In a brief but interesting decision, the Ninth Circuit reminded the agency of the proper standard for evaluating whether changed country conditions can justify the untimely submission of an asylum application.  Specifically, the Ninth Circuit stated that the applicant's subjective state of mind is not the only relevant factor in the analysis.  "Whether Enkhbold’s elevation from Mayor of Ulaan Bataar to Prime Minister of Mongolia was the real reason petitioners decided to file their asylum applications or just an 'after thought,' as the IJ concluded, has no role in the changed circumstances analysis.  The correct legal standard is whether changed country conditions materially affect the applicant’s eligibility for asylum.  This standard does not preclude an individual who has always feared persecution from seeking asylum because the risk of that persecution increases. . . . An applicant is not required to file for asylum when his claim appears to him to be weak; rather he may wait until circumstances change and the new facts make it substantially more likely that his claim will entitle him to relief. In such cases, we may recognize changed circumstances."  An excellent summary of what is sometimes a difficult issue to argue before the Immigration Judge - clients do not have to file for asylum the instant they have a fear of returning, but rather, can wait until events in their home country change and their asylum claims strengthen.

The full text of Tomsuren and Burentugs v. Lynch can be found here: