National Membership

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WORK PERMITS FOR CASA MEMBERS

On September 11, 2020, a federal judge in the case CASA de Maryland v. Mayorkas (previously Casa de Maryland v, Wolf) blocked the government from applying some new work permit rules to CASA members. See this chart for more detailed description of the new rules and which ones do and do not apply to CASA members.

How to become an CASA member CLICK HERE

WORK PERMIT ELIGIBILITY

  •   Q1: What does the court’s order in CASA v. Wolf mean for me as an CASA member if I am applying for a work permit?

If you are an CASA member, you have the right under CASA v. Wolf to:

  • Apply for a work permit 150 days after filing an asylum application, and become eligible to receive a work permit after 180 days.
  • Have your work permit processed within 30 days.
  • Apply for a work permit even if you have filed an asylum application more than a year after arriving in the United States.
  • Have an asylum application “deemed complete” if it has been pending with USCIS for more than 30 days, ensuring you can request employment authorization 150 days after submitting your asylum application.
  • Not pay the $85 biometrics fee other asylum applicants must pay with their Form I-765.
  • Not be subject to a discretionary denial of your application.
  • Q2: If I am an CASA member, am I eligible for work authorization (also known as an “EAD”) as an asylum seeker?

Maybe! Being an CASA member does not make you automatically eligible to apply for a work permit. The U.S. government sets the requirements for applying for work authorization. You can find the application and instructions on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.(here) You may also want to consult an attorney.

  • Q3: I recently became an CASA member, does the court’s order in CASA v. Wolf apply to me?

CASA members are entitled to have their applications processed under the court’s order in CASA v. Wolf as long as they were members at the time they applied for a work permit.

  • Q4: When are CASA members eligible to submit EAD applications?

Generally, CASA members are eligible to apply for work permits 150 days after submitting their asylum applications; they do not have to wait 365 days to apply under the new rules. However, members may not be eligible to apply if the government determines that they have caused a delay in their asylum case, including if they asked for additional time to prepare for an interview or hearing. We recommend you talk to an attorney about your specific eligibility.

 USCIS RETURNED MY APPLICATION

  • Q5: I received a return notice from USCIS about the CASA v. Wolf litigation. What do I do now?

If you applied for a work authorization recently, you may have received a copy of this notice from USCIS along with a returned copy of your I-765 application packet.

If USCIS returned your I-765 application for a work permit with this notice, you can reapply for a work permit as a CASA member. If you reapply as a member of CASA, you do not need to pay the $85 biometric services fee.

As long as you have become an CASA member by the time you resubmit your application and include proof of membership with your returned application, you will not be subject to the biometrics fee and will be entitled to the other benefits of the preliminary injunction.

You can find out more information about how to become a member of CASA on our membership page.

FEES FOR WORK PERMIT

  • Q6: I applied for a work permit and did not pay the $85 biometric services fee, so I am worried it will be returned by USCIS. What should I do?

If you filed an I-765 application for a work permit after August 25th and before October 9th and did NOT pay the $85 biometric services fee, it is possible your application will be rejected and returned to you by mail with a copy of this notice regardless of whether you identified yourself as a CASA member. 

If you filled out a survey giving us permission to share with the government that you are an CASA member and we were able to verify your membership in CASA, we sent your A number to the government with the understanding that they would process your application under the court’s order. 

If you did not fill out a survey giving CASA permission to share your A number with the government, you may reapply for a work permit and include proof of your membership with CASA immediately behind the I-765 form as explained in the second alert on USCIS’s website.

If you filed your application after October 9th and included proof of CASA membership following your I-765, USCIS should have properly screened your application and processed it in line with the court order in CASA v. Wolf. That means, you should receive a receipt and expect your application to be processed within 30 days if it is an initial work permit application.

  • Q7: If I am an CASA member, will I have to pay a filing fee?

Currently, there is no fee for initial work permits for asylum applicants regardless of whether you are an CASA member or not.

For applications to renew the work permit, asylum applicants currently have to submit a $410 fee. You may qualify for a fee waiver if you can demonstrate you are unable to pay the fee. You can read more about the fee waiver on the USCIS website.

Please note this fee is separate from the $85 biometrics fee, which CASA members do not have to pay (see below).

  • Q8: If I am an CASA member, do I have to pay the $85 biometrics fee or complete biometrics for my work permit application?

All asylum applicants need to complete biometrics for their asylum application. That remains the same.

CASA members will not have to have a second biometrics appointment for their work permit application or pay the $85 fee for that appointment. 

Individuals who are not members of CASA must include the $85 biometrics fee with their work permit applications.

If you are an CASA member, you should not be required to submit additional biometric information if you have already done so for your asylum application. And whether or not you are an CASA member, you should NOT be charged for a biometrics appointment for your I-589 asylum application.

  • Q9: How can I show I am an CASA member when I apply for an EAD?

The government has recently posted a notice on the USCIS website explaining how members should identify themselves on their work permit applications.

According to that notice, you should include your CASA membership verification letter given to you by CASA.

APPLYING FOR A WORK PERMIT – GUIDANCE 

  • Q10: I am a CASA member and I am eligible for a work permit under the rules that are explained above. Now, how do I apply for a work permit? 

To apply for a work permit, you must file: 

  1. A completed and signed I-765 form. It must be completed in English. You can find the I-765 form and instructions for completing it on the USCIS website. Question 27 asks for your eligibility category. The eligibility category for persons applying as asylees with pending asylum applications is (c)(8).
  2. A CASA membership verification letter 
  3. A copy of your passport and copy of your I-94 (if you have one)
  4. Two recent, passport-sized photos of yourself
  5. Evidence that you have filed an asylum application and that it has been pending for at least 150 days. For example, you can include your I-589 receipt notice or a copy of an I-589 that have a “received” stamp from an immigration court. 

Remember: if you are applying for your first work permit, do NOT include any biometrics fee or filing fee! If you are filing to renew your work permit application, only include the fee for renewal. Do NOT include an additional biometrics fee. CASA members are exempted from biometrics fees.

You must then mail your complete application to USCIS. You can find the mailing address on the USCIS website. It is recommended that you send your application with tracking. 

  • Q11: Can I apply for a work permit for my child?

Yes, you can apply for a work permit for your child if they are included in your pending asylum application or have their own pending asylum application, regardless of how young they are.

The government allows any children of CASA members who are 21 or younger to submit proof of their parent’s membership along with evidence establishing a parent-child relationship, such as a copy of the child’s birth certificate.

  • Q12: Can CASA help me fill out my I -765 application?

Unfortunately, CASA does not have the capacity to assist with new I-765 applications at this time.

CASA can provide you with a list of referrals in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia area.

You can find non-profit organizations in your area by entering your zip code in this online directory. You can also access a directory of private attorneys.

If you cannot find an attorney or organization to help you, you can complete and submit the form on your own by carefully following the instructions available on the USCIS website. 

COMMON ISSUES 

  • Q13: I am a CASA member but I have not received my membership verification letter. What can I do?

Please contact CASA’s director of membership, at mgutierrez@wearecasa.org

  • Q14: I have applied for my work permit but a long time has passed and I still have not received it. What can I do? 

We are so sorry your work permit application has not been processed. Please know we are doing everything we can to force the government to process work permit applications in 30 days for CASA members as part of the CASA de Maryland lawsuit. 

If you are an CASA member you also have rights under a court decision called Rosario to have your initial work permit application processed in 30 days.  CASA is not directly involved in the Rosario lawsuit, but we want you to have this information so you know what other possible steps you could take.

If you have NOT received a receipt number for your I-765 application:

Write directly to lockboxsupport@uscis.dhs.gov with the following information: 

  1. a) Use the subject line “CASA/ASAP/Rosario.” 
  2. b) Include your A-Number c) Include any tracking number you may have for the application (from USPS, FedEx, DHL, or UPS). 

If you have received an I-765 receipt and your application has been pending for 25 days or more, you can use the two steps described below to flag your application.

Step 1: Contact USCIS by phone or through their website. 

By Phone: Call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283. When the automated machine asks “How can I help you?”, loudly say ‘Rosario’ or ‘Infopass’ to reach a representative. Once you reach a representative, let them know you are a member of CASA and a member of the Rosario class. Ask for a service request number. Sometimes USCIS representatives will not want to give you a service request number, but you should keep insisting. 

You will need to provide the following information: (a) your I-765 receipt number (b) your A-Number (c) the “received date” on your Form I-765 receipt notice (Form I-797, Notice of Action). Write your service request number down and save it. 

Online: If you prefer, you can contact USCIS online. Visit https://www.uscis.gov/. A bar saying “Ask Emma” should appear at the bottom right side of the page. Click on “Ask Emma.” Once the chat function opens, type “live chat.” When you are asked what topic of information you are looking for, click “Case Status.” Then click “Connect to Live Chat.” Enter your receipt number. Once you reach a representative, let them know you are a member of CASA and a member of the Rosario class, and ask for a service request number. Write your service request number down and save it. 

Step 2: Email the Texas Service Center 

8 business days after you call the Contact Center, if your application has still not been processed, you must email the Texas Service Center (TSC) Class Action email box at tsc.classaction@uscis.dhs.gov. The email must include this information: Subject line: “Rosario Class Action” Send email to: tsc.classaction@uscis.dhs.gov AND copy asylumEAD@nwirp.org In the body of the email include: (a) your name; (b) your service request number; (c) the date you call the USCIS Contact Center; (d) your I-765 receipt number; (e) the date on your Form I-765 receipt notice (Form I-797, Notice of Action); (f) that you are an CASA member.