Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Members in a particular social group
  • Political opinion

The two ways of obtaining asylum in the United States are through the Affirmative process and defensive process.

  1. Affirmative Asylum Processing with USCIS- To obtain asylum through the affirmative asylum process, one must be physically present in the United States. The individual may apply for asylum status regardless of how he or she arrived in the Untied States or the current immigration status. It is important to note that one must apply for asylum within one year of the date of the arrival in the United States unless special exception applies.
  2. Defensive Asylum Processing with EOIR- a defensive application for asylum occurs when one request asylum as a defense against removal from the U.S. For asylum processing to be defensive, one must be in the removal proceedings in immigration court with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).