In our past article, “What is Asylum?”, we discussed that asylum is a protection granted to foreign nationals already in the United States, or at the border, who meet the international law definition of a “refugee.”
A “refugee” is defined as a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and cannot obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Asylum seekers may obtain refugee status from abroad or the United States.
Upon a grant of asylum, the foreign national is considered an “asylee”, and is granted the following benefits:
- Protection from being returned to his or her home country;
- Work authorization;
- A Social Security number;
- The ability to apply for a travel document to travel abroad;
- The ability to petition to bring immediate family members to join him/her in the United States;
- Eligibility for certain government benefits; such as Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance, and financial assistance;
- The ability to apply for a green card after one year; and
- The ability to apply for citizenship, four years after obtaining a green card.
The process of applying for asylum can be complicated and it is important that all requirements be properly followed. If you should have any questions or need more information about asylum or any other immigration matter, please contact the Law Offices of Azita M. Mojarad, P.C. by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 312.641-0771.