Asylum Guide: Helping You Win Your Case

asylum How can you increase your chances that your asylum application will be approved?

You qualify for asylum if you have been persecuted or have a “well-founded fear of persecution” in your country based on (1) political opinion, (2) religion, (3) race, (4) nationality, or (5) membership in a particular social group.

Use Form I-589 to apply. Attach a detailed affidavit and documentation in support of your application. There is no filing fee.

To apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) based on your pending I-589, you may file Form I-765 150 days after you file your asylum application.

Before you submit your I-589 packet, you may find it helpful to read 4 Tips to Help You Win Your Case.

If you are outside the US, you may apply for refugee status based on these same criteria. Your fear of persecution must be either by the government of your country or by a group that the government is unable or unwilling to control.


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If you are able to establish past persecution, a presumption arises that you have established a well-founded fear of persecution. The burden of proof shifts to the government to demonstrate that circumstances have changed and that you no longer have a well-founded fear of persecution or that you could avoid persecution by relocating in another part of your country and that it would be reasonable for you to do so.

If you are in lawful immigration status, you can submit an I-589 directly with the appropriate USCIS Service Center. Should your application be denied, you will remain in lawful status.

However, if you are not in lawful status, should your application not be approved by the USCIS, you will be placed in removal proceedings. If you are in removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge, in addition to applying for asylum, you may be eligible to apply for withholding of removal and for relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).

Once your I-589 application has been pending for over 150 days, you may apply for a work permit by filing form I-765. If your I-589 application is approved, and your spouse and/or children are outside the US, use form I-730 to bring them to the US as asylees. Once your I-589 is granted, you may apply for a green card although USCIS will only grant your application one year after your I-589 has been approved.

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