Determining Who is an ABT Class Member

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The ABT Settlement Agreement has expired.

Note: Effective Aug. 25, 2020, USCIS implemented new procedures for determining whether an applicant for asylum would be eligible for employment authorization.

You may be an ABT class member if you are an asylum applicant.  The ABT class is made up of a general class, also known as the Notice and Review Class, and four subclasses. The general class includes noncitizens in the United States:

  • Who have filed or will file (or will lodge at an immigration court window) a complete asylum application with USCIS or the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR); and
  • Whose asylum applications have not been approved or finally denied (with all rights of review or appeal exhausted); and
  • Whose applications for employment authorization based on their status as asylum applicants have been or will be denied because of alleged insufficient notice and/or opportunity for review.   

To be an ABT class member, you must meet the requirements of the general class and one or more of the following subclasses. These include:

  • Hearing Subclass
  • Prolonged Tolling Subclass
  • Missed Asylum Interview Subclass
  • Remand Subclass

Hearing Subclass

The Hearing Subclass includes noncitizens:

  • Who have been placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge; and
  • Who have filed or lodged, sought to lodge, or who will lodge or seek to lodge a complete defensive asylum application with the immigration court prior to a hearing before an immigration judge; and
  • Whose eligibility for employment authorization has been or will be calculated from the date the asylum application was or will be filed at a hearing before an immigration judge.

Prolonged Tolling Subclass

The Prolonged Tolling Subclass includes asylum applicants:

  • Who are not detained in immigration custody; and
  • Whose time creditable toward employment authorization is stopped or will be stopped due to a delay attributed to the applicant, including failure to accept the next expedited hearing date offered by the immigration court; and
  • Who have, or will have, allegedly resolved the issue causing the delay before the next scheduled hearing; and
  • Whose time creditable toward employment authorization will remain stopped despite the alleged resolution of the delay.

Missed Asylum Interview Subclass

The Missed Asylum Interview Subclass includes asylum applicants who have failed or will fail to appear for an asylum interview with USCIS, and as a result will not accrue time creditable toward eligibility for employment authorization following the date of the missed asylum interview.

Remand Subclass

The Remand Subclass includes noncitizens:

  • Whose asylum applications were or will be denied by the immigration court before they have been pending at least 180 days, not including delays caused or requested by the applicant;
  • Who appeal their asylum denial to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)  or a federal court of appeals and receive a remand to the immigration judge for further adjudication of their asylum claim; and
  • Who have not or will not be credited with additional time toward eligibility for employment authorization following the initial asylum denial.
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