An application for asylum does not entitle a person to work in the U.S. But if asylum has already been granted, then the person is automatically authorized to work. A person who has applied for asylum but has not yet received a decision may file an Application for Employment Authorization on Form I-765 150* days after applying for asylum. [*Note for Legal Practitioners: Prior to new official rules in 8 C.F.R. §§ 208 and 274a that were published in 2020, an applicant for asylum who had not yet received a decision (but who had not been denied asylum) was allowed to apply for an Employment Authorization Document 150 days after their asylum application. The new 2020 rules (among other things) extended that wait time to 365 days. The new rules were challenged in MD federal court by Casa de Maryland, Inc. v. Wolf, and an injunction was issued for members of CASA de Maryland (CASA) and the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) pending the final outcome of the case. A separate case, AsylumWorks v. Mayorkas, was decided February 7, 2022 in DC federal court, which challenged the same rule. The plaintiff won, and the decision invalidated the 2020 rule change, calling it illegal and determining it must be changed for all asylum seekers. After Asylumworks v. Mayorkas vacated both the June 22, 2020, final rule, Removal of 30-day Processing Provision for Asylum Applicant-Related Form I-765 Employment Authorization Applications Rule, and, the June 26, 2020, final rule, Asylum Application, Interview, and Employment Authorization for Applicants Rule; USCIS ceased applying these rules to asylum applicants whose applications were either in process during that period or who filed afterward. However, USCIS has not yet changed its language on forms or on its website. So, while the rule itself reverts to the pre-2020 waiting period of 150 days, it is likely to confuse readers who have not been made aware of the Feb. 7 decision.]
This site is for general information only. It is not intended to provide legal advice and does not establish an attorney client relationship.Learn more about how to use this site.