As an asylum seeker in the United States, navigating the immigration process can be daunting. However, achieving lawful permanent residence (commonly known as a green card) is possible with the right knowledge and guidance. Asylum helps protect individuals who have fled their home country due to persecution based on race, political opinion, religion, nationality or membership in a particular social group.
To be eligible for asylum, you must be physically present in the U.S. and apply within one year of arrival unless you can demonstrate certain exceptions.
The asylum application process
Before starting the asylum application process, it is highly advisable to seek professional assistance so that you understand your rights and have your case evaluated.
Try to ensure you are thorough and honest while presenting your case. And to strengthen your claim, provide supporting evidence, such as:
- Medical reports
- Country condition reports
- Witness testimonies
Once you submit your application, an USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) officer will schedule your interview, allowing you to explain your case further in person.
Following your interview, there may be a waiting period before you receive a decision on your asylum application. If your application is approved, you will be granted asylum status, and you can apply for a green card after one year. If your application is denied, you can appeal the decision or explore other forms of relief.
Adjusting status to lawful permanent residence
The process of adjusting your status begins with applying for a green card by completing form I-485, followed by the options “Application to Register Permanent Residence” or “Adjust Status.” Once your application is received, you will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment. Your fingerprints, photograph and signature will be taken during this appointment for background checks.
You may be required to attend an interview at a USCIS office and after the interview, you’ll need to wait for the final decision on your green card application. If your application is accepted, you will be granted lawful permanent residence in the U.S.
Obtaining lawful permanent residence as an asylum seeker in the U.S. requires careful planning and adherence to legal requirements. Seeking the guidance of an experienced legal professional can significantly increase your chances of success.