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.  Asylum status is a form of protection available to people who:

  • Are already in the United States.
  • Are seeking admission at a port of entry.

You may apply for asylum in the United States regardless of your country of origin or your current immigration status.

You can live and work in the United States permanently.  If you are granted asylum, you are authorized to work in the United States whether or not you have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  You are eligible to use employment services from One-Stop Career Centers including:

  • Job search assistance, Career counseling and Occupational skills training.
  • Asylum status for spouse and any unmarried children under 21.  You may request derivative asylum status for your spouse or children who were listed on your asylum application.
  • Can apply for Social Security card.  You may immediately apply for an unrestricted Social Security card at a Social Security office once you have asylum status.
  • After one year in the United States, you may apply for permanent residence (a green card) for yourself and each qualifying family member who wants to become permanent residents.
  • Can apply for refugee Travel Document (similar to a passport).
  • Eligible for need based government assistance, like welfare, Medicaid (medical assistance), disability, and food stamps.
  • You may be eligible to receive the help from an organization in your area funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Service may include:  Financial assistance, Medical assistance, Employment preparation and job placement and English language training.

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