What is asylum and who is eligible?

If you left your home country for your own safety and are afraid to return you may be eligible for asylum. Asylum is a form of legal protection provided by the United States government to individuals that have suffered persecution or have a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of one of the five protected grounds: religion, race, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The persecution that the U.S. government is willing to protect asylum seekers from must be either carried out by the government of a foreign country or a group that the government is unable or unwilling to control. Any individual regardless of their home country or their immigration status may be eligible for asylum. Minors can also apply for asylum. Even if an immigrant has entered the U.S. illegally, they are still eligible to apply for asylum and present their case.

Work authorization

You may apply for work authorization if: • 150 days have passed since you filed your complete asylum application, excluding any delays caused by you (such as a request to reschedule your interview) AND • No decision has been made on your application

Bringing Your Family to the United States

  • If you are granted asylum you may petition to bring your spouse and children to the United States. To include your child on your application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried.
  • You must file the petition within two years of being granted asylum unless there are humanitarian reasons to excuse this deadline.

Filing for Permanent Residence

You may apply for a green card one year after being granted asylum. The asylum process can be very complex and time consuming. It is essential to have an immigration attorney that is knowledgeable with asylum policies and procedures to handle your case. \