As of January of 2019, persons who have filed applications for asylum in the United States can check the status of their application online. This is a significant step forward, because, in days past you had to wait for a notice in the mail which could take months (or even years) to receive. This applies to asylum seekers who have requested asylum affirmatively before the asylum office (not defensively in immigration court). The ability to check your status online is helpful so asylum seekers will not miss any deadlines or appearances that can jeopardize their immigration and future in the U.S.

Checking Your Status Online

If you want to check on your case, you can go to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Status website for asylum cases. It’s the same website that you or a family member uses to check on a permit for working in the U.S. and other USCIS applications that are in the system.

On the site, you’ll see a box that will ask for the receipt number of your application. This receipt number is located on blue carbon paper you received shortly after you applied for asylum. If you don’t have this paper, check the white paperwork you received if you applied more recently. The receipt number starts with the letter “Z” followed by ten digits. Use that number on the website in the box provided. If any of this is too confusing, get with an asylum attorney to assist you.

The Various Responses You’ll Get:

  • Red Alert – If you receive a red alert saying the number is invalid, check to ensure you got the number entered correctly. Don’t confuse your “alien identification number” with your asylum receipt number.
  • Next Step Interview – This is the alert you’ll receive if USCIS received your application for asylum but has not yet assigned you an interview. Scrolling down the page will reveal how many days that your application has been pending. If 150-days have passed, you are eligible to apply for a permit to work in the U.S.
  • Interviewed Scheduled – This alert shows you that your interview has been scheduled but a day or time won’t likely appear on the website. You will get a notification in the mail as to your date; but if you see this alert, contact the USCIS to make sure you have not missed this notice or in case it was lost in the mail. You do not want to miss this interview because if you do, your application will be denied which will likely trigger a deportation process to start.
  • Decision Pending – You will see this alert if you have already gone to your asylum interview and the decision about your application has not yet been reached. While immigration officers may have told you it would take only a couple of weeks to get a decision, the system being so backlogged, it can actually take months. If you haven’t heard anything in 6-months, you need to contact an asylum lawyer or immigration attorney to help you expedite your case or get to the bottom as to why it is taking so long.
  • Decision Picked Up – This alert will be present if the USCIS had made a decision and it was sent to you via mail. If you get this alert and have not gotten anything by mail, contact the USCIS offices to learn about the decision.

We hope this article has been helpful to learn about how to check the status of your asylum application online. If you have any questions about doing this or need help navigating the asylum process, contact our asylum lawyers at Landerholm Immigration today.