What is Asylum?

Asylum is a form of protection granted to individuals in the United States who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of their:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Political opinion

Asylum – Key Facts

  • You must apply for asylum within one (1) year of your last arrival in the United States. If you miss the 1 year deadline, you may be still be eligible to file asylum in these two conditions:

    • If you can show extraordinary circumstances that led to your failure to file within that time; OR
    • If there are changed circumstances that materially affect your eligibility for asylum. These may include certain changes in the conditions in your country, certain changes in your own circumstances, and certain other events.
  • Individuals who meet this definition of a refugee and who are already in the United States or who are seeking entry into the United States at a port of entry may qualify for a grant of asylum and be permitted to remain in the United States as long as they are not barred from either applying for or being granted asylum.
  • Individuals who are granted asylum are eligible to apply to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident.
  • There are no quotas on the number of individuals who may be granted asylum each year.
  • Asylum-seekers may apply for asylum in the United States regardless of their countries of origin and regardless of their current immigration status.