Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Political opinion

If you are eligible for asylum you can file with U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. If your case is approved, you will be permitted to remain in the United States. Your spouse and children who are in the United States, under the age of 21 and unmarried can be included on your application. They may be added to an existing application at any time before a final decision is made on your case.

Asylum in Immigration Court

If you have a fear of returning to your country based on race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion, and are in removal proceedings, you may submit an asylum application in the immigration court.

Permission to Work in the United States

After you file your application for asylum, you may apply for employment authorization if:

  • At least 150 days have passed since you filed your asylum application (excluding any delays caused by you)
  • No decision has been made on your application

There is no government filing fee to apply for your first EAD if you have a pending asylum application or if you have been granted asylum.

If you are granted asylum you may work immediately. You may apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for identification purposes, but it is not necessary.

Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions

If you are granted asylum you may file an Asylee Relative Petition for your spouse and children if they are not in the United States. To petition for children, they must be under the age of 21 and unmarried.

You must file the petition within two years of being granted asylum unless there are humanitarian reasons to excuse this deadline.

Filing for Permanent Residence (Green Card)

You may apply for a green card one year after being granted asylum by filing an application to adjust status. You must submit a separate application for yourself and for each family member who received asylum as a derivative on your application.