Featured Issue: Asylum and Credible Fear Interim Final Rule

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The interim final rule “Procedures for Credible Fear Screening and Consideration of Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and CAT Protection Claims by Asylum Officers” (“Asylum Processing Rule” or APR) went into effect on May 31, 2022, changing the way DHS processes asylum cases for individuals in expedited removal. The APR creates a significantly condensed processing time and shifts some of the processing that used to happen at the southern border to interior cities. Immigration attorneys around the country are needed to help asylum seekers navigate this new process.

Under the APR, asylum seekers who pass a credible fear interview will have their interview count as an asylum application before USCIS and have an “Asylum Merits Interview” (AMI) scheduled within 21 to 45 days. The asylum officer will be based out of one of the cities currently designated by USCIS (Boston, Miami, New York, Newark, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Chicago), not at the border. If asylum is denied, then the person will be referred to an immigration court in the same city, and the immigration court is expected to resolve the case within two to four months.

Currently, at this stage of the rollout, the APR is limited to individuals who:

  • Arrived after May 31, 2022;
  • Are either:
    • Detained at the Pearsall, Houston, or Otay Mesa detention facilities or
    • Not detained but were picked up in the Rio Grande Valley and indicated one of the following USCIS jurisdictions as their intended destination;
  • Indicate to DHS that they intend to reside in the USICS jurisdictions of Boston, Miami, New York, Newark, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Chicago; and
  • Are single adults.

This page provides background materials, resources, and ways to sign up to be referred a client going through this process by a nonprofit on the southern border.

Report a Trend Observed in the New Credible Fear and Asylum Process

Sign up to Represent Asylum Seekers

Background and Updates

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Opportunities to Take Action

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Practice Resources

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Cite as AILA Doc. No. 22071302.