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  Political Asylum - Overview

Generally, political asylum is the only other way to establish lawful permanent residence in the U.S. besides through family, employment, or investment. Foreign citizens may be eligible for asylum status if they are already present in the U.S. (even if illegally) or upon arrival and are unable to return home due to a well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.


Persons seeking asylum must file an application for asylum together with any supporting evidence within one year after arrival in the U.S., unless there are changed circumstances materially affecting their eligibility or extraordinary circumstances. The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also be included in the application if they are present in the U.S. The applicant may obtain a work authorization 180 days after filing the application.

Within 45 days of application filing, the asylum officer will conduct an initial interview with the applicant. Following the interview, the asylum officer may grant, deny or refer the application to an immigration judge for deportation proceedings, unless the applicant is still in legal status in the U.S. After a hearing, the immigration judge may approve or deny the application. If the application is denied, a deportation order will be issued. If the asylum is granted, the asylee may petition to bring his family to the U.S. within 2 years after the asylum has been granted and may apply for a green card in one year.  

Whether the asylum application is granted or denied depends on many factors. The first major step in increasing your chances of an approval is to prepare a thorough, detailed, and complete application supported by strong evidence. We can help you prepare a strong asylum application, fully present your case to the asylum officer and/or  the judge and guide you through every step of the asylum process. Call us now for a legal consultation to see how we can help in your legalization process. 386-248-3000