Asylum Residency: Essential Information and Advice

As mentioned above, VAWA self-petitioners VAWA self-petitioners can obtain permanent residency through this type of visa. However, what happens with asylum residency? Today we will look at what you need to know to adjust your status as an asylee, from eligibility criteria to processing times.

Obtaining asylum can be difficult, given the harsh circumstances applicants have endured in their home country. But he is not alone. At Urbina Immigration Law we know what you are going through. That’s why our attorneys can support and assist you every step of the way. Tell us your case and get the help you need.

What is Asylum in the United States?

Asylum is legal protection for people fleeing persecution in their home countries because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Applicants must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution to obtain asylee status in the country.

Asylum is a legal protection for people fleeing persecution in their home countries.
Asylum is a legal protection for people fleeing persecution in their home countries.

Who can obtain asylum residency?

To obtain the residency through asylum, any applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Be physically present in the U.S.: You must have been in the U.S. for at least one continuous year from the date USCIS approved your asylum application. Any time spent abroad will not count toward this requirement.
  • Meet the refugee definition: You must continue to meet the legal definition of a refugee, i.e., continue to fear persecution in your home country because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. In addition, traveling back to your home country may cause you to lose your asylee status.
  • Not having resettled in another country: You must not have accepted citizenship or permanent residence from a third country before or after entering the United States in asylee status. Resettling permanently in another country disqualifies you for asylum residency.
  • Not inadmissible: Must be admissible, i.e., not subject to any of the grounds of inadmissibility under USCIS criteria. This includes health problems, criminal record, public charge, national security risk, previous removal proceedings, illegal immigration status, among others.

Fulfilling these requirements is essential to obtain asylum residency. Therefore, when in doubt, it is best to consult with an attorney to ensure your eligibility. At Urbina Immigration Law we can help you. Contact us today and take the first step towards permanent residency in the United States.

How to obtain asylum residency?

The asylum residency process can be summarized in the following steps:

Step 1: Completing Form I-485

Complete Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status). Be sure to answer all questions about your biographical information, immigration history and marital status clearly and concisely.

Step 2: Gather supporting documentation

Gather all necessary supporting documents, such as the notice of asylum, identity documents, proof of physical presence in the U.S., passport-style photos, copy of Form I-94, etc. It is also recommended that you keep a copy of each document for your personal records.

Step 3: Pay filing fees

Pay the filing fees for Form I-485 ($1,140) and biometrics services ($85). You can pay by check or credit card. However, in case you cannot afford the fees, you can apply for a waiver through Form I-912.

Step 4: Submit documents to USCIS

Organize all forms and supporting documents in a well-structured package. Also include a cover letter detailing everything included. Once this is done, send the package to the appropriate USCIS address.

Step 5: Biometrics appointment and residency interview

Finally, USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment at an Application Support Center (ASC) to verify your criminal history. Then, if necessary, you will attend an interview where an USCIS officail will evaluate your application and confirm that you are eligible for asylum residency.

If necessary, you must attend a residency interview with a USCIS officer.
If necessary, you must attend a residency interview with a USCIS officer.

In the event that USCIS denies your application or you do not receive your green card within 120 days, it is best to consult with an attorney. He or she will be able to help you file an appeal and/or advise you of an unreasonable delay. At Urbina Immigration Law we can assist you. Tell us about your case and get the legal help you need.

Documentation required for asylum residency

For your application for permanent residence by asylum, you must submit the following documentation:

DocumentDescription
Form I-485Application to Register Permanent Residency or Adjust Status
Form I-912 (if applicable)Application for Fee Waiver
Proof of asylumCopy of letter, decision of an immigration judge, or Form I-94, Record of Entry/Departure showing the date you were granted asylum
Evidence of one year of physical presence in the U.S.Documents showing your physical presence in the U.S. for one year after the grant of asylum.
Passport photosTwo recent photos
Identity CardCopy of a government issued ID
Birth CertificateCopy of birth certificate
Non-immigrant visa passport page (if applicable)Copy of the non-immigrant visa page of passport
Passport page with admission stamp or entry permit (if applicable)Copy of passport page with admission stamp issued by a U.S. immigration officer.
Form I-693Medical Report and Immunization Record (may be submitted with Form I-485 or at a later date when requested)
Police and court records (if applicable)Certified records of all criminal charges, apprehensions, or convictions.
Form I-602 (if applicable)Refugee Application for Waiver of Grounds for Exclusion

Submitting the necessary documentation is vital to avoid problems and delays in your application. However, this is not an easy task, as you may be asked for additional documents. Therefore, it is best to consult a lawyer. At Urbina Immigration Law we can help you. Tell us about your case and get your documentation in order. 

How long does asylum residency take?

The length of time it takes to process asylum residency can vary, but can generally take several months or even years. Factors such as the USCIS workload, the complexity of the case, and any need for additional evidence may influence the length of the process. Therefore, it is important to be prepared for possible delays.

Can I include family members in my asylum residency application?

Yes, you may include your spouse and children as derivative asylees, as long as they meet certain requirements, such as having been included in your asylum application (Form I-589) or being a beneficiary of Form I-730.

How can I apply for asylum residency for my family members?

To apply for asylum residency for their family members, each member must file a separate Form I-485 with their filing fee after one year of physical presence in the U.S. They must also include additional documents such as marriage or birth certificates and the notice of grant of asylum.

Can my asylum residency application be denied?

Yes, there are some grounds of inadmissibility for which your adjustment of status petition may be denied even if you are an asylee. Some of the most common are having a criminal record, being considered a public charge, having prior deportation proceedings, or illegal entry into the country.

Are there other ways to obtain residency for victims of violence?

Yes, in addition to asylum residency, there are other legal avenues through which victims of violence can obtain a green card. Some of the most popular are the VAWA, T and U visas. However, it is best to consult with an immigration attorney to explore all the options available to you.

As we have seen, permanent residence by asylum is a great resource for those who must flee their country of origin. However, this is not without its difficulties and the conditions under which applicants must face this process can be overwhelming. 

Therefore, it is best to seek the help of an attorney who can not only assist you in the legal aspects of the process, but also support you during this difficult situation. At Urbina Immigration Law we know what you are going through. Do not face this process on your own. Contact us today and let us secure your future in the United States.

Sources

USCIS – Permanent Residence for Asylees

USCIS – I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residency or Adjust Status

Other resources

If I have my asylum residency, can I travel to my country?

What is Form I-485 and how to apply for permanent residence

Permanent Residence for Victims of Violence or Crimes

T Visa application: process, requirements and more details

Once the T visa is approved, is it possible to travel?

VAWA Residency: A Complete Guide for Domestic Violence Victims

How to obtain a Green Card in the United States – Updated Guide

What are the Green Card categories?

Renewal of permanent residency in the United States: steps and documentation

How to apply for American residency by family petition, step by step

What is a Migratory Waiver and how should I apply for it?

Did you know that illegal re-entry into the United States has serious consequences?

What does it mean to be a public charge?