to Obtain Asylum Relief in the United States Asylum
thousands of people come to the United States in need
of protection because they have been persecuted or
fear they will be persecuted on account of their race,
religion, nationality, membership in a particular
social group, or political opinion.
eligible for asylum are permitted to remain in the
United States and are eligible to seek
lawful permanent residence (green card) after
The U.S. Asylum
Program provides protection to qualified refugees
who are already in the United States or are seeking
entry into the United States at a port of entry. Asylum-seekers
may apply for asylum in the United States regardless
of their countries of origin as long as they have
credible fear of persecution .
no quotas on the number of individuals who may be
granted asylum each year (with the exception of individuals
whose claims are based solely on persecution for resistance
to coercive population control measures)and the applicant's
family may also gain benefits. Click
here to read a list of frequently asked questions
about asylum in the United States.
Key Differences Between
“Affirmative” and “Defensive”
AFFIRMATIVE ASYLUM PROCESS
has not been placed in removal proceedings.
affirmatively submits his or her asylum application
to a USCIS Service Center.
appears before a USCIS Asylum Officer.
DEFENSIVE ASYLUM PROCESS
Asylum-seeker has been
placed in removal proceedings in Immigration Court.
Asylum-seeker appears before
an Immigration Judge with the Executive Office for
Is referred by an Asylum
Is placed in removal proceedings
for Immigration law violations, or
Tried to enter the US at
a port-of-entry without proper documents and
was found to have a credible fear of persecution
Adversarial court hearing
Ineligibility to Apply for
is ineligible to apply for asylum under section
208(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
if he or she:
Failed to file an asylum
application (Form I-589) within one year of
his or her last arrival in the United States
or April 1, 1997, whichever is later.
to the 1-year filing deadline: The applicant demonstrates
either the existence of
changed circumstances which materially affect
the applicant’s eligibility for asylum or
extraordinary circumstances relating to the
delay in filing. The applicant needs to have filed
the application within a reasonable time given
Previously applied for asylum
and was denied by an Immigration Judge or the
Board of Immigration Appeals
EXCEPTION: Exception to Previous Denials
of Asylum: The applicant establishes the existence
of changed circumstances which materially affect
his or her eligibility for asylum.
Can be removed to a safe
third country pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral
EXCEPTION: USCIS published regulations implementing
a bilateral agreement between the United States
and Canada on November 29, 2004. Unless asylum-seekers
arriving at a U.S./Canada land border port of
entry or transiting through the United States
while being removed from Canada fall within an
exception to the agreement, they will be returned
to Canada and seek protection there.