What if you cannot make it to your asylum interview?

After you apply for asylum, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will ask you to appear for an interview. In most cases, you should do your best to arrive at your interview on the scheduled date. However, there are circumstances where you may have to reschedule your asylum interview.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS explains that you need to have good cause or exceptional circumstances to reschedule the interview.

What is a good cause?

Good cause is a reasonable excuse. The USCIS will review your excuse based on your circumstances. An acceptable reasonable excuse for one applicant may not be an acceptable reason for another person. If you can establish good cause, then the USCIS will write you with a new interview date. To establish good cause, it may help to provide evidence. For instance, if you have a medical reason to reschedule, present the USCIS with a doctor’s note.

If you miss your interview, you have 45 days to establish a good cause. On the 46th day, your asylum case faces dismissal.

What is an exceptional circumstance?

If you wait more than 45 days, you need to establish that you had an exceptional circumstance. In the Immigration and Nationality Act, they define describe exceptional circumstances as:

  • A death in your family; to your child, parent or spouse
  • A serious illness that affects you, your child, your spouse
  • Battery or cruelty directed towards you, your parent or your child

While these are not the only circumstances, they are the most common. If you believe that you had an exceptional circumstance, the office will review it.