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How to seek asylum in the U.S.

To seek asylum, you must already be in the U.S. and believe you will be in danger of persecution if you return to your country. Learn how to seek asylum and sponsor someone else.

Learn if you are eligible and how to apply for asylum

To be eligible for asylum, you must be:

  • Inside the United States
  • Able to demonstrate that you were persecuted or have a fear of persecution in your home country due to your:
    • Race
    • Religion
    • Nationality
    • Social group
    • Political opinion

In most cases, a decision will be made on your asylum application within 180 days after you file. Learn more about the process of seeking asylum in the U.S., including:

  • Filing asylum application Form I-589 within 1 year of arriving in the U.S.
  • Working in the U.S.
  • Helping family members seek asylum
  • Filing for permanent residence (Green Card)

How to sponsor an asylum seeker

If you came to the U.S. in the last 2 years as an asylee, you may be able to sponsor your spouse and qualifying children to join you.

Find out how to sponsor your family member for asylum. Learn:

  • How to qualify as a sponsor
  • Who is eligible to be sponsored to come to the U.S.
  • How to download and fill out Form I-730 to request asylum for your family member

LAST UPDATED: December 12, 2023


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