If you are physically present in the United States and NOT detained, and are interested in applying for asylum, it is known as an affirmative asylum application.
If you are seeking asylum it is because you have suffered persecution or fear of persecution due to:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political Opinion
If you are eligible for asylum you may be permitted to stay in the United States within 1 year from your arrival into the United States. If your spouse and children are physically present in the United States with you at the time of the application, you may include them in the application. There is no filing fee for an asylum application.
You may file for a work authorization based on your asylum application if 150 days have passed since you filed your completed asylum application AND no decision has been made on your application. If you are granted asylum, you may work immediately.
After 1 year of being granted asylum, you may apply to be a permanent resident. You may obtain a Green Card.
To prepare for an asylum application, you will have to provide a written statement. This statement is called your declaration. In the declaration you will explain in detail the persecution or fear of persecution you have suffered.
After the application is submitted, USCIS will contact you for an interview. At the interview you must bring originals of all your documents. If you do not speak English, you will have to bring your own translator. It is advisable to bring your attorney with you.
After the interview, the asylum officer will adjudicate your case. The asylum officer will not reach a decision during the interview. A decision will be mailed to you a few weeks following the office interview.