Anyone who enters the US with a well-founded fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group may be eligible to file an asylum claim.  Social groups may apply to battered spouses and gang members as well as more easily documented social groups.

Applications can be filed directly with USCIS and may confer employment authorization as well.  Unmarried children under the age of 21 when their parent applies will be eligible for a toll on their age and will be processed alongside their parents under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).

Common Pitfalls:

  • Frivolous applications
  • Traveling to the country of persecution during the process
  • Information from the application may be used against the applicant later on to institute removal proceedings

Processing times vary from approximately one year to four years depending on the state where the applicant resides. If one is holding a valid nonimmigrant status when they apply, their status can revert back to that if the application for asylum is denied as long as the status is still valid.

Hiring an experienced immigration attorney is a key factor when applying for asylum.  The immigration attorneys at Brodzki Jacobs & Brook have over 25 years of combined experience and would like to assist you in navigating this process.