For asylum applications filed on or after April 1, 1997, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that the initial interview should take place within 45 days after the date the application is filed. A decision should be made on the asylum application within 180 days after the date the application is filed, unless there are exceptional circumstances. See INA section 208(d)(5).

As of Jan. 29, 2018, the USCIS Asylum Division is scheduling interviews in the following order of priority:*

  • First priority:  Applications that were scheduled for an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the applicant’s request or the needs of USCIS;
  • Second priority: Applications that have been pending 21 days or less since filing;
  • Third priority: All other pending affirmative asylum applications will be scheduled for interviews starting with newer filings and working back towards older filings.

*This scheduling approach was first established following the asylum reforms of 1995 (PDF, 22 KB), and was in place previously for 20 years.  

Workload priorities, including those related to border enforcement, may affect our ability to schedule all new applications for an interview within 21 days.

Asylum office directors may consider, on a case-by-case basis, an urgent request to be scheduled for an interview outside of the priority order listed above. Please submit any urgent interview scheduling requests in writing to the asylum office with jurisdiction over your case. Go to the USCIS Service and Office Locator page for contact information.

For asylum applicants who live far from an asylum office or an asylum sub-office, asylum offices schedule interviews at USCIS field offices (“circuit ride” locations) as resources permit. Please contact the asylum office with jurisdiction over your case for more detailed information. 

See Affirmative Asylum Interview Scheduling for more information.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 
01/31/2018