Asylum One Year Filing Rule
How Does It Apply to You?

asylum one year filing rule If you did not enter the United States lawfully, you must apply for asylum within one year of your entry to the U.S.  

However, if you entered the U.S. using an immigrant or a nonimmigrant visa (such as a tourist or student visa) or you have Temporary Protected Status, the asylum one year filing rule does not apply to you. You must apply for asylum within a reasonable period after your legal status ends.

There are a number of exceptions to the asylum one year filing rule. Before the enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, a person could apply for asylum at any time. This law created a new eligibility requirement that those applying for asylum after April 1998 had to comply with the asylum one year filing rule.

Exceptions to the asylum one year filing rule include changed circumstances which materially affect your eligibility for asylum and extraordinary circumstances related to the delay in your filing.


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Exceptions to the Asylum One Year Filing Rule

Federal regulations provide a non-exhaustive list of ways in which your circumstances could have changed that may make you eligible for an exemption of the asylum one year filing rule. These include but are not limited to:

  • Changed conditions in your country of nationality or last habitual residence
  • Changes in applicable US law
  • Changes in personal circumstances
  • The ending of your spousal or parent-child relationship to the principal applicant in a previous application
  • You have become a refugee since leaving your country

The second possibility for an exemption from the asylum one year filing rule is if you have experienced extraordinary circumstances that caused a delay in applying for asylum. These situations include:

  • Events or factors in your life that directly caused you to miss the deadline
  • Serious illness or mental or physical disability
  • Death or serious illness or incapacity of your legal representative or member of your immediate family
  • Legal disability
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel



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