US Immigration: Refugees and Asylum
Refugee status or asylum may be granted to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.
Refugees are generally people outside of their home country who are unable or unwilling to return home for fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. They must be able to demonstrate that they were persecuted in their home country and also show that they are not firmly resettled in another country. Section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) discusses this in detail.
A person may only seek refugee status while outside the United States.
Asylum status is a form of protection available to people who are already in the United States and who are seeking admission for entry in the United States at a port of entry; and such person is required to meet the definition of refugee before being granted the asylum status.
A person may apply for asylum in the United States regardless of the person’s country of origin or current immigration status.
Filling Requirement for entry to the United States based on asylum
USCIS Form I-589 – Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal
Can I file for asylum status for my relative?
Yes, using USCIS Form I-730 – Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition
Can I file an asylum petition for my relative who is resident outside the United States?
Yes, you can file for relatives, resident within and outside the United States to
If I marry after I become a refugee or asylee, can I file an I-730 for my spouse?
You cannot file an I-730 for your husband or wife if the marriage occurred after you become a refugee or asylee. However, you may want to get legal advice from an immigration attorney to determine if there are any other immigration benefits available to your spouse.