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Applying for U.S. Asylum after 1 Year (What Needs to be Proven?)

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requires you to file for asylum within one year of your last arrival into the United States. The application requires you to submit proof that you are a foreign person who qualifies for asylum, as well as documentation that shows you submitted the file within the 1-year deadline.

However, you can still file for asylum after the 1-year deadline if you provide evidence showing that an exception to the filing deadline applies to you. There are numerous reasons for which USCIS may grant you an allowance to file for asylum even after the deadline.

The Exceptions:

  1. If you were outside of the United States during the one year before your mandatory filing date.
  2. If you have experienced a “changed circumstance”; it is important that you show that you filed for asylum within a reasonable amount of time following the “changed circumstance”.
  3. If you have experienced “extraordinary circumstances” that are precisely related to the delay in your filing of the asylum application; it is important that you show that you filed for asylum within a reasonable amount of time following the “extraordinary circumstances”.

Viable Types of Evidence:

You must submit evidence to support your claim that one of the previous 3 exceptions applies to you. The evidence you provide may include your own testimony, documents, and witness statements.

What Qualifies for a “Changed Circumstance”?

There are a variety of events that may have occurred in your life that may qualify as a “changed circumstance”, but it is important that, whatever the event may have been, that it was material to your change in eligibility for asylum. For example, if after coming to the United States you converted to a different religion that you would be persecuted for in your home country.

What Qualifies for “Extraordinary Circumstances”?

Again, there are a variety of events that may have occurred in your personal life that may qualify as an “extraordinary circumstance”, but it is important that, whatever the event may have been, that it was directly linked to your failure to submit your asylum application on time. For example, the death or serious illness of an immediate family member during the year in which you were supposed to file.

Filing Within a Reasonable Amount of Time

If you experienced a changed or extraordinary circumstance you must provide evidence that you submitted your asylum application within a reasonable amount of time. This usually means within a few months, but every asylum case is different, and Immigration Judges try to determine what would have been reasonable in each case.

If for any reason you have missed the 1-year filing deadline for your asylum application, it is imperative that you contact an experienced immigration attorney. Each asylum case is unique and exceptions to the deadline are rare.

This is an Immigration legal blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advice. For further information please contact the law offices of attorney Ramona Kennedy.

Ramona Kennedy (Attorney) received her Jurisprudence Doctorate in America and is a licensed attorney in California (USA). Ramona Kennedy is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ramona Kennedy is fluent in English and Farsi (reading & writing) & speaks Azeri Turkish.

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