Asylyum Protected Status
 

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 is 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.

Eligibility

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.

Adjustment to Permanent Residency

No limits are set on the number of individuals who may be granted asylum in the United States. Those who are granted asylum should stay at least for one year before they apply for permanent status.

The application has to be filed in Form I-485 along with prescribed fee, fingerprint fee, 2 photos and a score of other documents. It is very essential to meet the appointment schedule as otherwise the applicant faces the risk of immediate deportation.

Traveling outside the United States

People, who are applying for asylum and want to travel outside the United States, must receive advance permission before they leave US in order to return to the United States. This is called Advance Parole. Without obtaining Advance Parole, such applicants may not be permitted to return to the US. If the application for asylum is granted, one can apply for a Refugee Travel Document, which allows traveling out and coming back to US.

Work Permit

Asylum applicants cannot apply for employment authorization at the same time they apply for asylum. Rather, one should wait 150 days after the USCIS receives a complete application before he can apply for employment authorization. The USCIS has 30 days to either grant or deny your request for employment.

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