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Immigration through Asylum

Law Offices of Yu & Associates


Who is Eligible to Apply for Asylum?

Asylum may be granted to people who are arriving in or already physically present in the United States. You may apply for asylum regardless of your immigration status, whether you are in the United States legally or illegally.

How Do I Apply for Asylum?

To apply for asylum in the United States, you may ask for asylum at a port-of-entry (airport, seaport, or border crossing), or file I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, at the appropriate Service Center within one year of your arrival in the United States.

Can I Still Apply For Asylum Even If I Am in the United States Illegally?

Yes, you may apply 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 or demonstrate that you are eligible for an exception to that rule based on changed circumstances or extraordinary circumstances, and that you filed for asylum within a reasonable amount of time given those circumstances.

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

Yes, you may apply. However, you may be barred from being granted asylum depending on the crime. You must disclose any criminal history. 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.

Can My Spouse and Children Benefit from My Asylum Application?

You must list your spouse and all your children on your Form I-589 regardless of their age, marital status, whether they are in the United States, or whether or not they are included in your application or filing a separate asylum application.

If your spouse and children are in the United States, they will also be granted asylum status and will be allowed to remain in the United States incident to your asylum status after you are granted asylum.

What Happens if My Child Turns 21 After My Asylum Application was Filed?

Under the Child Status Protection Act, your child will continue to be classified as a child if he or she turned 21 years of age after your asylum application was filed but while it was pending. Your child must have been unmarried and under 21 years of age on the date that you filed your I-589.

How Does The Asylum Officer or Immigration Judge Determine If I Am Eligible for Asylum?

The Asylum Officer or Immigration Judge will determine if you are eligible by evaluating whether you are someone who is unable or unwilling to return to and avail himself or herself of the protection of his or her home country or, if stateless, country of last habitual residence because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

The Asylum Officer or Immigration Judge will also consider whether any bars apply. You will be barred from being granted asylum if you:

  1. Ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion
  2. Were convicted of a particularly serious crime (includes aggravated felonies)
  3. Committed a serious nonpolitical crime outside the United States
  4. Pose a danger to the security of the United States
  5. Firmly resettled in another country prior to arriving in the United States

When Will I Need To Be Fingerprinted?

After the Service Center receives your completed Form I-589, the Service Center will send you a notice, if you are between 14 and 79 years of age, to go to an Application Support Center to have your fingerprints taken.

What Should I Bring With Me To The Asylum Interview?

You have the right to bring an attorney or representative. You must bring an interpreter if you are not fluent in English. If your spouse and/or children who were under 21 at the time you filed your application are included in your asylum application as dependents, they must also appear for the interview.

What If I Fail To Appear For My Asylum Interview?

If USCIS does not receive a written explanation for your failure to appear within 15 days after the date of the scheduled interview, your case will either be referred to the Immigration Court or your case will be administratively closed if you are still in valid status.

When Will I Be Notified About the Decision on My Asylum Claim?

In most cases, you will return to the asylum office where your interview was held two weeks after the interview to pick up your decision.

What Will Be My Status After I Am Granted Asylum?

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 USCIS 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.

Can I Apply for a Green Card if My Asylum Application is Approved?

Yes. You may apply for lawful permanent resident status after you have been physically present in the United States for a period of one year after the date you were granted asylum status.

How Can I Apply To Become a Lawful Permanent Resident?

You may apply for lawful permanent resident status by submitting the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, for yourself and each qualifying family member.

 

The above is intended as a general introduction and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion for your particular case. Please contact the Law Offices of Yu & Associates with any specific questions. Tel: (301) 838-8986, Email: syu@yulegal.com, Address: 110 N Washington St., Suite 328E, Rockville, MD 20850.



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