People come to the United States every year seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear if they return to their home country they will suffer persecution. These people may seek asylum based on persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, and political opinion.
To apply for asylum, an alien who is physically present in the U.S. must submit a Form I-589 (Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal). In support of this application, the applicant must show the following:
- He/She has a fear of persecution;
- The fear is well founded;
- “at least one central reason for” persecution is race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; and
- He/She is unable to return to the home country or country of last residence because of persecution or a well founded fear or prosecution.
Are you in removal proceedings? Removal proceedings are a scary thing for anyone! If you believe that you have a claim to asylum based on past harm you faced in your home country,
Once an asylee has had asylee status for a year, he/she may apply for a green card by filing a Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence Status or Adjust Status). After the application has been submitted, USCIS will send a notice to applicants over 14 years old of an appointment to have his/her fingerprints taken after which it should mail the green card to the applicant’s home address. Certain applicants might still be required to attend an interview at USCIS offices before the green card can be issued.
U.S. citizens may petition on behalf of family members who don’t fall into the “immediate relative” category. Once the petition has been approved and a visa number made available, unmarried children of 21 years of age or older, married children of any age as well as siblings of a U.S. citizen (the U.S. sibling has to be at least 21) can apply for a Green Card through a U.S. Consulate in their native country.