Current information on whether asylum seekers from Sudan have a special status while their claim is processed, on how long their claims would take to be resolved, and on the number of Sudanese asylum seekers who have been accepted, rejected or deported [USA21212.E]

The information provided in this Response adds to the information on asylum and asylum procedures in the United States contained in previous Responses, available through the Refinfo database and at Regional Documentation Centres.

The attached articles outline or refer to the new asylum procedures in place in the United States since early 1995. The attached section from the World Refugee Survey 1995, which also describes asylum procedures and policies in the United States, states that the number of Sudanese asylum seekers is low while their acceptance rate is high in comparison with asylum seekers from some other countries, although exact figures are not given (1995, 187). The source describes the new asylum procedures on page 188.

An asylum officer at the Asylum Office of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service in Arlington, Virginia, provided the information that follows during a telephone interview (10 July 1995).

Sudanese asylum seekers at present do not have a special status, such as the Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure Status that has been granted previously to asylum seekers from certain countries.

The exact amount of time that an asylum request might take to process depends on the case and office. An asylum request filed after the system was reformed in January 1995 takes, on average, 150 to 180 days from filing to conclusion. Some offices, such as the Asylum Office in Arlington, normally complete their review of a case within 60 days. Cases initiated before January 1995 may have been pending for a long time, perhaps years, but once they are scheduled for interviewing and review, the case will be concluded within 60 days.

Current statistics on the number of Sudanese claimants accepted, rejected or deported could not be found among the sources currently available among the sources consulted by the DIRB.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below a list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Asylum Office, Arlington, Virginia. 10 July 1995. Telephone interview with asylum officer.

World Refugee Survey 1995. 1995. Washington, DC: United States Committee for Refugees.


Clinton, William J. 3 May 1995. "To The Congress of the United States." Washington, DC: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary. (WEB)

India Abroad [New Delhi]. 12 May 1995. Allen E. Kaye. "INS Streamlines Asylum Procedures," p. 27.

The Salt Lake Tribune. 14 February 1995. Shawn Foster. "Refugees Find Fresh Start at Job Corps; Sudanese War Survivors Learn English, Skills at Center in Clearfield." (NEXIS)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 15 March 1995. "Public Information Fact Sheet: United States of America." (WEB)

World Refugee Survey 1995. 1995. Washington, DC: United States Committee for Refugees, pp. 187-90.

Additional Sources Consulted

Material from the Indexed Media Review (IMR) or country files containing articles and reports from diverse sources (primarily dailies and periodicals) from the Weekly Media Review.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Reports. Daily.

Newspapers and periodicals pertaining to the appropriate region.

On-line services.

IRB, INS and UNHCR databases.


This list is not exhaustive. Country-specific books available in the Resource Centre are not included.