Three Tips for Filling Out Your Asylum Application in the United States

If you receive asylum status from the U.S. government, you get special protections and opportunities. Many benefits are available while your asylum application is pending, as well, including the ability to apply for a work permit. However, you need to take the right steps to ensure your asylum application is submitted properly.

At American Dream Law Office, we frequently guide clients through the asylum application process to help demonstrate their eligibility for asylum and removal relief. Here are three tips to keep in mind when filling out your application for asylum, Form I-589.

  1. The One-Year Filing Deadline is Crucial Unless You Meet One of the Exceptions

Most people seeking asylum must file Form I-589 within one year of their most recent entry in the U.S. That means you may need some evidence to prove your date of entry so you can show that you have complied with the one-year deadline. However, there are some exceptions to this one year rule.

First, you may allowed extra time to file if you can show that circumstances have changed since your last arrival in the U.S. Situations that could give you extra time to file include:

  • You applied for a derivative application based on a relationship and that relationship ended, such as in divorce or death
  • New hostilities or a new humanitarian crisis have arisen in your home country
  • New laws change your eligibility for asylum
  • Your activities in the U.S. now place you at greater risk if you return to your home country

There can be many changes that could justify extending the one year deadline, so check with an immigration lawyer if you need assistance. 

If you have endured some extraordinary circumstances during the one-year filing period, that could also provide grounds for an extension of the deadline. For instance, if you were seriously injured or ill, or had a protected status until shortly before the deadline, that could qualify you for an extension.

Any time you request an extension, you need to take care to explain your reasoning carefully.

  1. You Need to Submit Copies for All Derivative Applicants

If you are applying for asylum yourself and other family members, it is important to submit a copy of the application for each person included in your application packet, plus an extra for yourself. That means if you are filing for yourself, a spouse, and two children, you would need two copies for yourself and one for each of your dependents for a total of five copies.

You should also include two photos of each person applying for asylum.

  1. You Can Apply for a Work Permit After 150 Days

After you have submitted your application for asylum, you need to wait 150 days to become eligible to apply for a work permit. The 150 day period starts on the date the application is received. That date should be stamped on your receipt. The form to file is I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.

Schedule a Strategy Session to Get Help With Asylum or Work Authorization

It can be very difficult to understand how to proceed under U.S. immigration law so that you follow all the rules and meet all the requirements to get what you need. Working with the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney makes the process easier and reduces your anxiety.

Call today to schedule a strategy session with the team at American Dream Law Office to get the information you need to reach your goals.