TAMPA, Florida—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will open a new asylum office in Tampa on Aug. 2, in response to an increasing asylum workload in Florida. The new office becomes the 11th asylum office in the country and the second in Florida, joining the existing Miami Asylum Office. The Tampa and Miami asylum offices will divide the state’s asylum workload.
Florida currently leads the country in asylum applications filed with USCIS, and more than a quarter of the national pending caseload is from Florida residents. The addition of the Tampa Asylum Office will help USCIS resolve urgent cases quickly and better address the large number of asylum applications pending with USCIS in the state.
USCIS has jurisdiction over the affirmative asylum process in which noncitizens in the United States may file Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, within one year of their arrival if they seek such protection. USCIS asylum officers interview applicants to determine if they are eligible.
The Tampa Asylum Office will adjudicate asylum claims filed by individuals residing in western and northern Florida as well as portions of central Florida. The Miami Asylum Office will continue to adjudicate asylum claims filed by individuals residing in south Florida and portions of central Florida. Asylum interviews are by appointment only, and appointment notices will direct all applicants to their designated office. USCIS began interviewing a small number of asylum applicants at the Tampa location in late June, but it officially opens on Aug. 2 to a larger workload.
The Tampa Asylum Office, located at 5524 West Cypress Street, Suite B, is temporary until the permanent, stand-alone facility near the Florida State Fairgrounds becomes operational. This opening is currently anticipated for spring 2022. The USCIS Tampa Field Office located at 5629 Hoover Boulevard remains unchanged, and USCIS continues to adjudicate Green Card and naturalization applications at that location