The U.S. provides immigrants with a right to seek asylum in our country. However, there is sometimes confusion over what this right means, or what situations give rise to this right.
You have a legal right to seek asylum if you are facing persecution in your home country due to your:
- Political opinion
- Social group membership
Arriving in the United States and next steps
The first step in seeking asylum is arriving at the U.S. border and declaring your intent to seek asylum.
However, you must do more than claim you are fleeing persecution from your home country. You must provide evidence of your persecution and prove your case to be granted asylum.
This is often extremely challenging, difficult and lengthy. It is best to go through the asylum process with professional help and guidance.
The asylum process involves many steps, including a background and criminal check. Missing a step or completing one incorrectly could require you to start the process over, or worse, be deported back to your home country.
You can apply for asylum through the affirmative, defensive or expedited process. The type of process you use to apply for asylum depends on your specific circumstances.
Your rights after being granted asylum
Once you are granted asylum, you become what is known as an asylee. You can apply to be a lawful permanent resident after 1 year of being asylee. After being a lawful permanent resident for 4 years, you can apply for citizenship.
An asylee has the same rights as any U.S. citizen, including the right to work. You can also travel out of the country and have a legal right to return to the United States.
Like many other immigrants, you may have left behind family members to seek asylum. Once you are granted asylum, you can apply for asylum for your spouse or children under the age of 21.
No one should have to suffer persecution in their own country. The asylum process can help you find safety and a new life here in the United States.