Asylum Application: A Guide to Asylum in the United States

Are you seeking protection in the United States due to a well-founded fear of persecution in your home country? Asylum may offer the protection you need.

What is Asylum?

Asylum is a legal status that offers protection to individuals who have fled their home countries to escape persecution. The persecution may be due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinions, or membership in a particular social group. It is important to note that asylum is different from refugee status, as refugees apply for protection while outside the United States, whereas asylum seekers request protection once they are inside the country.


To qualify for refuge in the United States, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. A Well-Founded Fear: You must substantiate that you have a legitimate apprehension of persecution in your home country. This apprehension should be rooted in your race, religion, nationality, political stance, or affiliation with a specific social group.
  2. The One-Year Filing Deadline: Typically, you must request this protection within one year of your arrival in the United States. Nonetheless, certain exceptions to this regulation exist, and an experienced immigration attorney can assist in determining whether you meet the criteria for an exception.

The Asylum Process:

Requesting refuge involves a multifaceted and often intimidating procedure. Here is a synopsis of the steps involved:

  1. Completing the I-589 Form: The first step is to fill out and submit Form I-589, Application for Protection and Withholding of Removal. This document must be submitted within one year of your arrival in the United States.
  2. Biometric Screening: Following the submission of your application, you will be asked to attend a biometric screening, which includes fingerprinting and background checks.
  3. Interview for Protection: You will be scheduled for a protection interview with a protection officer. During this interview, you will have the chance to present your case and elucidate why you are seeking refuge.
  4. Adjudication: The protection officer will assess your case, and a determination will be made. If you are granted asylum, you will be afforded protection. In case of denial, you may face removal proceedings.
  5. Appeal Process: In the event of a denied application for refuge, you have the option to appeal the decision in immigration court. An immigration attorney can represent you during this process, enhancing the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Pending Asylum Application Work Permit:

You can apply for a work permit (EAD) based on your pending asylum application. For that you’ll need to fill Form I-765, 150 days after filing for asylum. However, you can only receive the EAD after 180 days have passed since you applied for asylum.

Possible Delays that you may request or cause could include:

  • Requesting to transfer a case to a new asylum office or interview location, even when the transfer is based on a change in your address.
  • Requesting that an interview be rescheduled for a later date.
  • Not attending an interview or biometrics appointment.
  • Failing to provide a competent interpreter at an interview (if required).
  • Requesting to submit additional evidence during or after an interview.
  • Submitting large amounts of evidence immediately before an interview, which requires rescheduling.
  • Not receiving and accepting an in-person asylum decision (if required).

If your employment authorization is approved, it will be valid for a maximum of 2 years.

How an Immigration Attorney Can Be of Assistance:

Legal Proficiency: Immigration attorneys possess a deep understanding of protection law and can provide expert guidance throughout the process.

Document Preparation: They can assist you in preparing the requisite documents, affidavits, and supporting evidence to bolster your case.

Interview Preparation: Attorneys can conduct practice interviews to help you get ready for the protection interview and boost your confidence.

Appeals: If your protection application is turned down, an immigration attorney can aid you in the appeals process, increasing your prospects of success.

Court Representation: In the event that you are placed in removal proceedings, an attorney can stand for you in immigration court and make a compelling case for protection asylum.

Navigating the protection process can be intricate and demanding. An adept immigration attorney can offer invaluable support in several ways:

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