Asylum allows children and youth to remain permanently in the U.S. People granted asylum are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence (a “green card”) after one year.
How do I qualify for asylum?
You are eligible for asylum if you are in the U.S. and you have suffered harm or have a fear of harm in your home country because of your nationality, race, religion, political views or membership in a particular social group. The harm must come from government authorities or someone the home country is unable or unwilling to control.
What are the benefits of asylum?
- If you are granted asylum, you can remain in the United States and eventually obtain lawful permanent residency (a “green card”).
- You can get a work permit to work, which also serves as a form of identification.
- You can travel outside the United States with a refugee travel document, but generally you cannot return to your home country.
- You can receive some public benefits (in California this includes Medi-Cal, food stamps, CalWorks).
If I have asylum, can I help family members?
Once you become a permanent resident, if you get married and your spouse is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may be able to petition for them. You can also petition for any unmarried children. You should talk to an attorney before doing this.
Once you have been a permanent resident for 5 years, you may be eligible to become a U.S. citizen. As a U.S. citizen, you can petition for your spouse, children, parents and siblings.