Asylum allows people who have experienced hardship and persecution in their home countries to seek protection in the United States.
It can be complex to apply for asylum status. Therefore, people seeking protection should understand the benefits of asylum, eligibility and the application process.
How asylum works
Asylum status helps people escape oppression and harm by enabling them to reside in the United States legally. Asylees can acquire social security cards and work authorization. People who face persecution based on race, religion or nationality can pursue asylum in this country. Furthermore, asylum can protect people who are at risk due to their political opinions or group affiliations. People can also apply for asylum to avoid future persecution upon returning to their home countries. Additionally, undocumented individuals are able to apply for asylum status and remain in the United States.
How to apply
A person interested in obtaining asylum status should file the appropriate application form and relevant documents within a year of arriving in the United States. Individuals seeking asylum also must undergo a thorough security check by the government. Then, the asylum seeker needs to complete an interview with the USCIS asylum office. In some cases, people seek asylum because they are facing deportation. These defensive asylum seekers must attend a hearing before a judge in an immigration court. If someone seeking asylum does not obtain protected status, there are opportunities to appeal the decision.
Applying for asylum can be challenging but important for people who face the threat of persecution in their countries of origin. Asylum status helps people live and work safely in the United States.