The asylum application process in the United States is designed to provide protection to non-citizens who have suffered persecution or have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country due to reasons such as race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.  There are two types of asylum process: Affirmative and Defensive: Here is an overview of the affirmative asylum application process:

  1. Filing the Application:
    • Asylum seekers must file their application within one year of their arrival in the United States, unless they can demonstrate changed circumstances or extraordinary circumstances that prevented them from filing on time.
    • The application is submitted on Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.
  2. Initial Screening:
    • The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviews the application for completeness and conducts an initial screening interview.
    • If the applicant is in complete, the USCIS sends a receipt notice.
  3. Biometrics and Background Check:
    • Asylum applicants are required to undergo biometric services, including fingerprinting, for background checks. USCIS schedules the biometrics appointment and sends the notice the applicant(s).
  4. Asylum Interview:
    • Applicants are scheduled for an asylum interview with an asylum officer. Depending on the applicant’s place of residence, and given the backlog, it may take 3 months to years for the applicant to receive the asylum interview.
    • During the interview, the applicant presents their case, providing details about the persecution they fear and any supporting evidence. The asylum office conducting the interview, assesses the applicant’s claims, and credibility.
  5. Decision:
    • The asylum officer will make a decision based on the interview, evidence presented, and applicable laws.
    • If granted asylum, the individual can live and work in the U.S. indefinitely, and may be eligible for certain benefits, including eventually becoming a US citizen.
    • If denied, depending the immigration status of the Applicant in the United States, the case may be referred to immigration court for removal proceedings.
  6. Immigration Court:
    • If the asylum application is denied and the individual’s case is referred to the immigration court, the applicant gets another opportunity to present his asylum claim before an immigration judge
    • The judge conducts an initial hearing called Master Calendar Hearing, and then an individual hearing  where the applicant has the opportunity to present their case again.
  7. Appeals:
    • If the judge denies asylum, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). This must be done within the 30 days following the judge’s decision.
    • Further appeals can be made to federal courts.

It’s important to note that the asylum process can be complex, and individuals are strongly advised to seek legal counsel to navigate the application and interview process successfully. Additionally, policies and procedures may be subject to change, so it’s advisable to check the latest information from official sources or consult with legal experts.

Since its establishment, EHSAN LAW, PLLC has handled over 200 succesful asylum claims. We can help you navigate this process more easily and successfuly.