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USCIS Modifies Asylum Interview Scheduling

On February 1, 2018, USCIS announced that "in an attempt to stem the growth of the agency's asylum backlog," it will schedule asylum interviews for recent applications ahead of older filings and has discontinued the Affirmative Asylum Bulletin. The new priorities for affirmative asylum interview scheduling became effective January 29, 2018.

Per USCIS announcement, this priority approach, first established by the asylum reforms of 1995 and used for 20 years until 2014, seeks to deter those who might try to use the existing backlog as a means to obtain employment authorization. Returning to a "last in, first out" interview schedule will allow USCIS to identify frivolous, fraudulent or otherwise non-meritorious asylum claims earlier and place those individuals into removal proceedings.


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