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POLITICAL ASYLUM: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


If you are suffering persecution in your home country, it may be possible for you to seek refuge in the United States. In order to be granted asylum, you will have to provide proof of persecution or well-founded fear of persecution based on religious beliefs, ethnicity, race, political stance, or affiliation with a particular group. Below, we have identified some of the most frequently asked questions about asylum. Please do not hesitate to contact the Fisher Legal Group for more information!

How can I apply for asylum in the U.S?

In order to apply for asylum, you will need to fill out the Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal (Form I-589), available at any port of entry (border crossing, seaport, or airport). Within six weeks of submitting your completed application, you will meet with a local asylum office for an interview during which you will describe the persecution or fear of persecution that you have suffered. A final decision will be available two weeks after the interview.

Who is eligible to apply?

Asylum may be granted to anyone who is arriving in the U.S. or is already physically present in the U.S., regardless of their immigration status. An individual must apply within one year of their last arrival in the U.S. unless extraordinary circumstances can be proven.

How much does it cost to apply for asylum?

There is no fee to apply for asylum.

Can I still apply for asylum if I am in the U.S. illegally?

Yes, even if you are in the U.S. illegally, you may apply for asylum. Individuals may apply regardless of their immigration status as long as the application is submitted within one year of their arrival. An individual may file later if they can prove that an extraordinary circumstance prevented them from applying by the deadline.

If I have been convicted of a crime, can I still apply?

Yes, you may apply, but depending on the crime, you may be barred from being granted asylum. You must disclose your criminal history on your application form and at your interview. If you don’t, you may be subject to fines and jail time for committing perjury.

What will happen to my children and spouse?

When you fill out your I-589 form, you must list your spouse and all of your children regardless of their marital status, age, and whether they are in the U.S. Even if they are filing a separate asylum application (for example, married children or children over the age of 21), they must be included.

You may ask to have your spouse and/or children included in your asylum decision. If you are granted asylum, they too will be granted asylum.

When can I become a permanent U.S. resident?

You may apply to become a lawful permanent resident after you have been physically present in the U.S. for one year after being granted asylum. To apply, you will need to complete Form I-485 for yourself and each qualifying family member.

For further questions, schedule a case evaluation with a New York immigration lawyer at the Fisher Legal Group. Let us help you make America your home!

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