What USCIS Forms Do I Need to File for Asylum?

The USCIS forms you will need to file for asylum will depend on your request, your family situation, and how you complete your application. Regardless of which set of USCIS forms are required for your situation, make sure that you use the most current version of the required form. Using an outdated form can result in a rejection of your application for asylum.

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Where Do I Apply for Asylum in the United States?

Immigration law provides for two ways to apply for asylum in the United States: affirmative asylum processing with the USCIS and defensive asylum processing with an immigration judge. The type of asylum processing you use will determine where and how you will file your request.

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Asylum Eligibility & Processing Procedures

The two types of asylum applications are affirmative and defensive. The purpose of both applications is to seek relief from removal or deportation from the United States. Both types of asylum applicants must show they have a credible fear of returning to their country of origin due to past persecution based on one of five protected grounds including race, religion, national origin, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.

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Can I Apply for Asylum at an American Embassy?

No. You must be physically present in the United States to apply. The distinction between a refugee and an asylee (asylum applicant) is easy to confuse. Both are considered persons who are subject to persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Consequently, both types apply for humanitarian relief with the U.S. government.

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Can Your Application for Asylum Include Your Family?

Your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 may be included in your asylum application. Additional applicants can “ride” on the lead alien’s application. However, there are two conditions. The family members must be physically present in the United States and they must be able to establish a basis for asylum on their own.

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Do I need an immigration attorney or asylum attorney for my asylum application?

While you are not required to hire an immigration attorney or asylum attorney to handle your asylum application, having one is strongly recommended. Immigration law is a complex mixture of statutes, administrative codes, international agreements, and politics. Forms are not set by statute. Instead, USCIS is vested with the authority to develop the forms and procedures for foreign nationals to complete asylum applications. Having an immigration attorney who has experience dealing with asylum applications and USCIS forms is often essential to a successful asylum application.

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