During the past few years, the rules and fees for filing asylum work permits have changed multiple times. This has created a lot of confusion, leading to rejected cases, missed deadlines, and unemployment. In addition, process times have skyrocketed for many cases, especially with renewal applications.
Fortunately for asylum seekers, the processing of work permits has been restored to the old rules by court order. Applicants no longer have to apply to become members of nonprofit organizations to receive fair treatment. First-time applicants should be procssed timely and the old fee structure has returned.
As of February 8, 2022, the fee for a first work permit based on a pending asylum application, category (c)(8), is $0 (free). For renewals in category (c)(8), the fee is $410 per application. No biometrics fees are being assessed.
Additionally, the 30-day processing timeline is back so asylum seekers can depend on getting a work permit quickly once they complete the 150 day period. Applicants no longer need to wait 365 days to file.
The official notice, posted at https://www.uscis.gov/i-765, is copied below:
On Feb. 7, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the case, Asylumworks, et. al. v. Alejandro N. Mayorkas, et. al., vacated the June 22, 2020, final rule, Removal of 30-day Processing Provision for Asylum Applicant-Related Form I-765 Employment Authorization Applications Rule and the June 26, 2020, final rule, Asylum Application, Interview, and Employment Authorization for Applicants Rule. Effective immediately, USCIS has ceased applying these rules to asylum applicants. Instead, USCIS is applying the provisions of 8 C.F.R. §§ 208 and 274a that were in place before the rules listed above took effect in August 2020. This applies to the adjudication of Forms I-765 and I-589 that were pending with USCIS as of Feb. 8, 2022, as well as to Forms I-765 and I-589 received on or after that date.
As a result of the Asylumworks order, effective immediately, applicants for employment authorization in the (c)(08) category SHOULD NOT submit the $85 biometric services fee with their Form I-765. The biometric services fee is no longer required and submitting the $85 biometric services fee may cause your application to be rejected for overpayment. USCIS will continue to provide updates regarding how the Asylumworks order impacts applicants and USCIS processes.