11, 2020, the federal judge ruled that the new work authorization rules likely violate the law and temporarily prohibited the government from applying certain parts of the rules to members of ASAP and CASA – another immigrants’ rights organization included in the lawsuit. However, all parts of the rules still apply to asylum seekers who are not members of ASAP or CASA. We will continue to post any updates or changes on this page.

If you are not a member of ASAP or CASA, please read this post to understand your current eligibility for work authorization. If you are a member of ASAP or CASA, please continue reading to understand your current eligibility.

Members of ASAP and CASA ARE NOT currently subject to the following parts of the rules:

  • 365-day waiting period: ASAP and CASA members will be able to request work authorization 150 days after filing for asylum, instead of having to wait a full year under the new rules.
  • One-year filing rule: ASAP and CASA members will be eligible for work authorization regardless of whether they filed for asylum after more than a year of arriving in the United States.
  • 30-day processing rule: ASAP and CASA members will have work authorization applications adjudicated within 30 days.
  • “Deemed complete” provision: ASAP and CASA members whose applications have been pending with USCIS for more than 30 days will be deemed complete, ensuring that they can request employment authorization 150 days after submitting their asylum application.
  • Biometrics and fees: ASAP and CASA members will not be required to submit additional biometric information if they have already done so for their asylum application, nor will they be required to pay $85 for fulfilling the new biometrics requirement.
  • Discretionary denials:ASAP and CASA members who are eligible for work authorization must receive that authorization.

However, members of ASAP and CASA ARE currently subject to the remaining parts of the rules. Some of those parts include:

  • Bar for entering without inspection: Asylum seekers who cross the border on or after August 25, 2020 and do not present at a port of entry are not eligible for a work permit, unless they meet certain limited exceptions.
  • Criminal bar: Asylum seekers who have committed or been convicted of certain crimes will not be eligible for work permits.
  • Automatic termination of work permits: Starting on August 25, 2020, if the immigration judge denies an asylum seeker’s case and the asylum seeker does not appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) within 30 days, OR if the asylum seeker does appeal but the BIA denies the appeal, their work permit will terminate automatically and cannot be renewed.

Please talk to an attorney about your eligibility and specific case!

For more information and resources from the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) visit our website.

Note: This information is for individuals seeking asylum in U.S and is not a substitute for advice from an attorney.