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Fax: 713-339-4299, E-mail: info@linlawfirmusa.com

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    Asylum Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What document do I need to prepare for the asylum application?
  2. Can I include my spouse and children in the asylum application?
  3. If my family members are included in my asylum application and the application is approved, do I need to separately file another refugee application for them?
  4. Can I petition to bring my spouse and children to the US if they are outside of the United States?
  5. Is there a time restriction for petition for family members?
  6. What happens if my child turns 21 after I filed my asylum application?
  7. Can I Apply for Asylum Even if I Was Convicted of a Crime?
  8. Are there other bars to receiving asylum?
  9. Can I travel outside the United States after I have applied for asylum?
  10. Can I travel outside the United States after I have been granted asylum?
  11. What if I do not speak English?
  12. If I apply for asylum, will I obtain employment authorization?
  13. What are the benefits of applying for asylum?

     
  1. What document do I need to prepare for the asylum application?

    Asylum applicant has the burden to prove his/her case. As such the applicants should prepare and submit document and evidence to support and corroborate the application. However, the US government also recognizes that in a lot of situations the applicants may not be able to produce evidence for different reasons. In that scenario, the applicant should try to obtain credible testimony of witnesses, and provide credible testimony of him- or herself to the asylum office or the immigration court for consideration. It is not unusual that the asylum office or the immigration judge grants asylum just based on the credible testimony of the applicants.

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  2. Can I include my spouse and children in the asylum application?

    Yes, you may include your spouse and children who are under 21 years of age and unmarried on your application, if they are in the United States. They can be included as your derivatives at the time you file the application or at any time until a final decision is made on your case. When including family members in you asylum application, you must submit documentary evidence establishing your family relationship for each family member. For example, to include your spouse you must submit copies of your marriage certificate; to include unmarried children who are under 21 years of age you must submit copies of each child's birth certificate.

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  3. If my family members are included in my asylum application and the application is approved, do I need to separately file another refugee application for them?

    No. If the family members are included in the petition, the approval applies to them too and they get the asylee/refugee status like you. No separate petition for them is required.

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  4. Can I petition to bring my spouse and children to the US if they are outside of the United States?

    Yes. If you are granted asylum, you may petition to bring your spouse and children to the United States by filing a Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition. To include your child, the child must be under 21 years of age and unmarried.

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  5. Is there a time restriction for petition for family members?

    Yes. You must file the I-730 petition within two years of being granted asylum, unless there are humanitarian reasons to excuse the deadline.

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  6. What happens if my child turns 21 after I filed my asylum application?

    Your child will still be eligible as a derivative on your application if he or she turns 21 after your asylum application is filed and pending. In other words, your child must have been unmarried and under 21 years of age on the date that you filed your asylum application. The "filing date" is the date that USCIS received your application.

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  7. Can I Apply for Asylum Even if I Was Convicted of a Crime?

    Possible. Applicants convicted of minor crimes can still apply for asylum. However, an applicant may be barred from being granted asylum if he/she constitutes a danger to the community by having been convicted of a particular serious crime. An individual convicted of an aggravated felony as defined in the Immigration Act, is deemed to have been convicted of a particularly serious crime. Some of the crimes defined as "aggravated felonies" in the Immigration Act are: murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor, drug trafficking offenses (regardless of the sentence imposed), trafficking of illicit firearms or destructive devices, theft or burglary offense for which the term of imprisonment was at least one year, crimes relating to child pornography, violent crimes, frauds in which the loss of the victim exceeds $10,000, organized crime and terrorist organization involvement, among others.

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  8. Are there other bars to receiving asylum?

    Yes, in addition to the conviction of a particular serious crime, there are several bars to receiving asylum. Some of them are:

    (a) Participation in the persecution of others on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;
    (b) Reasonable grounds for regarding the applicant as a danger to the security of the United States
    (c) Engagement or Suspicion of engagement in any type of terrorist activity
    (d) Firm Resettlement in any other country prior to arriving in the United States
    (e) Failing to demonstrate that the application for asylum has been filed within one year after the date of his or her arrival in the United States. However, the government will accept the asylum application if you can demonstrate that certain changes in the conditions in your country have occurred, certain changes in your own circumstances or certain other extraordinary events occurred that may have prevented you from applying earlier.

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  9. Can I travel outside the United States after I have applied for asylum?

    An alien that has applied for asylum and not yet received a decision should not leave the United States, without first obtaining advance parole. Advance parole allows certain aliens to return to the United States without a visa after traveling abroad. An asylum applicant who leaves the United States without first obtaining advance parole will be presumed to have abandoned his or her asylum application. Advance parole does not guarantee that the alien will be allowed to reenter the United States. Rather, the asylum applicant must still be inspected by an immigration inspector from United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) who will determine whether the asylum applicant will be allowed to reenter.

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  10. Can I travel outside the United States after I have been granted asylum?

    If an asylee plans to depart the United States, he or she must obtain permission to return to the United States before departure by obtaining a Refugee Travel Document (RTD). The asylee's derivatives, if any, will also have to obtain refugee travel documents before leaving the United States. A Refugee Travel Document may be used for temporary travel abroad and is required for readmission to the United States as an asylee. If an asylee does not obtain a Refugee Travel Document in advance of departure, he or she may be unable to re-enter the United States, or the asylee may be placed in removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge.

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  11. What if I do not speak English?

    For the interview at the asylum office, you may bring an interpreter. The interpreter must be fluent in English and a language you speak fluently and must be at least 18 years old. The following persons cannot serve as your interpreter: your attorney or representative of record; a witness testifying on your behalf at the interview; or a representative or employee of your country. Also, if you have a document that is not in English, you are required to provide a certified translation of the documents into English.

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  12. If I apply for asylum, will I obtain employment authorization?

    The filing of an asylum application does not entitle you to employment authorization. You may request permission to work if your asylum application is pending and 150 days have passed since your application is accepted by USCIS or the Immigration Court. If your asylum application has not been denied within 180 days from the date of filing, you may be granted permission to work by filing an Application for Employment Authorization. Each derivative family member in your application who also wants permission to work must submit a separate Employment Authorization Application. If granted asylum, you will be acquire permission to work.

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  13. What are the benefits of applying for asylum?

    If granted asylum, you will be entitled to certain benefits such as:

    (a) Authorization to work in the United States;
    (b) you may apply for an unrestricted Social Security Card;
    (c) you may request derivative asylum status for your spouse or children who were listed on your asylum application;
    (d) you may apply for permanent residence (green card), after one year in the United Sates as an asylee; and
    (e) you may be eligible to receive financial, medical, employment and English language assistance from an organization funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement





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