top of page

Asylum & Refugee

Asylum may be granted to individuals already in the United States who are unable or unwilling to return to their home country because of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group (including sexual orientation), or political opinion. If you are granted asylum, you will be allowed to live and work in the United States. You will be able to apply for permanent residency one year after you are granted asylum.

Benefits of Asylum

Individuals granted Asylum are protected from being returned to his or her home country and will be authorized to work in the United States. 


The greatest benefit is that after one year of obtaining approval, you may apply for lawful permanent resident status also known as applying for a green card. Furthermore, after four years have passed after obtaining your green card, you can proceed to apply for U.S. Citizenship

Asylum vs Refugee Status

While some people use these terms interchangeably it’s necessary to point out that there are in fact distinct differences. First of all, they are both considered protections to foreign individuals who feel their safety is in jeopardy if they return to their home country.


  • Those who are currently outside the United States, they should apply for refugee status 

  • Those who are already in the United States either through a visa or illegal methods, should seek asylum status. 


Both of these options, if approved by the government, would permit an individual to stay in the country indefinitely.

Requirements & Eligibility



To be eligible for an Asylum Green Card, you must satisfy four conditions: 


  1. You must have been physically present in the United States for at least one year. 

  2. You must continue to meet the definition of a refugee. 

  3. You must not have resettled in any other country, and 

  4. You must not be deemed inadmissible.

Screenshot 2022-05-23 083852.png



It is important to understand that being a victim of violence in a country considered to be unsafe because of general violent conditions, civil strife, or war will likely not be enough to succeed on an asylum claim.  Instead, the persecution suffered or feared to be suffered must be on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. 


In these cases, evidence should include that the group exists, and that individuals in the group share characteristics that are unchangeable and are recognized as socially distinct in a relevant society. Examples of evidence that helps focus on demonstrating persecution focused on a claimed group may include:


  • In gender-based claims, evidence of social norms that prevent group members with the same gender from severing legal or social ties with a spouse or partner.

  • Evidence of the unwillingness of government institutions or families to protect members of a particular group through the police or court system.

  • Evidence of the unwillingness of the government to provide assistance, including through relocation, of members of a particular group.

  • Evidence of widespread and tolerated violence against certain groups.


These types of evidence potentially serve to prove that a group shares unchangeable characteristics that are recognized within the society the group lives within and whose shared characteristics form the basis of the persecution.





An Applicant must file the Asylum Application within one year of having arrived in the United States. There are certain exceptions that will allow for filing of the application past the one-year deadline.


For most of these delays caused by the applicant, the clock will be stopped until the next interview date except for failing to appear at an interview or failing to appear in person to receive and acknowledge the decision. 


In the cases where an applicant is required to appear to receive the Asylum application and the applicant fails to appear to receive the decision, the clock will stop until the case is referred to the Immigration Court where it will restart at the first hearing before the Immigration Judge unless the applicant causes another delay.


Certain past acts may also disqualify an applicant from Asylum relief. These acts include convictions for particularly serious crimes suck as commission of a serious non-political crime outside the United States, acts that create a reason or reasons to believe that the applicant is a danger to the security of the United States and participation in terrorist activities or persecution of others.

Disq Asylum.png

Application process

Asyl AppProcess.png



You 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. You must submit a separate I-485 application packet for yourself and, if applicable, for each family member who received derivative asylum based on your case.


In order to be eligible for a Green Card as an asylee, you must meet the following requirements:


  • You properly file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;

  • You are physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;

  • You have been physically present in the United States for at least one year after you were granted asylum;

  • You continue to meet the definition of a refugee, or to be the spouse or child of a refugee;

  • You have not firmly resettled in any foreign country;

  • Your grant of asylum has not been terminated;

  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief; and

  • You merit the favourable exercise of discretion.

Period of Stay and Family

Asylum ultimately results in a green card so it does not have an expiration and is granted for an indefinite period. However, a beneficiary of Asylum status can lose status if one of the following circumstances occur:


  • USCIS determines that the Asylum application was based on fraud.

  • The Asylum beneficiary committed an act that violates Immigration Law that subjects the beneficiary to removal from the United States.

  • The Asylum beneficiary no longer meets the definition of a refugee.

  • The Asylum beneficiary has ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

  • The Asylum beneficiary constitutes a danger to the community of the United States, if convicted of a particularly serious crime.

  • The Asylum beneficiary Committed a serious non-political crime outside the United States prior to arriving in the United States.

  • The Asylum beneficiary is a danger to the security of the United States, including terrorist activity.

  • The Asylum beneficiary may be removed, to a country (other than the country of the applicant’s nationality or last habitual residence) in which the applicant’s life or freedom would not be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, where the applicant is eligible to receive asylum or equivalent temporary protection;

  • The Asylum beneficiary Has voluntarily availed himself or herself of the protection of the country of nationality or last habitual residence by returning to such country with permanent resident status or the reasonable possibility of obtaining such status with the same rights and obligations pertaining to other permanent residents of that country; or

  • Asylum beneficiary Has acquired a new nationality and enjoys the protection of the country of his new nationality.


A Spouse and children under 21 years of age who are present in the United States can obtain Asylum status with the Applicant’s primary Asylum application. If the spouse and children are outside of the United States, after approval, the Asylum Beneficiary can petition for the family seeking status filing form I-730 within 2 years of obtaining Asylum protection status

  • LinkedIn


If you are in the US or planning to come to the US and would like to schedule a consultation, let's connect.

bottom of page