skip to main content

Refugee Admission and Asylum Protection

If I Have Been Granted Asylum, May I Apply for Permanent Residence in the U.S.?

Posted on July 13, 2022

You may apply for permanent residence, also known as a Green Card, one year after being granted asylum. To apply for a Green Card, file an Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status on Form I-485. You must submit a separate application packet for each family member who received asylum based on your case. Read more

May I Apply for Asylum for My Family Members?

Posted on July 13, 2022

You may include your spouse and children who are in the U.S. on your asylum application at the time you file, or at any time until a final decision is made on your asylum case. To include your child on your application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried. If you are granted asylum you may petition to bring your spouse and children to the United States by filing a Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition on Form I-730. To include your child on your application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried. You must file the petition within two years of being granted asylum unless there are humanitarian reasons to excuse this deadline. Read more

Can I Work as Soon as I Apply for Asylum?

Posted on July 13, 2022

An application for asylum does not entitle a person to work in the U.S. But if asylum has already been granted, then the person is automatically authorized to work. A person who has applied for asylum but has not yet received a decision may file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization 150 days after applying for asylum. Read more

Can I Apply for Asylum Protection if I Am Already in the U.S.?

Posted on July 13, 2022

Yes, but you must file an Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal on Form I-589 within one year of your arrival to the United States. Individuals who hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or who have been granted humanitarian parole may file for asylum after the one-year deadline following their arrival to the United States, as long as they file within a reasonable period after the deadline. A small number of individuals may be excepted from the one-year deadline under a recent lawsuit (the Mendez-Rojas class action agreement). Individuals who previously crossed the border seeking asylum but who were stopped and not informed of their right to apply for asylum within one year of entry may qualify for an exception to the one-year limitation if they file notice with the immigration court or with USCIS before April 22, 2022. This exception is unlikely to apply to most recent Ukrainian migrants. Anyone else who files an asylum application after they have been in the United States for more than one year must show that there were exceptional circumstances that prevented them from applying sooner, or that circumstances have changed and have given rise to an asylum claim that previously did not exist. Read more

Is Asylum Protection Granted Immediately?

Posted on July 13, 2022

No, asylum is not granted immediately. Applicants must apply for asylum protection. Currently, the process of applying for asylum can take 3-4 years or more. Read more

If I Come to the U.S. Border, Can I Ask for Asylum Protection?

Posted on July 13, 2022

A person may apply for asylum in the United States regardless of their country of origin or their current immigration status. In order to apply for asylum protection, applicants must show they cannot return to their home country because they fear persecution there. They must prove that the harm is from the government of their home country, or, from some person or group that the government of their home country cannot protect them from. To be eligible for asylum, the persecution must also be significant, such as unlawful or political detention, torture, violation of human rights, physical violence, or some type of severe non-physical harm. Each asylum application is considered individually based on the applicant’s unique facts and circumstances. Some people are granted asylum protection while others are not. Also, asylum protection will be denied to anyone who has been involved in terrorist activities or is considered a threat to U.S. security. Read more

What Is the Difference Between Refugee Admission and Asylum Protection?

Posted on July 13, 2022

Refugee status is a form of protection that may be granted to people who meet the U.S. legal definition of “refugee” who are not yet inside the U.S. or at a U.S. port of entry. Refugees may either be located in their home country or in a different country (but not permanently seeking resettlement in their current country). Asylum status is a form of protection available to people who meet the U.S. legal definition of “refugee” and who are either already in the U.S. or are seeking admission at a U.S. border. Read more

Can Ukrainians Who Are Potentially Eligible for Refugee Entry into the U.S. Apply after They Have Settled in Another Country?

Posted on July 13, 2022

Ukrainians who have already entered into another country under a permanent resettlement program, or have been offered permanent resettlement or permanent resident status in that country, are not eligible to seek entry as refugees into the U.S. Read more

What If I Believe I Am Eligible to Apply for Refugee Entry into the U.S.?

Posted on July 13, 2022

Individuals cannot apply directly to the United States for refugee entry. Individuals who are designated by UNHCR as refugees in need of resettlement in the U.S. are referred to the U.S. Department of State to determine whether they can seek entry through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. For some categories of refugee entry, you must receive a referral directly from the U.S. Embassy located in the country where you currently reside. If you receive a referral, you will receive help filling out your application and then be interviewed abroad by a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer who will determine whether you are eligible for refugee resettlement. Each applicant will be screened to determine if they meet one of three U.S. priority designations for refugee entry: Priority One: Individuals with compelling protection needs or those for whom no other durable solution exists. Note: This priority class is rarely granted. Priority Two: Groups specifically selected by the Department of State for group referral. These include persons from certain designated countries which have been identified as having “special concern” to the United States, as well as persons belonging to certain religious groups which have traditionally been persecuted in their home countries. Currently, Ukraine is not designated as a Priority Two country.   Priority Three: The relatives (parents, spouses, or unmarried […] Read more

Can Ukrainians Fleeing War Qualify as Refugees in Other Countries?

Posted on July 13, 2022

Maybe. Ukrainian nationals fleeing their home country because of war, persecution, or natural disaster may qualify for protection under a category determined by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). For Ukrainians who are seeking refugee status, UNHCR conducts an initial screening in their current country of residence to determine if they qualify as a refugee under international law. Read more

The content on this website is provided for general educational purposes only. It is not intended to be taken as legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This website and its content are property of the Ukraine Immigration Task Force and may not be reproduced in any format without written permission. By using this website, you agree to abide by our Terms of Use.

Learn more about how to use this site.