Asylum or Refugee Immigration

What is Asylum?

Asylum is a form of protection that allows individuals who are in the United States to remain here, provided that they meet the definition of a refugee and are not barred from either applying for or being granted asylum, and eventually to adjust their status to lawful permanent resident.

Asylum may be granted to a refugee who is already in the United States and ise unable or unwilling to return his or her home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, and nationality, membership in a particular social group or political pinion. If a person is granted asylum, he may be allowed to live and work in the United States. He will also be able to apply for permanent resident status one year after he is granted asylum.

A refugee is defined as a person outside of his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to.One can apply for asylum regardless of immigration status, which means, even if he is illegally in the United States.


To be eligible for asylum in the United States, one must
  • ask for asylum at a port-of-entry or
  • file an application within one year of arrival in the US,
  • One can ask later than one year if conditions if one's country have changed or if personal circumstances of someone have changed within the past year prior to his asking for asylum and those changes have affected his eligibility for asylum
  • In extra-ordinary circumstances which prevented to apply for asylum within the stipulated one year.

Spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 who are with the applicant at the refugee interview will be given refugee status. Otherwise, they have to file a Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition separately for each of the family members.

Application and Interview

The eligibility will be based on information one provides on his application and during an interview with an Asylum Officer or immigration Judge.
The steps that refugee applicants follow before their eligibility interviews with USCIS officers vary
  • Many applicants are referred to the United States Refugee Program (USRP) for resettlement consideration by officials of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
  • A smaller number are referred by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
  • Other applicants are eligible to apply for the USRP directly because they are of nationalities designated as being of special humanitarian concern and in processing priorities eligible for resettlement consideration.

Non-governmental processing agencies carry out most part of the preparation case-work for USCIS interviews. These agencies

  • Interview applicants;
  • Help prepare the applications for the USCIS, and
  • Arrange medical examinations.

A personal interview is held by an USCIS officer and such interviews are designed to elicit information about the applicant's claim for refugee status.

Such of those applicants who are found eligible for refugee status must satisfy medical and security criteria and must be assigned to a sponsor assurance. If the refugee is unable to finance his or her transportation costs, he may be eligible for a travel loan, whereby s/he must agree to repay the cost of the airfare.

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Announcement Of Higher Fines For Immigration Violations
On Friday, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey Announced Higher Civil Fines Against Employers Who Violate Federal Immigration Laws. The Announcement Was Made In A Joint Briefing Today With Secretary Of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff About Newly Enacted Border Security Reforms Put In Place By The Departments Of Justice And Homeland Security. Under The New Rule, Which Was Approved By Attorney General Mukasey And Secretary Chertoff, Civil Fines Will Increase By As Much As $5,000. The New Rule Will Take Effect On March 27, 2008, And Will Be Published In The Federal Register Early This Week.

Uscis Continues Suspension Of Premium Processing Service For Religious Workers
The U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services (Uscis) Announced Today That The Suspension Of Premium Processing Service For Religious Worker (R1) Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions Will Continue At Least Until January 7, 2009. A Previous Sixmonth Suspension Was Announced On January 4, 2008.

Passport Requirements For Air Travel
Starting January 23Rd, 2007, The Citizens Of The United States, Canada, Mexico, And Bermuda Will Be Now Required To Present A Passport To Enter The United States While Arriving By Air From Any Part Of The Western Hemisphere.

Uscis Modifies Application For Temporary Protected Status (Tds)
U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services (Uscis) Announced Today That It Has Revised The Application For Temporary Protected Status (Form I821). The Agency Is Publishing A Notice In Today's Federal Register To Inform The Public That The New Form Becomes Effective On June 27, 2008.

Need Advice. Please Reply!
Hi Everybody! My Question Is: I Am A Canadian Citizen. Me And My Husband (Usc) Got Married 2002. Applied For I-130 And Was Approved 2004. My Husband Is In The Us Army And Was Stationed In Germany (2003 To 2008) So We Moved There. We Came Back Here In The Us Jan. 2008 And At The Airport The Officer...

H-1B1, A Feasible Alternative To H-1B For Chileans And Singaporeans
On September 3, 2003, President George W. Bush Signed Into Law Free Trade Agreements (Ftas) With Singapore And Chile Which Then Created A New Class Of Non-Immigrant Work Visa For Singaporean And Chilean Citizens: The H-1B1. With The Limitations On The H-1B Visa Category, Particularly The 65,000 Cap On New H-1B Visas Each Fiscal Year, The H-1B1 Has Subsequently Become One Of The Feasible Alternatives To The H-1B Visa. In This Article We Will Explore The H-1B1 Visa, A Visa Category Available To Citizens Of Singapore And Chile.

Uscis Announces Relocation Of Arlington Office
The Washington District's Arlington Office Will Move To A New Location On Friday November 26, 2004. In Preparation For That Move, The Office Currently Located At 4420 North Fairfax Drive Will Close To The Public On Tuesday, November 23 And Will Remain Closed Through Monday, November 29.

Samenfink Heads Cbp&Cedil;S Modernization Office
U.S. Customs And Border Protection (Cbp) Has Announced The Appointment Of 26Year Cbp Veteran Louis Samenfink As Executive Director Of The Agency's Modernization Office.

I-797E Late
I Was Hoping That Someone On This Site Could Help Me With A Question. I Submitted The I 751 Paperwork For My Wife A While Back And A Few Weeks Ago We Recieved The I 797 E Request For More Evidence. The Date On The I797 E Action Letter Said The Paperwork Needed To Be Submitted By December 16....

Two New Bills Propose H-1B Hike
Though He Tried And Failed Last Year, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates&Rsquo; Plea For H1b Quota Hike Seems To Have Appealed To The Politicians In The Pre-Election Mode This Year. Two Bills Have Been Introduced, One By U.S. House Of Representatives Democrat On The Science And Technology Committee Which Gates Had Addressed And Another By A House Republican. Both Bills Propose To Raise The H1b Quota By 2008.

H1b Is A Visa Category That Allows Us Employers To Bring In Aliens With At Least A Bachelors Degree And Specialized Skills To Work In Special Occupations (Programmers, Scientists Etc). As Of Now, The H1b Cap Is At 65,000, And In Addition There Exists A H1b Masters Quota For Aliens With Advanced Degrees From U.S. Schools, Which Stands At 20000. So, Altogether 85,000 Visas.

The First Bill, The Innovation Employment Act, Proposes To Hike The Quota To 130,000 For 2008 And Take It Up To 180,000 If Necessary In The Preceding Year. Sponsored By Democrat Gabrielle Giffords (Az) The Bill Also Proposes Exemption For All Foreigners Who Has A Master's Or Doctorate From A U.S. University In Math, Science, Engineering, And Other Technology Fields. In Addition, Another 20,000 Visas Are Being Proposed For Foreigners Who Have Similar Degrees From Institutions Outside The United States.

The Second Bill Was Proposed By Lamar Smith, A Ranking Member Of House Judiciary Committee From Texas. The Bill, Called The Strengthening United States Technology And Innovation Now (Or Sustain) Act, Proposes To Raise The Visa Cap To 195,000.

Why The Hike?

Both Bills Follow Bill Gates&Rsquo; Plea, Which Is Echoed By Many Other Technology Companies, Which Pointed To A Visa Shortage Crisis. These Companies Argue That They Are Facing Severe Shortage Of Specialized Workers As There Aren&Rsquo;T Many Qualified Americans. Countering Some Of The Usual Criticism Faced By H1b, Gates Stated In His Addresses That By Hiring H-1B Workers Microsoft Is Actually Preventing Jobs From Being Moved Offshore And Also Creating More Jobs For American Programmers And Engineers&Rsquo; Junior Level.

The Demand For H1b Has Also Far Exceeded The Quota In The Last Few Years, Culminating In A Unprecedented 150,000 Applications Received By Uscis On The Very First Day In 2007.

Us Programmers Highly Critical Of Bill

The H-1B Program Has Always Received Lots Of Criticism From Americans Programmers, Who Believe That There Is No Actual Shortage Of Workers In Us And The Technology Companies Are Misusing The H1b Program To Hire Low Paid Workers. Us Workers Also Feel That The H1b Program Depress The Wages And Are Displacing Qualified Domestic Workers. With Us Facing Probable Recession And The Recent Job Cuts Are Also Lending Credentials To These Fears.

Additionally, As A Large Chunk Of H1bs Are Grabbed By The Indian Firms Lately, Many Us Workers Believe The Current H-1B Program Does Not Support U.S. Businesses. Microsoft And Intel Are The Two Us Based Companies That Largely Apply For H1bs.

New H-1B Bills Can Reform Current Program?

It Has Been Alleged That Many Consultancy Firms Are Acting As Recruitment Agencies, Hiring H-1B Workers And Them Allowing Them To Find Job With Other Foreign Companies.

The Innovation Employment Act, If Passed Will Put A Stop To This Practice. The Bill Proposes To Enforce That Clause That H1bs Workers Are Employed Directly By A Company I.E. H-1B Visa Holders Cannot Do Third Party Consulting.

In Addition, This Bill Also Proposes To Stop Employers From Bringing Foreign Workers Here To Just To Train And Then Sending Them Back To The Offshore Branches.
But Let&Rsquo;S Not Forget, These Bills Have Been Just Introduced And Not Even Passed The Committee Level. The H1b Application Start Date For 2008-2009 Is April 1St. It's Highly Unlikely That Either Bill Will Be Passed Before That.

&Cedil;Know Before You Go&Cedil; - Cbp Reminds Travelers Of Top10 Most Seized Items
The Cbp Baltimore Released The Top10 List Of Inadmissible Items To Provide Travelers A Sense Of The Prohibited Items That Cbp Officers Seize Most Often. The Director Of Cbp's Baltimore Field Operations Office, Mr. Michael Lovejoy Said, `Travelers Should Take Extraordinary Care To Learn As Much As They Can To Prepare For Their Foreign Destination, We'd Like Them To Exercise The Same Level Of Care To Prepare For Their Return Trip Home.'

Uscis Reaches H2b Cap For First Half Of Fiscal Year 2007
Uscis Has Announced That It Has Received A Sufficient Number Of Petitions To Reach The Congressionally Mandated H2b Cap For The First Six Months Of Fiscal Year 2007.

Advance Parole: A Condition Prerequisite For Travel Abroad
The U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Service (Uscis) Has Made It Mandatory For Applicants Undergoing Adjustment Of Status To Obtain Advance Parole Before Traveling Abroad.

Australia Tightens Up On Border Security
Australian Immigration News Australia Tightens Up On Border Security Australia Immigration Officials Has Introduced A New Visa For The 130,000 Foreign Shipping Crews On Boats That Travel To Australia Each Year. The Migration Amendment (Maritime Crew) Act 2007, Passed By The Australian Parliament On 10 May 2007, Introduces The New Maritime Crew Visa. This Now Brings Foreign [...]

Ins Officer Wrote In My Passport My A#...... I:485 Pending F16 245?
Any Ide What This Means?

Highlights Of Interim Final Rule On Opt Extension
Interim Final Rule On Opt Extension

Canada Work Permits For American And Mexican Professionals Extended To 3 Years

Citizenship, Immigration And Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney Recently Announced The Expansion Of The North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) Temporary Work Permit Program, Making It Easier For Canadian Employers To Hire And Retain These Foreign Workers.&Nbsp; Under The Nafta Program, Workers Will Now Be Granted Temporary Work Permits Of Three Years In Duration.&Nbsp; Previously, These Work Permits Had To Be Renewed Every Year.

Common H1b Errors Leading To Rejections And Denials
U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services (Uscis) Released A Statement Showing The Common Errors Leading To Petition Rejections Or Denials. This Is A List Of The Most Frequently Seen And Easily Cured Mistakes.

163,000 Apply For Fy 2009 H-1B Before Cap Closed
163,000 Apply For Fy 2009 H-1B Before Cap Closed

Tps Status For Sudan Extended By One Year
The Department Of Homeland Security (Dhs) Today Announced The Extension And Redesignation Of Sudan For Temporary Protected Status Until November 2, 2005. Nationals Of Sudan (Or Aliens Having No Nationality Who Last Habitually Resided In Sudan) Who Have Already Received Tps May Reregister For Tps Under The 12Month Extension.