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Seeking Asylum in the United States: What You Need to Know

If you live in fear of persecution in your country based on your nationality, race, religion, or political beliefs, you may be able to apply for asylum in the United States. The U.S., a country that truly champions freedom and liberty, accepts tens of thousands of legally qualified refugees into the country each year. If you are seeking asylum for yourself and your family, you should act quickly by filling out an application.

In order to help explain the process and give you an idea of your eligibility, review these frequently asked questions. For further information, we encourage you to consult with a Miami immigration lawyer at our law firm.

Who is eligible to apply for asylum?

If you arrive at a port of entry to the United States, you may apply for asylum. You may also apply at any time within one year of your arrival to the U.S. If you have been in the U.S. more than one year, you may not be able to apply unless you qualify for an exception, which may include an extraordinary change in circumstances relating to your ability to file or your eligibility to apply. Note that you are still required to file an application within a reasonable amount of time under the circumstances in order to be eligible for the exception.

How can I apply?

You must fill out an Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal (Form I-589). This form is available on the USCIS website.

Can I apply if I am in the United States illegally?

Yes, you may apply for asylum within one year of arriving in the United States regardless of your immigration status.

What does it cost to apply for asylum?

There is no cost to apply for asylum.

Can I obtain asylum for my spouse and children?

Yes, you may obtain asylum for immediate family members including your spouse and children. You must list these individuals on your I-589 form regardless of whether they are:

  • Alive, missing, or dead
  • Unmarried or married
  • Under 21 years old or adults
  • Born in other countries or the U.S.
  • Born when you were not married
  • Living with you in the U.S. or elsewhere
  • Stepchildren or legally adopted
  • Including in your application for asylum or filling out their own application

What if I don’t speak English?

If you don’t speak English fluently, you are required to provide your own interpreter. He or she must be over 18 years old and be fluent in both English and a language you speak. USCIS does not provide interpreters during the asylum interview. Note that your attorney, a representative or employee of your country, or a witness testifying on your behalf cannot serve as your interpreter.

Speak with an Attorney about Applying for Asylum

For more information on asylum and the application process, contact Pozo Goldstein, LLP. An experienced Miami immigration attorney at our firm can answer your questions and provide you with the guidance you need to achieve your immigration goals.

To schedule a free in-office consultation, please call (305) 547-8831.

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