If you or members of your family living in California have entered the United States legally from a country where you have been persecuted, you have the right to apply for affirmative asylum. Those seeking asylum just follow a specific process that will allow them to stay in the country and eventually apply for citizenship.
What is affirmative asylum?
Affirmative asylum is an immigration and naturalization designation that indicates the person seeking to stay in the United States is not under removal proceedings. If you are physically present in the United States, you can apply for asylum by completing Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal within one year of your arrival in the United States. Bars to your application include:
• Not filing within the one-year deadline
• Prior denial of asylum
• Eligible for removal to a safe third-party country.
Once you have completed the application, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services will notify you that your application is under review. Applicants must undergo fingerprinting and background/security checks and attend an interview with an immigration officer to receive a preliminary decision. A supervisory officer must review that decision before making a final determination of your asylum status.
What if my asylum application is denied?
If your asylum case is denied, you will be placed in removal proceedings. You will have to appear in immigration court and can file for an appeal at this time. You may be able to appeal multiple times in certain situations.
To increase your chances of getting asylum in the United States, you should gather as much evidence as possible that you will be persecuted and in danger when deported to your home country. Filling out forms entirely and being consistent with your statements can help improve your chances of remaining in the United States.