Being granted asylum comes with many benefits. First, asylees (those who are granted asylum) are given work authorization. Work authorization means the United States government is giving you permission to work and make money in the United States. The document which asylees are given is called an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Social Security Card
Asylees may immediately apply for and receive unrestricted Social Security cards. A Social Security card has a 9 digit number issued by the United States government. The primary purpose of this card is to track individuals for their social security and other benefits. You will also need the card number when opening bank accounts, applying for loans, purchasing a car, or purchasing a house. It is the most important personal identification number for those living in the United States.
12 months after you are granted asylum, you are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence status). Greed card holders can generally do everything citizens can do except vote in elections and hold public office. Having a green card gives the card holder a real sense of security. The United States government allows card holders to live, study, and work freely in the United States with almost no restrictions. Green card holders may apply for U.S. citizenship after having a green card for 5 years (the first year as an asylee counts toward the 5 years).
Asylees can obtain a proper travel document from the USCIS and travel outside of the United States. Upon return to the United States, asylees must show their travel document to reenter freely. This means that as an asylee, you do not need to obtain an American Visa to reenter the United States.
As an asylee, you may be eligible for certain benefits and assistance from your local Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Some of the benefits include:
- Medical help
- English language help
- Financial help
- Job placement and employment help
To find out more information about the ORR, call 1-800-354-0365.