Asylum, and seeking asylum, is an important part of the U.S. Immigration system. For that reason, asylum seekers and their families should be familiar with how they can seek asylum in the United States.
Information for asylum seekers
It may be possible to seek asylum in the U.S. if the asylum seeker is facing persecution in their country of origin due to their race, religion, nationality, membership in a certain social group or on the basis of their political beliefs.
To file for asylum, the asylum seeker needs to do so within one year of coming to the United States regardless of their immigration status. If they fail to do so within the one year time period they may qualify for an exception based on changed circumstances materially impacting the asylum seeker’s eligibility for asylum; extraordinary circumstances that delayed their filing for asylum; and the application must still be filed within a reasonable time in the circumstances to be eligible for an exception.
There are specific forms that must be completed to file for asylum. An asylum officer will determine if they are eligible for asylum based on whether or not they meet the definition of a refugee. The process will include a review of the asylum seeker’s application and an interview with the asylum officer. A decision on the application for asylum will be made within 180 days of the date the asylum seeker filed their application for asylum unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Asylum is an important process for both asylum seekers and their families who may also be eligible for asylum. Because of its high level of importance, asylum seekers and their families should be familiar with immigration law and the asylum process.