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The legal term “Nunc Pro Tunc” refers in Immigration Law to an application or petition that requests the Department of Homeland Security to approve a petition now with effect in the past. Literally, the Latin expression means “Now for Then”.

When a derivative asylee or refugee does no longer qualify for the derivative status because the relationship does not exist anymore, they may find themselves without status and unable to apply for a Green Card. This can be the case of a spouse derivative asylee who is no longer married to the principal or a child who has turned 21 and does no longer meet the definition of child for immigration purposes.

Divorce to the principal asylum applicant while the asylum application is pending y result in the loss of the derivative eligibility for asylum. This is true even if the divorce takes place after the approval of asylum but before adjustment of status to that of a permanent resident.

To avoid having derivative asylee/refugee finding themselves in difficult situations, USCIS will allow a derivative to apply for Nunc Pro Tunc Asylum. The Asylum should be granted without any issues if certain criteria are met (e.g. the principal and derivative are from the same country, there are no indications of fraud on the original application, etc.).

If the Nunc Pro Tunc Asylum is approved, USCIS will approve the derivative asylee/refugee as a principal asylee and date that approval back to the date they were granted derivative status. Allowing the applicant to adjust status with no problems.

This article is for general information purposes only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.


The Nunc Pro Tunc Asylum application can be a very complex application as it requires specific criteria to be met. One should always consult an immigration attorney before proceeding.


By Attorney Monique Ndaya Mutombo. Schedule a consultation today.



This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship

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