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Can you seek asylum in California?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2022 | immigration |

The federal government oversees immigration, including cases of asylum, in the US. You may be able to seek refuge in any state if you have a fear of persecution or torture.

Credible fear interview

When you tell ICE or US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that it’s dangerous for you to return to your home country, they will hold a credible fear interview. Department of Homeland Security might detain you until the investigation is complete. The department will also inform you of the process and a list of free and low-cost legal service providers.

The waiting period is usually at least 48 hours for your interview after you arrive at a detainment site. Officials may offer the opportunity to waive the waiting period.

Request an IJ review

If your asylum officer judges that you don’t have a credible fear of persecution or torture, you could request an IJ review. An IJ (immigration judge) will assess if you have a valid reason to seek refuge in the US.

Arriving from Canada

US immigration law specifies that if an immigrant seeking asylum entered the US from Canada, then they might have to return to Canada. In Canada, you may request asylum.


Certain crimes could disqualify you from obtaining asylum. The US may reject your application if you have persecuted others based on nationality, race, religion, political opinion or membership in a group. Terrorist activity and serious crimes are other reasons that the US may not allow you asylum. If officials have reason to believe that you are a danger to the US, federal law permits rejection of your request as well.

When you are in danger of persecution or torture, it’s possible to obtain residence in the US through asylum. Officials conduct an investigation to confirm that your claims are true and to check your criminal history for anything that might disqualify you.