To be eligible for asylum you must have suffered persecution or have a well founded fear that you will suffer persecution in the future due to:

  • race

  • religion

  • nationality

  • particular social group

  • political opinions

A person can submit an asylum application either as an affirmative application or as a defense to removal. The asylum application must be submitted within one year of arrival. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Please contact our office for those exceptions. You are permitted to stay in the United States while your application is being processed.

The benefits of being granted asylum include:

  • You can apply for employment benefits after 150 days have passed since the filing of your application and no decision has been made on your application.

  • You can start working immediately once your asylum application is granted.

  • You can bring your children and spouse once your application is granted.

  • You and your family can apply for permanent residency a year after you are granted asylum.

Affirmative Application for Asylum

When you make an affirmative asylum application you must:

  • Be physically present in the United States

  • Submit an application for asylum within one year of arriving to the U.S. (There could be exceptions)

  • Attend a Biometric Services Appointment

  • Attend an asylum interview with a USCIS officer; or request the same before the Immigration Judge (Defensive Asylum – see below)

After your interview you will be notified if your application has been approved, denied, or referred to an immigration judge.

Defensive to Removal Application for Asylum 

A defensive application occurs when you request asylum as a defense against removal from the U.S. To submit this application you must:

  • Be in removal proceedings in immigration court.

During a defensive asylum case you will:

  • Appear before a judge in immigration court

  • If you have an attorney – Be represented by an attorney who will give arguments defending your case.

  • Hear arguments from the government by an Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) attorney.

The immigration judge can:

  • Grant Asylum

  • Decide that you are not eligible for asylum and order you removed.

  • If the court finds you ineligible you can appeal the decision.