A messy immigration system is creating more problems for asylum seekers who are trying to apply legally to stay in the United States. The years-long backlog hurts applicants by asking them to adhere to deadlines they cannot keep due to the system being so overwhelmed. There are exceptions for some deadlines, and in this article, we are going to talk about the one-year filing deadline exception.

Defining the One Year Filing Deadline

A person who files an application for asylum has to present “clear and convincing evidence” that their request for asylum was submitted within one year of their arrival date to the United States.

The Exceptions to the One Year Filing Deadline

There are two (2) statutory exceptions to the One Year Filing Deadline. The first; circumstances have changed that materially impact the applicant’s asylum eligibility. The second; extraordinary situations that have led to a delay in an application being filed.

If an applicant’s circumstances have changed, they must still file demonstrating that an application was submitted within a reasonable time, despite the conditions. An immigration attorney should help you with this as you will need to present either a ‘defensive’ or ‘affirmative’ application depending on your specific circumstances. An asylum lawyer can help you establish the necessary evidence to present your case to the asylum office or to the immigration court.

Circumstances That Impact the One Year Filing Deadline

You may be wondering what constitutes a change in status that allows an applicant to be eligible for an exception to the One Year Filing Deadline. Some warranted or understandable material changes may include the following situations:

  • A change in nationality due to the applicant’s current residence (stateless persons)
  • A significant change in the U.S. laws impacting their circumstances
  • A change with the applicant becoming involved outside the country of nationality
  • A family death such as a parent, child or spouse changing the applicants status
  • A divorce, change of relationship, or marriage of the applicant
  • The applicant has reached the age of 18

Extraordinary Circumstances That Impact the One Year Filing Deadline

Other exceptions to the One Year Filing Deadline include those of “extraordinary” situations which can be accepted by a judge or appeals court. Some examples of this might include:

  • Serious illnesses, mental disorders or new physical disabilities
  • A legal disability which relates to unaccompanied minor children
  • Legal counsel that has proven to be unlawful or ineffective
  • The lawful temporary protected status that delays the period for filing
  • A rejected application for corrections that was filed on deadline
  • The death or illness of legal representation assisting the asylum seeker

Furthermore, if an applicant is experiencing things like family opposition, isolation, abuse, significant language complications, and other cultural barriers; these too are factors that may be approved as “exceptions” to the One Year Filing Deadline. The applicant and their asylum attorney will have to work together to prove their claims and significant evidence will be needed to convince the immigration courts.

There is help available if you are trying to beat the One Year FIling Date deadlines and are struggling to do so due to circumstances outside of your control. At Landerholm Immigration, APC, our experienced asylum lawyers work with clients who face the very same challenges. Please call or connect with us online so we can learn more about your case and get you the help you need.