Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 10, 2020

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (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 Using an outdated form can result in a rejection of your application for asylum.

Asylum Application Form I-589

The basic USCIS form that begins the asylum application is Form I-589. You must file the original, plus two copies, and a passport-style photo. Your family situation may require the addition of other forms. For example, if you have dependents, you will need to attach a completed I-589 for each dependent, as well as evidence of their relationship to you. You may also need to attach copies of marriage licenses, divorce decrees, and birth certificates to complete the application. USCIS will not consider your application officially filed until all attachments to the application are complete and submitted. This is extremely important to remember if you are close to the one year deadline for filing.

Individuals who do not speak English can complete their I-589 and any other forms in their native language. However, they must also submit certified English translations for each foreign language document. The document must be accompanied by an affidavit from the person who translated the documents stating the date they completed the translation and listing the languages in which they are fluent. The affidavit should also include the translator’s contact information, including name, address, and phone number.

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Additional USCIS Forms for Asylum Applicants

Asylum seekers cannot work in the United States until their completed asylum application is filed and accepted. If you need to work while you are awaiting a final decision, you can submit Form I-765. I-765 is a request for authorization to work. As noted above, if your application is not complete with all required attachments, you cannot submit your request for authorization to work.

Additionally, if an attorney will be representing you during the asylum application process, you must also file Form G-28, a notice of appearance of counsel.

If you qualify for affirmative asylum processing, you will submit your application and forms to the USCIS service center in your area. If you are in removal proceedings, you must make a request for defensive asylum processing directly to the immigration judge handling your case. Misfiling your application with the wrong entity can result in missing important deadlines. If you have questions about the required forms or procedures, don’t hesitate to consult with an immigration law attorney.