Asylum and Refugee Status in the United States

If you fear that by returning to your home country or last country of residence you will be subject to persecution or severe penalties due to race, membership in a social group, religion, nationality, ethnicity, or political opinions, you may be eligible to apply for asylum or refugee status in the United States. Refugee or asylum status allows you to remain in the United States in order to avoid unfair or unreasonable persecution abroad. You can apply for asylum in the United States at any port of entry, such as a border crossing, airport, or sea port.

You do not have to be legally in the United States to apply for refugee status but you must apply within one year of entering the United States. This means that even if you have entered the country illegally or remain in the country illegally, you can still apply for asylum or refugee status, without fear of deportation or persecution, as long as you apply using the correct USCIS refugee form within one year of arriving in the US.

In order to apply for political asylum in the United States, you will usually need to complete form I-589 (Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal). Officials will review your application and determine whether you fit the definition of a refugee and whether you face considerable persecution for unfair reasons upon return to your home country. While your asylum application or refugee application is being considered, you will generally be allowed to remain in the United States. Your refugee immigration status, if granted, will prevent you from being deported and will allow you to enjoy life in the United States while avoiding bias, prejudice, and persecution. To determine whether you qualify, officials will review your application and you may also be subject to an asylum interview in order to help assess your asylum claim.

There are many refugee centers and refugee resources available for people who are completing an asylum application. These resources are available in most cities and can help you fill out your application and can help you adjust to life in the United States while you wait for your asylum application to be considered. Many immigration attorneys know where to find refugee and asylum resources. An immigration attorney or lawyer can also help you fill out your refugee application and can help you through the refugee process.

The USA asylum provision and regulations are designed to help ensure that people who are currently in the US do not face undue punishment abroad. However, the application process for a US refugee can be complex. It can be hard to prove, for example, that you will face undue punishment for unfair reasons upon return to your country. It is very helpful, for this reason, to work with refugee centers, immigration attorneys, and refugee resources to help gather evidence to support your refugee claim.