• Who is Eligible to Apply for Asylum?

    Q. 1. Who is Eligible to Apply for Asylum?

    A. Asylum may be granted to people who are arriving in or already physically present in the United States regardless of whether you are in the United States legally or illegally. You must apply for asylum within one year of your last arrival in the United States. However, you may apply for asylum later than one year if there are changed circumstances that materially affect your eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances directly related to your failure to file within one year. These may include certain changes in the conditions in your country, certain changes in your own circumstances, and certain other events. You must apply for asylum within a reasonable time given those circumstances. You will be barred from applying for asylum if you previously applied for asylum and were denied by an Immigration Judge or by the Board of Immigration Appeals, unless you demonstrate that there are changed circumstances which materially affect your eligibility for asylum. You will also be barred if you could be removed to a safe third country pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement.

  • What is a Credible Fear of Persecution for Asylum Purposes?

    Q. 2. What is a Credible Fear of Persecution for Asylum Purposes?

    A. A credible fear of persecution is a “significant possibility” that you have been persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion if returned to your country. A well-founded fear of prosecution has subjective and objective components. The objective component is satisfied if there is as little as 10% chance of future persecution..

  • What Will Happen if the Asylum Officer Finds I Have a Credible Fear of Persecution?

    Q. 3. What Will Happen if the Asylum Officer Finds I Have a Credible Fear of Persecution?

    A. If the asylum officer finds you have a credible fear of persecution or torture, the asylum officer will either grant your asylum application or refer your case to an Immigration Judge for a full hearing on your claim.

  • What Will Happen if the Asylum Officer Does Not Find a Credible Fear of Persecution?

    Q. 4. What Will Happen if the Asylum Officer Does Not Find a Credible Fear of Persecution?

    A. If the Asylum Officer finds you do not have a credible fear of persecution or torture, you can request review by an Immigration Judge (IJ). If you do not request a review of the determination, Immigration and Customs Enforcement may remove you from the United States.

  • What will happen before the Immigration Judge?

    Q. 5. What will happen before the Immigration Judge?

    A. The burden of proof is on you to establish that you are eligible for asylum or other protection in the United States. The Immigration Judge will consider whether you are barred from a grant of asylum. If a bar applies, but you established that you would be tortured in the country of return, the Immigration Judge will grant a deferral of removal.

  • Can I Apply For Asylum Even If I Was Convicted of a Crime?

    Q. 6. Can I Apply For Asylum Even If I Was Convicted of a Crime?

    A. Yes, you may apply. However, you may be barred from being granted asylum depending on the crime. You must disclose any criminal history on your Application for Asylum and at your asylum interview. Failure to disclose such information may result in your asylum claim being referred to the Immigration Court and possible fines or imprisonment for committing perjury.

    You may not be granted asylum if:

    • You have persecuted others on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion

    • You have been convicted of a particularly serious crime

    • There are serious reasons for believing you committed a serious nonpolitical crime outside the United States

    • You have engaged in terrorist activity, are likely to engage in terrorist activity, have incited terrorist activity, or are a member or representative of a terrorist organization

    • You were firmly resettled in another country

    • There are reasonable grounds to believe that you are a danger to the security of the United States

  • Can I still apply For Asylum even if I am illegally in the United States?

    Q. 7. Can I still apply For Asylum even if I am illegally in the United States?

    A. Yes, you may apply for asylum even if you are here illegally. You may apply for asylum regardless of your immigration status as long as you file your application within one year of your last arrival. You may apply for asylum later than one year if there are changed circumstances that materially affect your eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances directly related to your failure to file within one year. These may include certain changes in the conditions in your country, certain changes in your own circumstances, and certain other events. You must apply for asylum within a reasonable time given those circumstances.

  • If I am Granted Asylum Will My Spouse and Children Be Granted Asylum?

    Q. 8. If I am Granted Asylum Will My Spouse and Children Be Granted Asylum?

    A. Yes, you may ask to have included in your asylum decision your spouse and any children who are under the age of 21 and unmarried, if they are in the United States. This means that, if you are granted asylum, they will also be granted asylum status and will be allowed to remain in the United States incident to your asylum status. However, if you are referred to the Immigration Court, they will also be referred to the court for removal proceedings. Children who are married and children who are 21 years of age or older at the time you file your asylum application must file separately for asylum by submitting their own asylum applications. Once you are granted asylum, you may petition to bring your spouse and children (unmarried and under the age of 21 as of the date you filed the asylum application, as long as your asylum application was pending on or after August 6, 2002) to the United States or to allow those already here, who were not included in your asylum decision, to remain incident to your asylum status.

  • What Will Be My Status After I Am Granted Asylum?

    Q. 9. What Will Be My Status After I Am Granted Asylum?

    A. You will have asylee status. You will receive an I-94 Arrival and Departure record documenting that you are able to remain indefinitely in the United States as an asylee. You will be authorized to work in the United States for as long as you remain in asylee status. You may obtain a photo-identity document from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services evidencing your employment authorization by applying for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). You will also be able to request derivative asylum status for any spouse or child (unmarried and under 21 years of age as of the date you filed the asylum application, as long as your asylum application was pending on or after August 6, 2002) who was not included as a dependent in your asylum decision and with whom you have a qualifying relationship. This means that you will be able to petition to bring your spouse and/or children to the United States, or allow them to remain in the United States indefinitely incident to your asylee status.

  • Can I Travel Outside the United States as an Asylee?

    Q. 10. Can I Travel Outside the United States as an Asylee?

    A. You must receive advance permission before you leave the United States in order to return to the United States. This advance permission is called Advance Parole. After your application for asylum is approved, you may apply for a Refugee Travel Document. This document will allow you to travel abroad and return to the United States. If you do not apply for Advance Parole before you leave the country, you will be presumed to have abandoned your application with USCIS and you may not be permitted to return to the United States. If you obtain advance parole and return to your country of feared persecution, you will be presumed to have abandoned your asylum request, unless you can show compelling reasons for the return. .

 

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