You are currently viewing The asylum clock

Knowing what the asylum clock is and its importance is crucial for immigrants who have previously applied for the asylum process in the United States.

Our New Jersey immigration lawyers have successfully helped a large number of immigrants effectively apply for asylum. Therefore, before sending this type of request, we recommend that you contact us in advance.

What Is The Asylum Clock In Immigration

The immigration asylum clock (also known as the 180-day asylum EAD clock), measures the length of time an application for asylum has been pending with:

  1. The USCIS asylum office, or
  2. An immigration court with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).

USCIS service centers adjudicate a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and use the 180-day EAD clock to determine the immigrant’s eligibility for a work permit.

Immigrants can file an I-765 application based on their asylum application, as long as it is 150 days after they filed their application for political asylum. 

In conclusion, the asylum clock exists to help determine eligibility for an employment permit through asylum. As a result, applicants will have to wait at least 150 days on the asylum clock.

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Are you a victim of domestic abuse and are looking to find out if it is possible to apply for asylum based on domestic violence in the United States? Find out the answer in our corresponding blog.

How Long Does Asylum Processing Take In 2024?

Pursuant to 8 US Code § 1158, the asylum processing time is 180 days from the date the asylum application was filed, unless there are exceptional circumstances. For example:

  • Serious illness of the applicant, spouse, children or parents.
  • Cruelty or extreme aggression towards the applicant, their children or parents.
  • The death of your spouse, a child or a parent.

Exceptional circumstances are limited to the examples shown in INA § 240(e)(1). In the same way, the asylum office will be in charge of analyzing the facts embodied in each case to determine if such circumstances were effectively demonstrated.

Our firm condemns any type of violence, mistreatment or aggression towards immigrants, especially the most vulnerable. For example, the LGBTQ+ community. For this reason, our firm is LGBTQ+ immigration lawyers in New Jersey .

Likewise, we offer legal help in other areas where immigration violence is related. Therefore, in our blog, you can find extensive information on topics such as:

asylum clock and employment authorization

In An Asylum Clock Is It 150 Days Or 180 Days?

Generally, 180 days are required on the asylum clock for the immigrant to be eligible for a work permit in the United States. However, applicants must submit this application 30 days before, this being where the 150 days appear.

In certain cases where the immigrant has more than 150 days, but less than 180 days and the clock stops, the immigrant will not get a work permit. In these cases, the immigrant must wait until the asylum clock continues to tick. 

How Can I Check My Asylum Clock Online?

Aliens can check the status of their asylum case online through the USCIS website. In addition, immigrants will be able to check the current status of their work permit or any other application submitted to USCIS.

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A work permit is essential to be able to work in the US However, what happens when an immigrant is undocumented? Is it possible to get a job in the United States while being illegal? Learn more about this topic in our respective article.

How Can I Find More Information About The EAD Watch For Asylum?

Asylum applicants in removal proceedings before EOIR can obtain more information about their status by calling EOIR’s Automated Case Information System

It should be noted that in some cases, immigrants may have accumulated more time on the asylum clock than the number of days reported in EOIR. The number of days reported on the EOIR line does not include the following:

  1. The time the immigrant accrued toward the 180-day EAD clock when they filed their asylum application with an immigration court, or
  2. The time that USCIS can credit towards the immigrant’s asylum clock if their application was returned.

Therefore, immigrants can determine the number of days in their asylum clock through the EOIR information system, provided that:

  • Have not filed an application with an immigration court, or 
  • If the application has not been returned.

Can The Asylum Clock Be Verified Over The Phone?

Aliens can check how many days they have their asylum clock by calling the automated immigration system. However, they do require entering your “A Number” for this. 

Similarly, information obtained over the phone about the clock may not accurately reflect the time the clock started at the asylum office prior to your submission.

checking the asylum clock

What Stops The Asylum Clock?

The asylum clock does not include any delays the immigrant requests or causes while their asylum application is pending with EOIR or USCIS. However:

  • For cases pending with an asylum office: Delays may include:
    • A request to transfer a case to a new asylum office or location for an interview.
    • Did not attend interview or biometrics appointment.
    • A request to reschedule an interview for a future date.
    • Failure to receive and acknowledge an asylum decision in person.
    • A request to submit additional evidence during or after an interview.
    • A competent interpreter did not appear for an interview (if necessary).
  • For pending cases with EOIR: Typically, this can occur when:
    • It is requested that the case be continued in order to seek and obtain a lawyer.
    • The immigrant or their attorney requests additional time to prepare the case.
    • The immigrant and the parties involved jointly request the administrative closure of the case.

Similarly, the immigrant may be able to stop accumulating time on their asylum clock between hearings if they file a motion that delays proceedings and the judge grants the motion.

Therefore, an immigrant will stop accruing time when the immigration judge grants:

  1. A motion to change the place that the immigrant or their attorney filed, or
  2. A motion for continuance filed by the immigrant or their attorney.

Our attorney has for years represented hundreds of immigrants in their master calendar hearing and individual hearings in immigration court. Therefore, with our attorney, you will be in one of the best possible hands. 

The Asylum Clock In Immigration Court

In immigration courts there are a large number of scenarios where the asylum clock can be stopped, even permanently. For example, if the applicant does not show up for their asylum interview and their clock will stop permanently. 

Additionally, every time the immigrant causes a delay in immigration court, their asylum clock will stop. When in immigration court the applicant requests time to find a lawyer, their clock stops until the next hearing.

Don’t know how much does an immigration lawyer costs? Find out the answer in our recent blog.


The asylum clock starts the day the US government receives the immigrant’s petition for asylum and stops when the immigration judge orders deportation. 

If the immigrant’s individual hearing occurs before the 180 days are up, the immigrant will not be eligible for a work permit during an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

If you are looking for information on how to appeal an immigration case, in our blog you will find a publication focused on responding to this topic.

What If I Think There Is A Mistake In The Asylum Clock?

Immigrants who have questions about their accumulated time on the asylum clock should contact: 

  1. Our attorney Carolina T. Curbelo, or
  2. The asylum office that has jurisdiction over your case.

Generally, for cases before the EOIR, immigrants must direct their questions to the immigration judge during their immigration hearing. This can also be done in writing to the court administrator. 

What Happens If There Is An Error On My Job Application?

Immigrants need to contact the USCIS Contact Center to report any errors in the adjudication of their employment application (Form I-765).

Inquiries that are not resolved by a contact center representative will be forwarded to the USCIS Service Center where your application was filed. Generally, immigrants should receive a response within 30 days.

writ of mandamus

Do you have a pending immigration case and USCIS has not responded? In some cases, it is possible to expedite your immigration case through the writ of mandamus. Learn more about this topic in our article.

When Does The Asylum Clock Start?

For first-time applications filed at an asylum office, USCIS calculates the clock from the date the completed asylum application is received. That is, through Form I-589, application for asylum and suspension of removal.

If the asylum office forwards the application to an immigration court, the applicant may continue to earn time toward eligibility for a work permit. This can be even if your asylum application is pending before an immigration judge.

For first-time applications filed with EOIR, USCIS will calculate the clock in two ways:

  1. The applicant will begin accruing time for employment permit eligibility on the date the asylum application is filed with the immigration court, and
  2. If you previously filed a complete asylum application with the immigration court.

Why Should You Contact Our Ridgewood, New Jersey Immigration Law Firm For Asylum Clock?

In view of the complexities of the asylum clock, like any other US immigration procedure or process, it is best to have the help of an immigration lawyer. 

  • Our attorney Carolina, has the necessary experience to help her clients in any type of immigration matter in the United States.
  • Therefore, if you are applying for political asylum, or fear that you will be deported from the US, do not hesitate to contact our firm in advance. 
  • Asylum cases are often long and full of complexities. Therefore, it is key to have the best possible legal advice to avoid possible denials in your application.
  • We hope this article has answered questions such as what is the asylum clock and how long is the processing time for asylum. However, if in doubt, call us immediately.

To do this, you can do it through our telephone number, by E-mail or by scheduling an appointment with the office, located in Ridgewood, New Jersey.