Effective today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has changed the filing location for certain affirmative asylum applications submitted by mail. We expect this change to help streamline asylum processing and improve adjudication efficiency by digitizing paper filings. You should now mail your Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, to the lockbox that has jurisdiction over your place of residence, instead of to the service center.
See the “Where to File” section of the Form I-589 webpage to learn where to file your application. If filing by mail, you should file at the appropriate lockbox location to ensure timely receipt of your application. However, if you submit Form I-589 to a service center, we will accept that form until we formalize this change through a Federal Register notice.
Applicants who submit a properly filed Form I-589 to a lockbox will receive two notices. The first notice will acknowledge that the lockbox has received and forwarded the Form I-589 to USCIS. After USCIS accepts the application, we will then issue a standard Form I-589 receipt notice. Both notices will include the same receipt date that is used to determine eligibility for employment authorization based on a pending asylum application and for purposes of the one-year filing deadline.
The following categories of affirmative asylum applicants must continue to mail their asylum application directly to the Asylum Vetting Center, following the instructions on the Form I-589 page:
- Loss of Derivative Status After Asylum Approval but Before Adjustment of Status (Nunc Pro Tunc);
- Loss of Derivative Status After Initial Filing but Before Final Decision;
- Simultaneous Filing as a Principal Applicant and a Derivative Applicant;
- Previously Issued a Final Action by USCIS on a Form I-589; and
- Previously in Immigration Court Proceedings.
Online filing is also available and encouraged for affirmative asylum applicants who are not in immigration court proceedings and who do not have to submit their application to the Asylum Vetting Center as indicated above.
To avoid processing delays, carefully review the “Where to File” and “Special Instructions” sections of the Form I-589 page before submitting your application.
Updated Form and Instructions
We have also published a new edition of Form I-589, dated 03/01/23. Starting July 31, 2023, we will accept only the 03/01/23 edition of the form. Until then, we will continue to accept the 10/12/22 edition of Form I-589.
Effective immediately, when you submit Form I-589, you no longer need to submit a passport-style photo, multiple copies of the form, or multiple copies of the supporting documentation. See the Instructions for Form I-589 (PDF, 143.6 KB) for more information.