8 CFR 1208.4 - Filing the application.
(a) Prohibitions on filing. Section 208(a)(2) of the Act prohibits certain aliens from filing for asylum on or after April 1, 1997, unless the alien can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that one of the exceptions in section 208(a)(2)(D) of the Act applies. Such prohibition applies only to asylum applications under section 208 of the Act and not to applications for withholding of removal under § 1208.16. If an applicant files an asylum application and it appears that one or more of the prohibitions contained in section 208(a)(2) of the Act apply, an asylum officer, in an interview, or an immigration judge, in a hearing, shall review the application and give the applicant the opportunity to present any relevant and useful information bearing on any prohibitions on filing to determine if the application should be rejected. For the purpose of making determinations under section 208(a)(2) of the Act, the following rules shall apply:
(1) Authority. Only an asylum officer, an immigration judge, or the Board of Immigration Appeals is authorized to make determinations regarding the prohibitions contained in section 208(a)(2)(B) or (C) of the Act.
(2) One-year filing deadline.
(i) For purposes of section 208(a)(2)(B) of the Act, an applicant has the burden of proving:
(A) By clear and convincing evidence that the application has been filed within 1 year of the date of the alien's arrival in the United States, or
(ii) The 1-year period shall be calculated from the date of the alien's last arrival in the United States or April 1, 1997, whichever is later. When the last day of the period so computed falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period shall run until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. For the purpose of making determinations under section 208(a)(2)(B) of the Act only, an application is considered to have been filed on the date it is received by the Service, pursuant to § 103.2(a)(7) of 8 CFR chapter I. In a case in which the application has not been received by the Service within 1 year from the applicant's date of entry into the United States, but the applicant provides clear and convincing documentary evidence of mailing the application within the 1-year period, the mailing date shall be considered the filing date. For cases before the Immigration Court in accordance with § 1003.13 of this chapter, the application is considered to have been filed on the date it is received by the Immigration Court. For cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the application is considered to have been filed on the date it is received by the Board. In the case of an application that appears to have been filed more than a year after the applicant arrived in the United States, the asylum officer, the immigration judge, or the Board will determine whether the applicant qualifies for an exception to the deadline. The failure to have provided required biometrics and other biographical information does not prevent the “filing” of an asylum application for purposes of the one-year filing rule of section 208(a)(2)(B) of the Act. See 8 CFR 1003.47. For aliens present in or arriving in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the 1-year period shall be calculated from January 1, 2015, or from the date of the alien's last arrival in the United States (including the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), whichever is later. No period of physical presence in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands prior to January 1, 2015, shall count toward the 1-year period. After November 28, 2009, any travel to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands from any other State shall not re-start the calculation of the 1-year period.
(4) Changed circumstances.
(i) The term “changed circumstances” in section 208(a)(2)(D) of the Act shall refer to circumstances materially affecting the applicant's eligibility for asylum. They may include, but are not limited to:
(A) Changes in conditions in the applicant's country of nationality or, if the applicant is stateless, country of last habitual residence;
(B) Changes in the applicant's circumstances that materially affect the applicant's eligibility for asylum, including changes in applicable U.S. law and activities the applicant becomes involved in outside the country of feared persecution that place the applicant at risk; or
(C) In the case of an alien who had previously been included as a dependent in another alien's pending asylum application, the loss of the spousal or parent-child relationship to the principal applicant through marriage, divorce, death, or attainment of age 21.
(ii) The applicant shall file an asylum application within a reasonable period given those “changed circumstances.” If the applicant can establish that he or she did not become aware of the changed circumstances until after they occurred, such delayed awareness shall be taken into account in determining what constitutes a “reasonable period.”
(5) The term “extraordinary circumstances” in section 208(a)(2)(D) of the Act shall refer to events or factors directly related to the failure to meet the 1-year deadline. Such circumstances may excuse the failure to file within the 1-year period as long as the alien filed the application within a reasonable period given those circumstances. The burden of proof is on the applicant to establish to the satisfaction of the asylum officer, the immigration judge, or the Board of Immigration Appeals that the circumstances were not intentionally created by the alien through his or her own action or inaction, that those circumstances were directly related to the alien's failure to file the application within the 1-year period, and that the delay was reasonable under the circumstances. Those circumstances may include but are not limited to:
(i) Serious illness or mental or physical disability, including any effects of persecution or violent harm suffered in the past, during the 1-year period after arrival;
(ii) Legal disability (e.g., the applicant was an unaccompanied minor or suffered from a mental impairment) during the 1-year period after arrival;
(iii) Ineffective assistance of counsel, provided that:
(A) The alien files an affidavit setting forth in detail the agreement that was entered into with counsel with respect to the actions to be taken and what representations counsel did or did not make to the respondent in this regard;
(B) The counsel whose integrity or competence is being impugned has been informed of the allegations leveled against him or her and given an opportunity to respond; and
(C) The alien indicates whether a complaint has been filed with appropriate disciplinary authorities with respect to any violation of counsel's ethical or legal responsibilities, and if not, why not;
(iv) The applicant maintained Temporary Protected Status, lawful immigrant or nonimmigrant status, or was given parole, until a reasonable period before the filing of the asylum application;
(v) The applicant filed an asylum application prior to the expiration of the 1-year deadline, but that application was rejected by the Service as not properly filed, was returned to the applicant for corrections, and was refiled within a reasonable period thereafter; and
(vi) The death or serious illness or incapacity of the applicant's legal representative or a member of the applicant's immediate family.
(6) Safe third country agreement. Immigration judges have authority to consider issues under section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Act, relating to the determination of whether an alien is ineligible to apply for asylum and should be removed to a safe third country pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement, only with respect to aliens whom DHS has chosen to place in removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act, as provided in 8 CFR 1240.11(g). For DHS regulations relating to determinations by asylum officers on this subject, see 8 CFR 208.30(e)(6).
(b) Filing location -
(1) With the service center by mail. Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4) and (b)(5) of this section, asylum applications shall be filed directly by mail with the service center servicing the asylum office with jurisdiction over the place of the applicant's residence or, in the case of an alien without a United States residence, the applicant's current lodging or the land border port-of-entry through which the alien seeks admission to the United States.
(2) With the asylum office. An asylum application shall be filed directly with the asylum office having jurisdiction over the matter in the case of an alien who:
(ii) Previously was included in a spouse's or parent's pending application but is no longer eligible to be included as a derivative. In such cases, the derivative should include a cover letter referencing the previous application and explaining that he or she is now independently filing for asylum.
(3) With the Immigration Court. Asylum applications shall be filed directly with the Immigration Court having jurisdiction over the case in the following circumstances:
(ii) After completion of exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings, and in conjunction with a motion to reopen pursuant to 8 CFR part 1003 where applicable, with the Immigration Court having jurisdiction over the prior proceeding. Any such motion must reasonably explain the failure to request asylum prior to the completion of the proceedings.
(iii) In asylum proceedings pursuant to § 1208.2(c)(1) and after the Form I-863, Notice of Referral to Immigration Judge, has been served on the alien and filed with the Immigration Court having jurisdiction over the case.
(4) With the Board of Immigration Appeals. In conjunction with a motion to remand or reopen pursuant to §§ 1003.2 and 1003.8 of this chapter where applicable, an initial asylum application shall be filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals if jurisdiction over the proceedings is vested in the Board of Immigration Appeals under 8 CFR part 1003. Any such motion must reasonably explain the failure to request asylum prior to the completion of the proceedings.
(5) With the district director. In the case of any alien described in § 1208.2(c)(1) and prior to the service on the alien of Form I-863, any asylum application shall be submitted to the district director having jurisdiction pursuant to 8 CFR part 103. If the district director elects to issue the Form I-863, the district director shall forward such asylum application to the appropriate Immigration Court with the Form
(c) Amending an application after filing. Upon request of the alien and as a matter of discretion, the asylum officer or immigration judge having jurisdiction may permit an asylum applicant to amend or supplement the application, but any delay caused by such request shall extend the period within which the applicant may not apply for employment authorization in accordance with § 1208.7(a).