Asylum is a form of legal protection extended to an individual in the United States who has been persecuted or has a “well-founded fear” of being persecuted because of:

Political Opinion • Religion • Race • Nationality • Particular Social Group

The persecution must either be by the government itself, or by a group that the government is either unable or unwilling to control.

Application

If outside of the United States, a person who has been persecuted or fears future persecution based on the criteria above may apply for refugee status from a U.S. Consulate before coming to the United States. However, the Department of State does not allow immigration lawyers to represent refugees in the U.S. Consulates abroad.

If a person seeking asylum is already in the United States and has not sought refugee status, they must file for asylum using Form I-589. The Form I-589 must be filed within the first year of entering the United States and does not require a filing fee. An application for asylum may be filed by any foreign person in the United States regardless of legal status. However, filing an application for asylum may result in being placed in immigration court proceedings if a person is not in lawful status. If you are considering applying for asylum, it is highly recommended that you consult with a licensed attorney as soon as possible.

To find out of you are eligible for asylum, and you would like to discuss your options, please schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

See http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum for more information on U.S. asylum.