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What benefits do I obtain if I win my Asylum case?

How long is asylum valid for.

This explains the benefits an individual gains by winning their asylum case.

How long is asylum valid for.

A grant of asylum in the United States allows you to remain in the U.S. for an indefinite period of time. Asylum status is not the same as being a legal permanent resident (“Green Card holder”).

But you are eligible to apply for permanent residence after holding asylum for one year.

Asylum status alone does not give you the right to remain permanently in the United States.

It is possible to lose your asylum status if:

• You no longer have a well-founded fear of persecution because of a fundamental change in circumstances in your home country;

• You have obtained protection from another country. For example, you received asylum both in the U.S. and Canada. In that case, you could lose your grant of asylum in the U.S.; or

• You have committed certain crimes or engaged in other activity that makes you ineligible to retain asylum status in the United States. See INA § 208(c)(2).

If you have concerns about any of these issues, you should talk with an attorney.

Obtaining I-94

Now that you have been granted asylum, you need to obtain Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record. This form shows that you have been granted asylum status in the United States. Your grant of asylum includes your family members that were put in your asylum application.

If you were granted asylum after your asylum interview, the United States Customs and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) will mail you your I-94. If you do not receive it, contact the asylum office.

If you were granted asylum after a hearing before an Immigration Judge, you need to make an appointment to get your I-94 on INFOPASS. DO NOT just go to the asylum office. They will not see you without an appointment. Make sure to bring identification and your court decision showing that you received asylum to your appointment.

Employment Authorization

Asylees are work-authorized regardless of whether or not they are in possession of an employment authorization document (“EAD”). So you do not need to have an EAD.

However, you may want to obtain an EAD from USCIS in order to meet other obligations.

For example, the EAD serves as evidence of both identity and employment authorization, so you could present it to an employer as a List A document of the Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9). Also, the EAD can serve as evidence of alien registration, which is required by law to be carried by registered aliens at all times.

Since November 10, 2002, asylum applicants who have been granted asylum no longer have to file an application with the Nebraska Service Center to obtain an initial EAD. Section 309 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 requires USCIS to issue an employment authorization document containing at least a fingerprint and photograph to an asylee immediately upon a grant of asylum.

If you wish to renew your EAD, you will still need to submit an EAD application with the Nebraska Service Center, and pay a fee or request a fee waiver under 8 CFR § 103.7(c).

Social Security Cards

You may immediately apply for an unrestricted Social Security card at any Social Security office. You can get an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5) or more information about applying for a Social Security card by going to SSA website, calling the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213, or visiting a local Social Security office.

Employment Assistance

As an asylee, you can also receive a variety of services under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. These services include job search assistance, career counseling, and occupational skills training. These and other services are available at local One-Stop Career Centers. For more information about One-Stop Career Centers, asylees may call 1-877-US2-JOBS. The information is also available on-line through America’s Service Locator website.

Derivative Asylum Status for Your Spouse or Children

You may request derivative asylum status for any spouse or child (unmarried and under 21 years of age as of the date the asylee filed the asylum application, as long as the asylum application was pending on or after August 6, 2002), even if you did not include them in your original asylum application. You must simply prove that you have a qualifying relationship to that relative.

To request derivative asylum status for qualifying relatives that were not included in your original application, you must submit a Form I-730, Refugee and Asylee Relative Petition, to the Nebraska Service Center, P.O. Box 87730, Lincoln, NE 68501-7730.

The Form I-730 must be filed for each qualifying family member within two years of the date you were granted asylum status, unless USCIS determines that this time period should be extended for humanitarian reasons.

Adjustment of Status

One year from the date you obtained a final grant of asylum, you are eligible to apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (“Green Card holder”).

Only 10,000 asylee adjustments are granted each year.

Thus, you will be placed on a waiting list until a visa becomes available for you. Currently, there is a long wait of many years before your adjustment application is approved or rejected. During that time, you continue to have legal status in the United States as an asylee.

You should apply for adjustment of status as soon as possible after one year of receiving a final grant of asylum. If you need assistance applying for adjustment of status, you should contact an immigration attorney.

How do I apply for Adjustment of Status as an asylee? To apply for lawful permanent residence status, you must submit a separate Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, for yourself and each qualifying family member to the Nebraska Service Center, P.O. Box 87485, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68501-7485.

If you have a child who turns 21 years old before the end of the adjustment process and before August 6, 2002, the child can still be classified as a child for purposes of section 208(b)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as long as the child was under 21 years of age at the date of filing the asylum application.

Assistance and Services through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)

As an asylee, you may be eligible to receive assistance and services through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

ORR funds and administers various programs, which are run by state and private, non-profit agencies throughout the United States. The programs include cash and medical assistance, employment preparation and job placement, and English language training.

Many of these programs have time-limited eligibility periods that begin from the date the asylee is granted asylum. You can find out what programs are available and where to go for assistance and services in his or her state by calling 1-800-354-0365.

Leaving the United States BEFORE you are a legal permanent resident

It is essential that you do not return to your home country until you are a lawful permanent resident (you have your green card). If you do return to your home country, the USCIS could revoke your status as an asylee.

Even after you obtain lawful permanent residence status, we recommend that you do not travel to your home country.

In order to travel outside the United States, you must have a refugee travel document. This document is very similar to a passport, and it will allow you to travel to and from the United States. Your qualifying family members, 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 reentry to the United States as an asylee.

If you do not obtain a Refugee Travel Document in advance of departure, you may be unable to re-enter the United States, or you may be placed in removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge.

To apply for a Refugee Travel Document, you will need to submit a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with the required fee or request for fee waiver under 8 CFR § 103.7(c) to the Nebraska Service Center, P.O. Box 87131, Lincoln, NE 68501-7131.

Committing Crimes

Although you have been granted asylum in the United States, you may still be removed if you commit certain crimes. These are some of the crimes for which you may be removed from United States and may be forced to return to your home country:

• Murder

• Rape

• Sexual Abuse of a minor

• Child Pornography

• Assault

• Aggravated Crimes of Domestic Violence

• Drug Distribution, Drug Trafficking, or Drug Addiction

• Violations of Protective Orders

• Robbery

• Theft

If you are ever arrested, you should consult a criminal defense attorney and an immigration attorney before revealing any information about what happened to the police, entering into an agreement or making a plea bargain.

The criminal defense attorney will be able to represent you in your criminal case, and the immigration attorney can advise you about the immigration consequences of any plea bargains or convictions. It is essential that you consult both types of attorneys because the definition of a conviction for immigration purposes is much broader than the definition of a conviction for criminal purposes.

Other Responsibilities

You have other responsibilities as an asylee. These include the requirement to notify USCIS of any change in address within 10 days of any such change using Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card.

Additionally, any male asylees between the ages of 18 and 26 must register for the Selective Service. To obtain information about the Selective Service and how to register, an asylee may sign on to the Selective Service website or obtain a Selective Service “mail-back” registration form at his or her nearest post office.

Applying for Citizenship

While you are not required to become a U.S. citizen, there are important reasons to consider doing so. Being a legal permanent resident does not give you the same legal rights as U.S. citizens.

More Information:

  • Your Guide to InfoPass (USCIS)
  • Form I-9 (USCIS)
  • Application for Social Security Card (SSA)
  • CareerOneStop (US DOL)
  • I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition (USCIS)
  • I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (USCIS)
  • Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)
  • I-131, Application for Travel Document (USCIS)
  • AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card (USCIS)
  • Selective Service (USA.gov)
  • Asylum (Kerosky, Purves & Bogue LLP)