On November 2, 2020, USCIS changes its procedures for filing the asylum applications for individuals who are derivatives on the application of a parent or spouse, but are also independently eligible for asylum and wish to file their own application as a principal applicant. Please note that this new procedure only applies to asylum seekers who are seeking asylum before the USCIS Asylum Office (affirmative applications) and not for asylum seekers who are seeking asylum before an immigration judge (defensive applications).
Since November 2, 2020, derivative asylum seekers who also wish to file as principals must file their asylum applications with the newly created Asylum Vetting Center in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information about this new filing location, please see the “Special Instructions” tab at https://www.uscis.gov/i-589. Please note that USCIS recently provided a courier address for the Vetting Center:
USCIS Asylum Vetting Center
401 W. Peachtree NW, Suite 1000
Atlanta, GA 30308
As with other immigration filings, NIJC recommends that attorneys send applications to the Vetting Center via FedEx or UPS to ensure the receipt date, which constitutes the filing date for immigration purposes.
If you are representing an NIJC asylum client who will need to file with the Vetting Center, please consult with your NIJC point-of-contact to discuss this process in greater detail.
Please note that NIJC advises attorneys to file independent asylum applications for all derivative asylum seekers who fear return to their home country.