When you are forced to flee your home country to seek protection somewhere else, the process of applying for asylum may seem like yet another hurdle. While this filing process may appear daunting, if you follow each step carefully, you will be able to navigate your way through to a successful application in California.
Asylum in the U.S. can be obtained through a process called affirmative asylum. This is the route that many have taken to gain legal citizenship.
Applicants should take care to understand the distinction between affirmative asylum and defensive asylum because the processes are different in several key ways. In defensive asylum, for instance, an immigration judge sees your case in removal proceedings. This is not a part of the affirmative asylum process.
The seven steps of applying for affirmative asylum in the United States
Affirmative asylum is a seven-step process that starts upon your arrival in the U.S. Applicants should note that you have to be physically present in the United States for the asylum application process to begin.
This is a timeline of what you should expect as you go through the asylum application process:
- Step 1: Arrival in the United States
- Step 2: Application for Asylum
- Step 3: Security/Background Checks and Fingerprints
- Step 4: Notice to Receive an Interview
- Step 5: The Interview
- Step 6: Eligibility Review
- Step 7: Final Decision
For those who are applying for affirmative asylum in the U.S., Form I-589 is the document that you need to submit. It’s important to file this form before a full year has passed after your first arrival in the U.S. Failing to do so may compromise your eligibility for asylum.
Although it is never easy to leave your home and seek refuge somewhere else, it can be a comfort to know that you’ll be able to manage the application process. By following these steps and using the resources available to you, affirmative asylum is within your reach.