According to Immigration Law, Asylum is the legal protection afforded by the United States government to a person who can demonstrate a “well-founded fear of persecution” based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Those who can demonstrate a credible fear of returning to their home country due to past persecution based on any of the five protected grounds may receive status in the United States. However, status is never guaranteed.  Therefore, there is a process a person must do to gain asylum by the United States government such as seeing if the person is eligible, what to do if the person case is not approved, how to apply for a green card if the person is approved, and what will happen when the person apply for asylum.


Affirmative Asylum – Form I-589

If the person is eligible for asylum, he or she may be permitted to remain in the United States. To apply for Asylum, file a Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, within one year of their arrival to the United States. There is no fee to apply for asylum.  To obtain asylum through the affirmative asylum process, the person must be physically present in the United States.  The person may apply for asylum status regardless of how he or she arrived in the United States or their current immigration status. The person must apply for asylum within one year of the date of their last arrival in the United States, unless he or she can show the following: changed circumstances that materially affect the person’s eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances relating to the delay in filing or that the person have filed within a reasonable amount of time given those circumstances. The person may apply for affirmative asylum by submitting Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, to USCIS.


Notice to Appear – Form I-862

If the person case is not approved and he or she does not have a legal immigration status,  a Form I-862 will be issued, Notice to Appear, and forward (or refer) his or her case to an Immigration Judge at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). The Immigration Judge conducts a ‘de novo’ hearing of the case. This means that the judge conducts a new hearing and issues a decision that is independent of the decision made by USCIS. If Immigration Judge does not have jurisdiction over the person’s case, the Asylum Office will issue an I-863, Notice of Referral to Immigration Judge, for an asylum-only hearing.


Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition – Form I-730

If the person is granted asylum, he or she may petition to bring their spouse and children to the United States by filing a Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition. To include the person’s child on their application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried. The person must file the petition within two years of being granted asylum unless there are humanitarian reasons to excuse this deadline. There is no fee to file this petition.


Applying For a Green Card – Form I-485

The person may apply for a green card one year after being granted asylum. To apply for a green card, file a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status. The person must submit a separate I-485 application packet for himself or herself as well as for each family member who received derivative asylum based on their case. Affirmative asylum applicants are rarely detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The person may live in the United States while their application is pending before USCIS. If the person is found ineligible, he or she can remain in the United States while their application is pending with the Immigration Judge. Most asylum applicants are not authorized to work.


Arrival Departure Record – Form I-94

When the person applies for asylum, he or she will receive one of the following decisions: Grant of Asylum, Referral to an Immigration Court, Recommended Approval, Notice of Intent to Deny, or Final Denial.  Grant of Asylum, if it is determined that the person is eligible for asylum, he or she will receive a letter and completed Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record, indicating that the person has been granted asylum in the United States.

If the person’s asylum application is unable to be approve and the person is in the United States illegally, the person’s asylum case will be forwarded to the Immigration Court.  The Immigration Judge will evaluate the person’s asylum claim independently and is not required to rely on or follow the decision made by USCIS.


Application for Employment Authorization – Form I-765

The person will be issued a recommended approval when he or she is eligible for asylum, but he or she has not received the results of required security checks. A recommended approval includes their spouse and children, provided that: when a recommended approval has been issued due to pending security checks, the person and their family members may apply for permission to work in the United States by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. The person may receive a notice of intent to deny (NOID) if he or she has valid legal status in the United States but is found ineligible for asylum. The NOID will state the reason(s) that the person is ineligible for asylum. The person will have 16 days to explain in writing either why the claim should be granted or submit new evidence to support the claim, or both.

The person will receive a notice of intent to deny (NOID) and a final denial letter if: the person does not respond to the NOID within 16 days, or the person submitted a response but the new information failed to overcome the reasons for denial stated in the NOID. The person cannot appeal the asylum officer’s decision. The denial includes any dependents included on their asylum application. If the person’s claim is denied, he or she may reapply for asylum however, the person must show changed circumstances that affect their eligibility for asylum. I am a U. S. citizen and live in Silver City, Mississippi.