Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Political opinion

If you are eligible for asylum you may be permitted to remain in the United States. Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, must be filed within one year of your arrival to the United States( there are exceptions). There is no Immigration application fee to apply for asylum.You may include your spouse and children who are in the United States on your application at the time you file or at any time until a final decision is made on your case. To include your child on your application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried.

You cannot apply for permission to work (employment authorization) in the United States at the same time you apply for asylum.

You may apply for employment 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

If you are granted asylum you may be employed immediately. Some asylees choose to obtain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for their convenience or identification purposes, but an EAD is not necessary to work if you are an asylee.

If you are granted asylum you may petition to bring your spouse and children to the United States by filing a Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition. 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. There is no Immigration application fee to file this petition.

You may apply for a Lawful Permanent Resident Status/Green Card one year after being granted asylum. To apply for a green card, you must file the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status. You must submit a separate application packet for yourself and, if applicable, for each family member who received derivative asylum based on your asylum application.


Individuals Seeking Asylum
If you are in expedited removal proceedings and found to have a credible fear of persecution or torture, you may seek asylum before an Immigration Judge (IJ). If the asylum officer does not find that you have a credible fear of persecution or torture, you may request that an IJ review that determination. If you do not request review by the IJ or the IJ agrees with the determination, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may remove you from the United States.

Asylum officers conduct interviews when you are subject to expedited removal and you advise Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as follows:

  • You wish to apply for asylum
  • You fear persecution or torture
  • You fear returning to your country

If you say you fear return, CBP detains you and provides you information about the credible fear process.

After you are detained, you will be given:

  • An orientation to the credible fear process
  • At least 48 hours after your arrival at the detention site before taking part in the interview
  • The opportunity to waive the waiting period.