Asylum seekers and their families may rely on the asylum process so it is important to be familiar with the timelines and of the chronology process. The timeline of the asylum process begins with the initial application for asylum. The asylum process allows the asylum seeker to remain in the United States and to apply for permanent residency status a year after their asylum request has been granted.
In general, asylum is granted to aliens in the United States who are unable or unwilling to return to their homeland for certain reasons. Reasons that an asylum seeker may use to seek asylum in the United States include because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution in their homeland based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinion. This satisfies the requirement that the asylum seeker is considered a refugee under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
An asylum request must be requested at the port of entry or through an application provided by the government that must be completed within a year of arriving in the U.S. There are few exceptions to this requirement. Once the application has been submitted, the asylum seeker will be interviewed by an asylum officer or immigration judge. The asylum officer or immigration will either approve or deny the application for asylum. If the application for asylum is denied, the asylum seeker has 33 days to appeal the decision.
The importance of asylum for many asylum seekers cannot be overstated. Because of this reality, it is essential for asylum seekers and their families to be familiar with the process and how to navigate it when needed.