Year after year, people come to the US in search of protection from the persecution they have suffered or that they fear to suffer as a consequence of their affiliation to a race, nationality, political opinion, religion or membership in a particular social group. The protection they are looking for may be granted in the form of asylum.

US Customs and Immigration Services is responsible for the asylum grant or deny decisions. If you are eligible, you can file for asylum. If your spouse and children (unmarried children, under the age of 21) are in the United States too, you can include them in your application for asylum as well, or add them to an earlier submitted application before a final decision on your case is made. However, you will be permitted to stay in the US only if your case is approved. There are 5 types of decisions that can be made on your case: Grant of Asylum, Recommended Approval, Referral to an Immigration Court, Notice of Intent to Deny, or Final Denial.

You can apply for employment authorization after filing for asylum if 150 days have passed since you’ve submitted your application (except delays caused by you as the applicant), but there has been no decision made on your case.

If you are granted asylum but have not included your spouse and/or children who are not in the US in your application, you may file an Asylee Relative Petition. The main condition, in this case, is for your children to be unmarried and under 21 years old. Unless there are certain humanitarian reasons, you may file the Asylee Relative Petition within no more than 2 years after receiving asylum.

One year after being granted asylum in the US, you get the right to file an application to adjust your status and apply for a green card. Even if your relatives have been granted asylum as a derivative of your application, each of them will have to file a separate application when eligible for status adjustment.

Asylum in Immigration Court

If you cannot return to your country because of a fear based on your religion, nationality, race, political opinion, or social group, and you are in removal proceedings, you have the right to file an asylum application in the immigration court.

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