Asylum is an immigration benefit that allows certain foreign nationals who fear persecution to remain lawfully in the United States indefinitely, providing them protection from their country. People who are granted asylum may apply for lawful permanent residence (a green card) one year after being granted asylum. With some exceptions, an asylum application generally must be filed within one year of the applicant’s last entry into the U.S.
The application for asylum has a one-year filing deadline in which the individual seeking asylum must apply within one year of arriving to the United States, unless there is a valid exception as to why he or she applied late.
The exceptions to the asylum filing deadline fall under two categories – “changed circumstances” or “extraordinary circumstances.”
Examples of “changed circumstances” include, but are not limited to:
Examples of “extraordinary circumstances” include, but are not limited to:
The main difference between an individual seeking “asylum” and an individual seeking “refuge” is the location of the individual. A refugee can be present in any outside country – not of their nationality or past habitual residence – and apply for refuge in the U.S. An individual seeking asylum must be entering or already present in the U.S. in order to apply for and be granted asylum. Also, the asylum application must be submitted within one of arriving to the United States, unless changed or extraordinary circumstances prevent the individual from doing so. In the case of asylum, you may be barred if you could be removed to a safe “third country pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement” that is not the United States. You must meet the definition of a refugee in order to be eligible for asylum.
Both cases must prove unable or unwilling to return to their country of national or recent habitual residence due to persecution or a “well-founded fear” of persecution on account of:
An asylum seeker (in the United States) must prove that he or she has suffered “past-persecution” and/or has a “well-founded fear” of future persecution based on one or more of the five grounds mentioned above, and must be entering or present in the United States.
Once USCIS has received the completed application, you will receive two notices:
You must attend your fingerprinting appointment. If you are applying with your family, everyone must attend their own fingerprinting appointment.
Once that is done, the applicant(s) will be scheduled for an interview with an asylum officer.
After the interview is attended, the asylum officer will determine eligibility and the supervisory officer will review the decision.
A decision will usually be mailed to the applicant.
If the individual’s application for asylum is denied by the asylum office, the applicant will be referred to immigration court.
If an immigration judge also denies the plea for asylum, the case can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
If the case is also denied by the Board, an appeal can be made to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals – whichever circuit serves the region of the U.S. in which the applicant lives.
If the case is also denied by the U.S.C.C.A., a last appeal can be made to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Asylum applications are complex and should be handled by a highly experienced immigration attorney. If you or someone you care about is seeking asylum in the United States, please contact our experienced U.S. asylum lawyer at Mubarak Law in Orlando today. We have helped many clients in the past and will be happy to help you too. We offer a free phone consultation at (407) 502-3000. You may also fill out our online form located on this page and we will get back to you shortly. We have a 24-hour emergency service. Your privacy is very important to us and we will keep your information confidential.