Asylum in the United States
People come to the United States for many reasons: jobs, family, etc. Sometimes, people flee their home countries because they are afraid to return to their native nation. The United States protects individuals who fear persecution in their home countries because of:
- Social Membership
- Political Opinion
There are two ways to procure asylum in the United States: through affirmative process and defensive process. According to U.S. law, you may apply for asylum status no matter how you came to the United States. Your current immigration status has no bearing on your ability to apply. Every year, people come to the United State seeking asylum status because they need protection or have suffered persecution in their home country. To apply, file For I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
When you apply for asylum status, you may include your spouse and children on the application. You may add them to your application at any time before a final decision has been made about your asylum status application. According to the USCIS, your children may only be included on your application if they are under the age of 21 and unmarried. Married children or children over the age of 21 may not be included on your application.
Working in the United States Under Asylum Status
The USCIS does not allow you to apply for permission to work in the United States at the same time that you apply for asylum. You may only apply to work in the United States once 150 days have passes since you filed your application. If no decision has been made about your application for asylum but you want to apply for permission to work in the United States, file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with the USCIS. There is no fee attached to your first EAD application.
Can I Bring My Family to the United States?
Once you are granted asylum status in the U.S, you may file a petition to bring your spouse and children to America with you. To petition, file Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition. Your children can only be included in this petition if they are less than 21 years old and unmarried. You are granted two years to file this petition after the USCIS grants you asylum status. Under certain circumstances, such as humanitarian reasons, you may be allowed an extension on this deadline.
Obtaining a Green Card
After you have obtained asylum in the United States, you must wait one year before applying for a green card. Once you are ready to file for a green card, file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residents or to Adjust Status. Each member of your family must submit a separate green card application. Unlike an asylum application, you may not include your spouse and children on your green card application. For more information about immigration law, asylum, and obtaining your green card, contact Prizant Law PC. We are ready to help you get the legal assistance you need.