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Arriving in the United States as an Asylum Seeker: What to know

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2022 | Immigration Process

It can take months of planning and saving to successfully arrange for travel to the United States. You felt like you had no choice but to leave your country of origin because you have experienced or believe you would soon experience persecution because of your religion, your membership in a social group, your political opinions, your nationality or your race.

Perhaps there has recently been a change of culture or leadership in your country, or maybe private information about your affiliations has recently become public knowledge. If you have recently entered the United States or are about to do so, what steps do you need to take to qualify for asylum?

You need to fill out special immigration paperwork

The first step in the asylum process other than physically arriving in the United States is filling out Form I-589. This paperwork begins the asylum consideration process and helps temporarily protect you from removal from the country.

Asylum proceedings can take quite some time, so you may need to fill out additional paperwork so that you can secure employment while living in the United States. Finally, you will also want to educate yourself a bit more about the differences in the laws between your country of origin and the United States so that you don’t potentially make a mistake that will affect your right to stay in the country.

How do you prove that you qualify for asylum?

Sometimes, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS is already aware of a hostile environment for specific people in a particular country. Members of minority religions coming from countries with theocratic governments, for example, would have an easy time proving that they deserve consideration for asylum.

Those coming from countries that have very restrictive rules about international media or that have recently gone through regime changes may need to gather more evidence about the current political climate in their country. Applicants also need documentation that helps affirm their nationality, religion or other characteristics that would lead to persecution if they were to return to their home country.

Educating yourself about the United States’ approach to political asylum cases could help you and possibly your immediate family stay in the country for your safety.