Are you still eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)?

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

In case you have not heard, the Department of Homeland Security has implemented a new rule regarding #workpermits for asylum seekers, which is scheduled to go into effect on August 25, 2020. What does this mean for you?

It means, as an Asylum seeker, those who have not accrued 150 days on the asylum clock by August 25, 2020, will need to wait until 365 days after filing their I-589 before applying for a work permit. The applicant bears the burden of showing 365 days have passed AND that there is no "applicant-caused delay" in the asylum application at the time of filing. Delays can include change of venue pending at time of filing, request to amend, attorney prep time request, failure to attend hearing, etc.

According to the #finalrule, work permits for asylum seekers are now discretionary, so work permit applications should require evidence regarding why a client should have a work permit and all related positive equities.

Additionally, and perhaps equally as important, the first work permit application for asylum-seekers is no longer free, and clients will be required to pay a separate biometrics fee. The good news, however, is that there is now an automatic 180-day extension for work authorization for any work permit holder who files to renew a work permit before it expires AND the annoying asylum "clock" will be eliminated.

Unfortunately, there are now two new bars (and one possible future bar) to EADs for asylum-seekers who enter the United States after August 25, 2020. First, all non-unaccompanied children (UACs), must file for asylum within 365 days of arrival or they are not eligible for a work permit until an adjudicator has determined that an exception to the one year deadline applies. Practically speaking, this means no work permit until a merits hearing is held. Second, clients may not enter without inspection (EWI) absent "good cause," which includes, but is not limited to, requiring immediate medical attention or fleeing "imminent serious harm." Finally, regarding the possible future bar, clients may face additional criminal bars for work permits. Currently the bar is just "particularly serious crimes" (PSC), which is not a change from before, but PSCs may soon include DUIs and other new offenses. It is worth mentioning, however, this will only apply to convictions on or after August 25, 2020, and any denial is not binding on an asylum officer or an Immigration Judge.

This new rule could negatively impact your case and your eligibility for a work permit! The facts surrounding your case require the attention of an #experiencedimmigrationattorney, so contact us today to schedule a #freeconsultation.

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