Affirmative Asylum Processing With U.S.C.I.S.
If you have ever been persecuted or fear persecution in your home country due to Race, Religion, Nationality, Membership in a particular social group, or Political opinion you may be eligible for asylum in the United States. Minors who have come to the United States fleeing from fear or persecution are also allowed to apply for Asylum on their own even if accompanied by a parent. The application is made directly with U.S.C.I.S. (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). The Asylum process is for when you are in the United States or are at a port of entry.
Application for Asylum should be done within the first year you are in the United States. After the one year time period expires then you must be able to prove extraordinary circumstances prevented you from applying within the one year deadline.
If you are approved for asylum then your spouse and children (under 21 and unmarried) would also be able to qualify for Asylum. If they are in the United States you should file for them the same time you file. If your spouse and children are not in the United States then you have up to 2 years to file from the time you are granted Asylum. If the 2 years have lapsed then you must prove there are humanitarian reasons for the delay. How you entered the United States or your current immigration status does not affect in any way your ability to petition for Asylum. With this affirmative Asylum process you will be interviewed by an Asylum officer and then they will make a determination based on the interview and all data collected as to whether you qualify or not. Note however that once you petition for Asylum, if your case is denied and you don’t have a legal status in the United States, then your case is deferred to an immigration Judge who may determine also that you don’t qualify for Asylum and at that point you would be placed in deportation proceedings. If you petitioned for your spouse and children and they are also in the United States illegally then they also would be placed in deportation proceedings if your case gets denied by the immigration judge. There are several reasons why a person would be denied Asylum; among them are certain past criminal activities and any past ties to terrorism. It is imperative that you seek legal counsel with an immigration lawyer before you decide to apply for Asylum. After a detailed interview between you and your lawyer, he or she will be able to guide you as to how to proceed with your immigration needs.
Once you are approved for Asylum then you are eligible to work in the United States. You may be able to work after your application for Asylum has been pending for more than 180 days not including any days of delays that you have caused during the process. You, your spouse, and children (under 21 and unmarried) may apply for Permanent Residence (Greene Card) after one year from receiving your Asylum approval.