An asylee is a person who is either physically present in the U.S. or is at a land border or port of entry of the U.S. and who, because of a “well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion” is unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality, and is unable or unwilling to avail him- or herself of the protection of that country. Persecution is defined as “a threat to the life or freedom of, or the infliction of suffering or harm upon, those who differ in a way regarded as offensive.” If the applicant establishes past persecution, there is a presumption that he or she has a well-founded fear of future persecution.


Aliens who are currently in the U.S. for less than one year (with some exceptions) Aliens who are currently in their home country. In both situations, the alien must be part of an eligible Asylum class (i.e. persecuted due to political affiliation, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social group affiliation etc.) If you are arriving in the U.S., you may ask for asylum at the port of entry (i.e. airport, seaport, border crossing, etc.) If you are already in the U.S. you or your attorney must prepare and file an application for Asylum and/or Withholding of Removal within a year of your arrival, whether you are residing in the country legally or undocumented. Some exceptions that allow you to file for asylum more than one year after arrival in U.S.


An asylum application can be difficult to document if the applicant left his or her home country quickly to escape conditions there. Documentation should include an affidavit from the applicant, evidence of country conditions from the Department of State or other independent resources, letters from independent experts and evidence to support the truth of the applicant’s personal story. The high level of fraud in asylum applications makes the CIS particularly suspicious, so comprehensive and easy to understand documentation is critically important.

Application Procedure

The first step is to file an asylum application (on form I-589) with supporting documentation as described above. Because of the high incidence of fraud, the CIS no longer gives work authorization to all asylum applicants. Rather, asylum applicants are eligible to apply for work authorization (using form I-765) if their application has been pending for more than 180 days or if the case has been approved. The I-765 EAD application can be filed after 150 days. An asylum applicant is eligible to study while their application is pending, but not to change status unless he or she also holds a valid nonimmigrant visa that allows change of status. Once the I-589 asylum application is reviewed, the next step is an interview with an asylum officer. This interview at the local CIS office is meant to screen out the fraudulent cases, and approve those cases that are extremely well documented. If the case is not approved at this interview and the applicant is out of status, he or she will be referred to the Immigration Court (EOIR) for a more formal hearing before a judge. If the case is not approved and the applicant is in status, no further action will be taken.

Work Permit

Asylum applicants cannot apply for employment authorization at the same time they apply for asylum. Rather, you must wait 150 days after the USCIS receives a complete application before you can apply for employment authorization. The USCIS has 30 days to either grant or deny your request for employment.

How We Can Help you with your Asylum Case

We, at Rai & Associates, represent individuals seeking asylum before the U.S. Immigration Courts. We have represented thousands of such individuals, fleeing persecution in their home countries, before the different Immigration Court spread throughout the United States. We will prepare and file all the required documents for a successful asylum application. We also file adjustment of status applications for those individuals who have been granted asylum (asylees) and have been physically present in the United States for more than one year.

Our Asylum attorneys experience benefits you in several key areas. We:

  • Clarify options and potential scenarios surrounding your case.
  • Assist you in collecting the proper information and documentation.
  • Correctly classify the application and ensure requirements are met.
  • Prepare and submit all USCIS and Department of Labor (DOL) forms and documentation.
  • Communicate with the DOL and USCIS throughout the process.
  • Monitor the entire family based immigration application process.

Asylum Immigration Attorney Experience & Responsiveness that Makes a Difference. Our Asylum Immigration Attorney Pledge:

  • 100% commitment to processing your Asylum Immigration quickly & successfully.
  • Strong Asylum Immigration attorney experience & knowledge.
  • Open Asylum Immigration Attorney communication & responsiveness is among our top priority.
  • Highest level of Asylum Immigration Attorney service at an affordable FLAT rate.
  • Some Asylum Immigration applications can be submitted in as little as 1-2 weeks.
  • To discuss your case call: (415)-693-9131 or Mail Us.
Something very important you may want to know

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1
    If I was convicted of a crime, can I still apply for asylum?

    You can apply although depending on the nature of your crime, you may not receive asylum. On Form I-589 you are required to disclose any criminal history as well as during the asylum interview. If you are found to have provided false information you may face fines and even possible imprisonment for perjury.

  2. 2
    Am I allowed to file for asylum if I’m in the country illegally?

    If you are in the United States illegally you can still apply for asylum if it’s within 1 year of the last arrival or if you’re able to demonstrate an exception due to your circumstances.

  3. 3
    What criteria does the asylum officer use to determine eligibility?

    The judge or officer conducting the interview takes a number of factors into consideration when evaluating your case. This includes your fear of persecution, home conditions, past criminal history, etc. An asylum lawyer can better explain the factors that may be of relevance to your case.


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