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In a world where conflicts, persecution, and human rights issues force people to seek safety, asylum is a crucial way for those in the United States to find refuge. Asylum is a form of immigration status for people who have come to the United States and are afraid to return to their country of origin. This article aims to demystify asylum application, providing a comprehensive guide for individuals navigating this crucial legal pathway.


Eligibility Criteria

People who cannot or are unwilling to return to their home country due to past persecution or a genuine fear of future persecution based on factors like race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion may qualify to apply for asylum in the United States. To do so, individuals seeking asylum can submit Form I-589 if they are currently in the U.S. or at a U.S. port of entry. It's important to note that the application must be filed within one year of arriving in the U.S. unless specific circumstances apply.

Moreover, applicants can typically include their spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old in the asylum application, or these family members may file their own separate applications if they meet eligibility criteria. Importantly, individuals can apply for asylum regardless of their current immigration status.


Who is eligible to apply for asylum?

  1. If you are currently within the United States or at the U.S. border.

  2. If it has been less than one year since you arrived in the United States. However, there may be special or extraordinary circumstances where individuals who have been in the U.S. for more than a year can still apply.

On the other hand, if you fear harm in your home country but are not currently in the United States, you might be eligible to apply for refugee status, a distinct process from asylum.


Ways of obtaining Asylum in the United States:

There are 3 ways of obtaining asylum in the United States:

  • The affirmative process.

  • Expedited process: An Asylum Merits Interview after a positive credible fear determination; or

  • The defensive process.


The length of the asylum process varies, ranging from a few months to a few years. However, asylum seekers are allowed to stay in the country while their application is pending, enabling them to pursue certain educational opportunities and apply for work permits.


What happens after asylum seekers are approved?

To seek asylum, you must be physically present in the U.S., and once your application is processed, it may be approved, denied, or referred to an immigration court for further review. If your case is referred to the immigration court, you will have the chance to present your case before an immigration judge.

Once asylum is granted, individuals, known as asylees, become eligible for various benefits and services through the HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement. This office collaborates with state governments, local resettlement agencies, and nonprofit organizations to offer job training, English language classes, and financial and medical assistance for up to twelve months. Asylees can also apply for additional benefits such as Social Security, gain employment authorization, request permission for overseas travel, and bring their spouse or family members into the country through a process known as derivative asylum.

After being in the United States for at least one year, asylees can apply to become lawful permanent residents, commonly referred to as green-card holders. However, until this status is achieved, their asylum can be revoked, especially if they no longer meet the refugee definition or pose a significant danger to the public.



The asylum process is complex and involves multiple federal agencies, the most prominent being DHS, the Department of State, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Navigating the intricacies of these processes is crucial for prospective applicants seeking to realize their American dream. At FIBI Law Center, we recognize the complexities involved and are committed to providing expert guidance through every step of the way.

By enlisting the services of our experienced immigration attorneys, you can substantially increase their chances of a successful outcome. Our track record includes numerous instances of successfully assisting clients in achieving their immigration goals.

We understand that each client's situation is unique, and we approach every case with personalized attention and dedication. Whether you are pursuing the Asylum application, or any other immigration path in the U.S our team is well-equipped to ensure a seamless process.

If you have any questions or require further clarification, feel free to contact us directly at:

•              Email:

•              Tel: 1(240) 366 0004 (Direct)

•              Tel: 1(240) 366 0005 Ext 1001.

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