How to Do an Asylum Application Status Check
Posted by Frank Gogol in Immigrants | Updated on May 25, 2023
The history of the U.S. is filled with countless stories of foreigners settling here to find a better life. Many of those people have also come to the U.S. to seek asylum. They’ve had to flee their home country for fear of their lives or other compelling reasons. If you recently applied for asylum in the U.S. you might have a few questions about the process that awaits you. The most pertinent one probably being how do you know the status of your application and when a decision has been made?
Below we explain how you can do an asylum application status check online. We’ll also give you a few tips on what you can do while you wait for the outcome of your application.
Table of Contents
Can You Do an Asylum Application Status Check Online?
The U.S. Government often makes use of digital technology to help improve their service delivery. You don’t have to stand in long queues to wait for a basic answer. Most departments in the U.S. Government have online platforms to help answer the questions you may have. The same counts for asylum-seeking applicants.
You can do an asylum application status check online. You can do this as long as you didn’t apply for asylum as a defensive measure for an ongoing case of removal in immigration court. Knowing the status will help you to be proactive about the proceedings regarding your case. You will be informed about important appointments or interviews, as well as when a decision has been made.
How to Do an Asylum Application Status Check
The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has a Case Status website that you can use to stay informed about the status of your application. This website also supplies information about other applications made at the USCIS, for example, applications for work permits (also known as an Employment Authorization Document).
This is how you can do an asylum application status check online.
Access the Website and Enter your Receipt Number
Open the USCIS Case Status website. Enter your application receipt number into the search bar on the website.
Not sure where to find your application receipt number? After you’ve applied for asylum status, you would have received a blue carbon receipt noting your application. The receipt itself may also be white. Look for the number on your receipt that starts with three letters (of which the first two will be a “Z”) and is followed by 10 digits. This is your application receipt number.
After you’ve entered your receipt number you may see a number of different responses. Let’s take a look at what they mean and what you should do when you get them.
“Receipt Number Invalid”
This means you probably entered the wrong number or made a typo when you entered it. Double check the number you entered. Make sure you didn’t enter your alien identification number (which is a 9 digit number). Only your asylum application receipt number will work.
”Next Step is an Interview”
After you have applied you will be required to attend an interview with an asylum officer. The case status website will note this with a “next step is an interview” message. Make sure you have an interview booked with an Asylum Officer (AO) if you get this response.
”Interview is Scheduled”
After the interview is scheduled your status will update to include a message containing “interview is scheduled”. The website is not able to inform you about your appointment date or venue. Contact the asylum office if you haven’t received the details about your interview yet. Your application will be denied if you miss an interview.
After your interview, the AO might ask you to return after two weeks. In this time the status of your case will show “decision pending”. It is also possible that your case may be pending for more than two weeks.
Contact an immigration attorney if your case has been pending for more than 6 months. They will be able to give you legal advice on how to make sure you get an outcome from the USCIS.
”Decision Was Picked Up”
Once the USCIS has made a decision on your case, the status of your case will be “decision was picked up”. You can either collect your decision or it will be mailed to you. The USCIS will mail the decision to the address registered on your application. It is, therefore, important to update your residential address if you move during the period you are waiting for a decision.
The website may also alert you about a fingerprint appointment. If you missed your biometrics appointment you need to reschedule it before your interview takes place.
What Can You Do While Your Asylum Case is Still Pending?
Waiting on the outcome of your asylum application can be frustrating. Patience is key in the process. Fortunately, you don’t have to just sit and wait around. There are a few things you can do whilst your case is pending.
Apply for Work Authorization
People in the U.S. who have been waiting for more than 150 days on a decision regarding their asylum case are allowed to apply for an EAD (Employment Authorization Document). Submit a Form I-765 along with a copy of your asylum application receipt. Just remember that any delays caused by your negligence like rescheduling interviews or appointments will not be counted as part of the 150-day rule.
Enroll in School
You can enroll in an academic institution if you are legally authorized to remain in the U.S. while your case is pending. You can spend your time improving yourself rather than just wasting it by just waiting for a decision. Please note, some internships or study programs won’t be available to you whilst your asylum case is pending. But, there are a few that will be.
Make contact with the schools you are interested in. Ask their admissions office if you are eligible to enroll. You don’t even have to worry about the fees for enrolling in school. If you can’t afford it by yourself, you can consider loans for asylum seekers to finance your education.
Move Within the U.S.
You are allowed to move whilst you are waiting on the outcome of your case. Just remember to inform the USCIS or immigration court about your new address. Moving might delay the processing of your case, especially if you move to another state and your case needs to move to another immigration court.
If you move outside of the jurisdiction of the court you filed your initial asylum application, you will need to file a Motion to Change Venue. It might be a good idea to use the expert advice of an immigration attorney to help you move your asylum case to another court. They will offer you the help to get this done properly without causing unnecessary delays.
Getting asylum in the U.S. might just be the step you need to build a new bright future in the U.S. If you get asylum, you can apply for a Green Card and get permanent residency.
Waiting for the outcome of your asylum case doesn’t have to be hard or frustrating. You can do an asylum application status check online to help guide you through the process. You can also be productive in the time you spend waiting by enrolling in a school or even applying for an EAD!