HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ASYLUM PETITIONS IN THE U.S.
Asylum is a protection mechanism some nations offer to people who have left their home countries for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion.
In the United States you can apply for two types of asylum, affirmative or defensive. In both cases, the applicant’s eligibility will have to be determined by immigration authorities.
Asylum applicants will have to pass the “credible fear” test in front of the immigration authorities. This means they can demonstrate it would not be safe to go back to their home country due to a significant possibility of being harmed or persecuted.
If you want to seek asylum in the United States, contact our team of immigration specialists today.
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Available Asylum Processes In The United States
To apply for Affirmative Asylum, you need to be physically present in the United States. Regardless of how you entered the country or your current immigration status, you can apply if you meet the eligibility criteria.
Defensive Asylum can be requested by those individuals who are at risk of being removed from the United States. An immigrant can be placed in removal proceedings after being caught trying to enter the country illegally or due to immigration violations.
Benefits Of Requesting Asylum In The United States
Employment Authorization: once your asylum application has been filed and pending for 180 days you will be eligible to file for an employment authorization document (EAD), also known as a work permit. Once your asylum is granted you will automatically have authorization to work. Even so, you may choose to apply for an EAD for identification purposes. If your asylum application is denied your EAD will expire on the date printed on it. You may renew it if you have an immigration status that allows you to do so, for example, a parole or temporary protected status.
Including Your Family In Your Asylum Application: asylum applicants may include their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age in their application. If they are not present in the United States during the application and decision process, the main applicant can also petition for them within 2 years of the asylum being granted.
- Getting A Green Card After Being Granted Asylum: if your asylum application is approved you can apply for permanent residence (a.k.a. a Green Card) after 1 year. Any family members who were included in your application will also be eligible for a Green Card. Keep in mind the process will not be automatic, you will have to file applications for yourself and any derivative asylees from your case.
The Affirmative Asylum Process
Arrival in the US: To submit an application for any form of asylum, the applicant must be physically present in the US.
Apply: Within a year of your most recent entry in the country, submit Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, to USCIS.
Apply for a work permit: If your asylum case has been pending or at least 180 days you will be eligible for an Employment Authorization Document.
Interview Process: you will be questioned by an immigration officer to determine if you pass the credible fear test and the legitimacy of your case
Receive the decision: if your petition is denied, you may appeal and remain in the United States while doing so
You'll have responsibilities once you've
been awarded asylum.
- Travel permission: Special guidelines apply to asylees when they leave the country. If you plan on leaving the country, you must first obtain approval by acquiring a refugee travel document. Without it, the asylum status may be at risk.
- Change of address: You cannot change your address without letting the USCIS know. Within 10 days of your move, you must notify USCIS of your new location. There are different methods to do this, the USCIS page has the instructions.
F.A.Q About Asylum In The United States
The "credible fear test" must be passed to qualify for asylum in the U.S. You must provide evidence of actual or potential persecution in your home nation to do that. An immigration authority will interview you in addition to reviewing your file before making a choice.
If your asylum application is rejected, the matter will be brought before an immigration judge in the immigration court, who will hear your evidence and render an impartial judgment. You may still petition the BIA, U.S. Court of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court if your asylum application is turned down again
If you are granted asylum in the U.S. you will automatically have permission to work and will be able to apply for a Green Card after one year with your asylee status.
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