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What is Asylum for Immigrants?

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What is Asylum for Immigrants?

“Asylum” in the legal sense is a process in which a person who believes their life is in danger due to circumstances in their own country can seek protection and refuge in another country.

Common reasons people fear for their health and safety in their home country include their ethnicity, race, religion, and political opinions. Asylum seekers must provide evidence that they are being persecuted, or have a credible fear of persecution, to be granted asylum. In this way, asylum is fundamentally different from other types of immigration, which is typically done on the basis of family relationship, employment, and education.

In the U.S., asylum is often a long and difficult legal process which can be complicated by cultural and political issues. However, it is a worthwhile process for many, as each year tens of thousands of people are granted asylum in the U.S. and are legally allowed to stay and build a life free from fear and persecution.

Here’s what you need to know about seeking asylum in the U.S.

Eligibility to Apply for Asylum in the U.S.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), individuals applying for asylum in the U.S. must meet the following criteria:

        Not a U.S. citizen

        Physically present in the U.S. (as opposed to a refugee, who is not present in the U.S. at the time of seeking protection)

These are the main eligibility requirements. Each individual pathway to asylum described below has its own eligibility requirements.

How to Apply for Asylum in the U.S.?

USCIS provides three ways to obtain asylum protection in the U.S.:

  •       Affirmative Process
  •       Asylum Merits Interview
  •       Defensive Process

Each process is different and has different eligibility requirements. Read more about these three processes on our blog here. If you have more questions about how to apply for asylum in the U.S., get in touch to schedule a free consultation with one of our immigration attorneys here at The Carolina Law Group so we can discuss your case. 

What Happens If You Are Granted Asylum in the U.S.?

Asylum seekers who are successful in their application for asylum in the U.S. are protected against removal from the U.S. They are legally allowed to work in the U.S. and may petition to bring family members over to join them. After one year, they are eligible to apply for a Green Card (aka lawful permanent resident status).

What Happens If You Are Denied Asylum in the U.S.?

It depends. An individual who is denied asylum in the U.S. may have the option to appeal the decision or find another way to stay in the U.S. Otherwise, they will be put into removal proceedings and must leave the country.

Have Questions about Asylum? Call the Immigration Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group

Are you planning on applying for asylum in the U.S.? Or have you been placed in removal proceedings but fear returning to your home country? Speak with the immigration attorneys at The Carolina Law Group. They can help.

Seeking asylum in the U.S. isn’t easy. Changing laws, concerns over national security, and political issues can make the process even harder. That’s why you should to work with an immigration attorney with experience helping people seek asylum, especially if you are already in removal proceedings or have had problems with USCIS or immigration procedures in the past. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, so you have nothing to lose – call one of the numbers below to schedule your consultation today.

The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.312.4444) & West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110).

Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.


Monty D. Desai came to the United States on Christmas Eve, 1988. After high school he joined the service in order to earn money for college. Monty would go on to earn a letter of commendation as a Navy Corpsman for the Marine Corps. After his service, Monty completed his undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina. From there, Monty went on to attend Thomas M. Cooley Law School on full scholarship, where he earned his Juris Doctorate. Following graduation from law school, Monty served as prosecutor with Greenville County Solicitor’s Office, and also worked as a a adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Division at Greenville Technical College. In 2015 Monty was recognized by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys as ranked among the Top 10 Under 40 for excellence in the field of personal injury.

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