Humanitarian Relief for those fleeing prosecution: Asylum, Withholding,
Convention Against Torture
In general, anyone physically present in the United States who has suffered
persecution or fears future persecution in his or her home country on
grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership in particular social
group, or political opinion may apply for asylum protection in the United States.
General Eligibility Requirements:
- Applicant must establish that he or she is unable or unwilling to return
to his or her country of nationality, or last habitual residence if the
person has no nationality because of persecution or a well-founded fear
- Applicant must demonstrate that the persecution or well-founded fear of
future persecution he or she suffers is on account of race, religion,
nationality, membership in particular social group, or political opinion.
That is, the applicant must demonstrate a nexus between the protected
ground and persecution.
- Applicant must show that he or she is unable to avoid such persecution
or threat of persecution by internal relocation.
- Applicant must show that he or she merits a favorable exercise of discretion.
General Bars to Eligibility
- Engagement in persecution of others;
- Firm resettlement in a third country;
- Previous asylum applications, if denied;
- Failure to file within a year of arrival in the United States, unless applicant
can establish a change of circumstances or extraordinary reasons for untimely filing;
- Aggravated felony convictions;
- Convictions for a particular serious crime, including aggravated felonies
and crimes of violence;
- Posing a danger to national security threat;
- Commission of a serious nonpolitical crime
An asylum application is filed using
Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. It must be filed within one year of arrival to the United States. Substantial
probative documentation must be submitted with the application.
- Where the applicant is not in removal proceedings, the asylum application
is considered to be affirmative, and it is file with the Asylum Office
of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- After submitting the asylum application, the applicant will be scheduled
for a fingerprinting appointment.
- Upon completion of the background and security checks, the applicant will
be scheduled for an interview with an Asylum Officer who will determine
Where asylum is not granted, the applicant will be served with a Notice
to Appear before an immigration judge, who will review the case
- If the asylum seeker has been placed in removal proceeding through the
filing of a Notice to Appear with an immigration court, the application
is defensive, and eligibility is determined by an immigration judge.
- The individual seeking asylum may be represented by an immigration law attorney.
- The asylum seeker will be scheduled for a fingerprinting appointment before
the final individual hearing.
- Where applicable, the immigration judge may alternatively consider the
individual’s eligibility for withholding of removal and protection
under the U.N. Convention Against Torture.
- A denial decision by the immigration judge may be appealed to the Board
of Immigration Appeals.
Benefits of an Asylum Grant