Work Permits based on Asylum

Work Permits based on Asylum – 365 days or 180 days? What about the $85 Biometrics fee?
by Jose Enrique Perez

A lot of new immigration policies have been changing under the Biden Administration and ALL have been for the BENEFIT of the immigrants. In fact, all of them have been bringing back sanity to all the changes past President Trump made AGAINST immigrants.

During the previous administration, the asylum clock (EAD clock) was changed from 180 days to 365 days. That is, in order for an asylum seeker to apply for a work permit, he or she was required to file form I-765 under category (c)(8). The applicant had to wait 365 days since the day an asylum petition, Form I-589, was filed with the Court or with the USCIS before qualifying for the work permit. Clearly, it was a rule to starve asylum applicants and force them to leave the United States. However, just last month, the Biden Administration eliminated that rule and brought it back to 180 days. Therefore, you may apply for employment authorization 150 days after you file your asylum application instead of waiting 365 days. That is, you may file a Form I-765 based on your pending asylum application 150 days after you file your asylum application. You are not eligible to receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) until your asylum application has been pending for a total of 180 days. The 150-day waiting period and the 180-day eligibility period, commonly referred to as the 180-Day Asylum EAD Clock, do not include delays that you request or cause while your asylum application is pending with an asylum office or with the immigration court.

Also, the Biden Administration eliminated the fee that the Trump Administration imposed for asylum application. The $85 biometrics fee was imposed for the last couple of years and many civil rights organizations claim that the fee, although small, prevented many asylum seekers from applying for work authorization as they did not have the $85 to spare.

After a recent court decision, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced they were not going to contest the decision or protect the previous Administration’s rules. Therefore, if you are filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, under the (c)(8) eligibility category, USCIS says you can ignore the portion of the Form I-765 instructions at the bottom of page 2 that directs you to pay the biometrics fee. Of course, USCIS will soon correct the form and the instructions.

Photos by Sora Shimazaki and Gustavo Fring from pexel.

You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance or information about immigration issues. Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with this form. Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.

I represent individuals involved in many areas. If you have any questions or concerns about a case or potential case, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 659 West Onondaga Street, Upper Level, Syracuse, New York 13204. Now with offices in Buffalo and Rochester as well!!! Please look for my next article in the July edition and stay safe, get vaccinated or boosted and stay away from the Virus. In addition to our current practice of Personal Injuries, Work Accidents, Social Security and Immigration, we now also practice Criminal, Traffic, Family, DWI and Divorce.

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