What is an Asylum?

Did you come to the U.S for protection or for fear that you may suffer persecution? This issue happen more than people think! Typical issues include race, religion, nationality membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. If you have suffered from any of these, you may be eligible to apply for Asylum for permission to stay in the U.S!

What does it allow? Need more information, click here. 

  1. Permission to work in the U.S
  2. Allowing permission for family in the U.S
  3. Filing for Permanent resident card

(Find detailed information, clicking here. )


How can I apply for Asylum in the United States?

According to USCIS, there are two way to do it, either through the affirmative process or the defensive process.


Affirmative Asylum

In order to do this, you must already be in the U.S, regardless of how you arrived into the U.S or resident status.


You must apply for asylum within one year of the date of their last arrival in the United States, unless you can show:

  • Changed circumstances that materially affect your eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances relating to the delay in filing
  • You filed within a reasonable amount of time given those circumstances.


What form do I need?

I-589, “Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.” Click here for form. 

What does this mean? 

Formally known as “Withholding of deportation,” this form is typically to withhold removal.

Who can apply?

  • If you are physically in the U.S
  • Not a U.S citizen

What is the process for an Affirmative Asylum?

USCIS says…

  1. Arrive in U.S
  2. Apply for the I-589 application
  3. Background Checks, Security checks, and finger printing
  4. Receive Interview notice
  5. Interview
  6. Wait for Asylum officer to approve/deny case
  7. Receive decision

Still confused? Read more here.

Be aware that if your case is not approved, you will be issued a Form I-862 to conduct a review and hearing by a judge (Executive Office for Immigration Review), instead of USCIS.

Defensive Asylum

“A defensive application for asylum occurs when you request asylum as a defense against removal from the U.S. For asylum processing to be defensive, you must be in removal proceedings in immigration court with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).” -USCIS

Also, is processed in two ways…

  1. Individuals were considered ineligible for the affirmative asylum process
  2. Individuals were placed in removal after being caught at entry of port or trying to enter the U.S without legal documentation.

Judge with then decide whether they are eligible for defensive asylum..


We strongly recommend you seek professional help to go through the process of applying for Asylum. Immigration attorney Sean Lewis has a vast experience in Asylum cases and will fight for you!




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