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How Long Does It Take to Get Asylum in the US?

Getting asylum in the United States can be a long process, but knowing exactly how long is difficult. Affirmative asylum cases have a different timeline than defensive asylum cases, but how on does it usually take for someone to get asylum? UPDATE: As of February 2018, USCIS is now scheduling asylum interview based on a last-come first-out basis. The policy change reflects the Trump administration immigration policy of “Buy American – Hire American” on asylum applicants who apply just for the work permit exploiting the delay that was in effect before this policy change. You should expect an interview anywhere between 30 to 60 days from the date USCIS receives your application for asylum. Deadlines Set by USCIS There are legal guidelines for how long the asylum process should take through USCIS. These are set up by the Immigration and...

Common Mistakes Made During the Asylum Process

It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re seeking asylum in the United States. While some mistakes may just delay the process for you, others may result in your application being denied entirely. Many common asylum mistakes can be avoided, but it’s good to know what you may be doing wrong before you make each step. Mistakes in Applying The application process itself is extensive and needs a lot of attention to detail. There are a lot of things you should pay attention to that can cause you problems later in the process. Here are a few common asylum application mistakes to avoid: Applying without eligibility Sometimes when a relative or friend is granted asylum, it’s easy to assume you will also be granted asylum under similar pretenses. However, you may not be individually eligible, and you should examine your own claim carefully. Applying for asylum without...

Common Asylum Interview Questions and How to Prepare

Everyone who applies for asylum in the United States must go through an interview process. This is true for both affirmative and defensive asylum applications. The asylum interview is one of the most important parts of the entire process, and it can determine whether or not you have a viable claim to asylee status. What Will Be Asked at the Asylum Interview? There are two parts to the interview. During the first part, you’ll be asked to take an oath in which you promise to only tell the truth. You’ll then be asked if you want to make any corrections in your form I-589 application for asylum or withholding of removal. You may make any necessary corrections to the form, which you should review before the interview to double-check for accuracy. The first part of the interview is simply administrative, while the second part is the bulk of the interview. During...

Can You Get US Citizenship through Asylum?

Getting asylum status in the United States doesn’t automatically guarantee that you can live in the US permanently. There are some actions you can do or circumstances that can change or revoke your status as an asylee. Many people who are applying for asylum want to become US citizens or lawful permanent residents (Green Cards holders). Luckily, there is a path to US citizenship laid out for asylees. Gaining Asylee Status Applying for asylum doesn’t automatically grant you status, nor does a recommended approval letter. You are not legally considered an asylee in the United States until you’re granted final approval from the USCIS. Getting final approval and becoming a US asylee grants you some benefits immediately such as a social security number, the right to some government benefits, and the right to work. This also starts the timer towards applying for...

Can You Bring Your Family to the US When Applying for Asylum?

Family separation is hard to handle, especially if you’re forced to be apart for years at a time. Because of this, many people applying for asylum are interested in how they can be re-united with their family as soon as possible, or how they can get the same asylum benefits for their family members. Which Family Members Can Get Asylum Together? You’re not able to seek asylum benefits on behalf of every relative, but you can get derivative asylum benefits or dependent benefits for your unmarried children under 21 and your spouse, as long as they are eligible for admission into the United States. There are certain caveats to this that we’ll look at a little bit later on. Most of your other relatives are unable to get derivative asylum benefits through your application. Siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, and most other relatives are not able to receive...