Asylum and Refugee law lawyer

How Asylum Works

If you can prove that you were persecuted or that you fear persecution for one of the above reasons, you can apply for sanctuary or asylum in the United States. You can request asylum as soon as you enter the country, or anytime within a year of your arrival (or longer in some cases). The process involves preparing and filing an I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. There is no filing fee for this application, but you must provide sufficient evidence and documentation to prove your case for asylum. An immigration Attorney can help you prepare and submit your application with the best chance for success.

Even if you otherwise meet the criteria for asylum, you can still be turned down for a number of reasons, including:

  • Having assisted in Nazi persecution or engaged in genocide
  • Having persecuted another
  • Having been convicted of a serious crime and representing a danger to the U.S.
  • Are thought to have committed a serious non-political crime outside the U.S.
  • Representing a danger to the security of the U.S.

If you have previously been denied asylum, you may be able to reapply if you can show changed circumstances that would justify a new application.

Can I get permission to work?

Once you are granted asylum, you will be eligible to work immediately. You do not need to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), although you may want to get an EAD for convenience and identification purposes. You can also apply for employment authorization by filling an I-765 after 150 days have passed since you filed your application for asylum and no decision has been made yet. You cannot apply for permission to work at the same time that you apply for asylum.

Will I be able to bring my family with me?

Yes. You can include your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old on your application. You can do this at the time you file or any time until a final decision is made on whether to grant asylum.

If you did not bring your family with you initially, then once you have been granted asylum, you can petition to bring over your spouse and unmarried children under 21 through a Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition. In most cases, this petition must be filed within two years of the date you were granted asylum, although this deadline may be excused if you can demonstrate sufficient humanitarian reasons for the delay.

Can I get a Green Card?

Yes. One year after you were granted asylum, you can apply for lawful permanent residence by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status. If you brought your family here through the derivative asylum petition mentioned above, you will need to complete a separate I-485 application packet for each family member.

Get Effective Legal Representation with Your Asylum Application from an Experienced New York Immigration Lawyer

Depending upon your status when you apply for asylum, you may need to file your form at a USCIS Service Center, the Asylum Office, or have it adjudicated in Immigration Court. Each avenue has its own process and procedure for appealing a denial or dealing with other matters that arise. If it is determined that you are not eligible for asylum, you may still be able to apply for withholding of removal under other auspices, such as INA section 241(b)(3) or the Convention Against Torture. An experienced immigration attorney can analyze your situation, advise you on your options, and represent you throughout the process to help you achieve a successful outcome