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Immigrant Visas: Asylum

Immigrant Visas: Asylum

Persons who are likely to suffer, or has suffered, persecution in their home country are eligible for asylum. You must be ready to demonstrate a “well-founded” fear of persecution, which includes presenting documents, if you have them, which may support your claim of persecution. In some instances, your testimony may be enough if it is believable. You cannot have been offered permanent resettlement in another country. Further, you must make the application within a year of your arrival to the United States; even if you do not, you are eligible only for “Withholding of Removal” and relief under the Convention against Torture, but the standard of proof is much higher compared to asylum. See, Our Cases, for the types of claims we have brought. Your spouse and children under the age of 21 years qualify as accompanying relatives and may apply for asylum with you.

You must file form I-589 with the USCIS which does not currently require a filing fee. You will also be able to apply for work authorization, but only after the asylum application has either been granted or been pending for five (5) months. If you are granted asylum, you may apply for Legal Permanent Residency after one year after the asylum status is granted. However, the Legal Permanent Residency applications for asylees are subject to a quota of 10,000 per year. This may lead to a delay of several years before Legal Permanent Residency status is actually granted.