Summary of Proposed Changes to Asylum-Based Employment Authorization Documents

There have been significant proposed changes to employment authorization documents (EAD) for asylum applicants. Any applicant who had an asylum application pending has been able to apply for an EAD 150 days after filing their application and the initial application was normally processed within 30 days.

Beginning August 21, 2020, USCIS no longer must process asylum-based EADs within 30 days. The full rule can be read here.

Beginning August 25, 2020, USCIS will also severely restrict the asylum applicants who are eligible for an EAD and will increase the wait time from 150 days after filing the application to 365 days. The restrictions include applicants who have certain criminal convictions, who did not apply for asylum within one year of entry, and who did not enter at a designated port-of-entry. Some of these restrictions will not be retroactive so it is important to apply for asylum before August 25, 2020 if you are eligible. Our office anticipates further litigation on this proposed rule and will continue to post updates as they are available. The full rule can be read here.