Step by Step
Applying for asylum is fairly straight forward if done correctly with the help of an asylum lawyer. Below are the general steps in the affirmative asylum process:
1) Using the help and expertise of an asylum lawyer, prepare your asylum application package (Asylum form, declaration, corroborating evidence, country conditions/human rights reports, cover page, indexes, etc.). Once complete, your lawyer will mail out the entire asylum package to the correct USCIS processing location.
2) After about 2-4 weeks, you will receive a Notice of Receipt letter from the USCIS and a biometrics letter.
3) After another 4-8 weeks, the USCIS will send you your asylum interview date and time notice.
4) 2-4 weeks after your interview is complete, the asylum office will mail the decision to your address or you will be required to pick it up at the asylum office.
5) If your asylum application is approved, you will receive work authorization along with other benefits. You may be eligible to apply for a green card after 12 months of continuous stay in the United States.
Denials: If you are in the United States on a valid visa and valid status (your I-94 has not expired) then you will receive a Notice of Intent to Deny in the mail. This is a letter from the asylum office stating why they intend to deny your asylum application. The asylum office will give you an opportunity to file a response and try to alleviate all of their objections. If you are out of valid status (your I-94 has expired) and your case is denied, you will be referred to an Immigration Judge. This means you will be given the opportunity to present your asylum case before an immigration judge. This process is a bit more formal and you should consult with an asylum lawyer for further information.