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On November 15, 2011, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) issued a new memorandum (OPPM 11-02) regarding the “asylum clock.”  The memo significantly alters the way immigration judges (IJs) are instructed to assess an applicant’s eligibility for an expedited merits hearing and the manner in which IJs control the accrual of asylum clock time – which directly impacts employment authorization eligibility.  While the memo offers some improvements, other aspects of the memo seem likely to give rise to confusion regarding the clock. 

Click here for NIJC's summary and recommendations regarding the asylum clock memo.

NIJC recommends that attorneys representing asylum seekers review the full memo to determine its impact on their clients’ cases and raise any ensuing questions with NIJC.  The full memo is available here.

For more information regarding employment authorization for asylum applicants, please see NIJC’s Representing Asylum Seekers Manual and employment authorization FAQ.