Foreign individuals come to the United States for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it is because they are unable or unwilling to return to their native country, or they are seeking protection due to persecution. These individuals are called asylees. In order for an individual to receive asylee status on the basis of persecution, the individual must be persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion. Asylees are able to adjust their status to a lawful permanent resident after one year of continuous presence in the United States.

Am I Eligible?

Foreigners who come to the United States are required to meet certain requirements before they may apply for a Green Card to become a lawful permanent resident. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the requirements are as follows:

  • The individual is physically present in the United States for at least one year after being granted asylum
  • The individual continues to meet the definition of an asylee, or they are the spouse or child of an asylee
  • The individual has not abandoned their asylee status
  • The individual is not firmly resettled in any other foreign country
  • The individual must continue to be admissible to the United States

In addition to this, spouses and children are also eligible to apply for a Green Card if they came to the country as asylees or were included in an individual’s grant of asylum.

How to Apply

In order for an individual to apply for permanent resident status as an asylee, certain steps must be taken to meet the necessary requirements. This process includes:

  • Completing a Form I-485, also known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • Submit filing fees. This includes the $1,140 fee for the Form I-485 and the $85 biometric service fee (applicants under the age of 14 do not need to submit biometric service fee).
  • Submit evidence: a copy of your Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Record, an approval notice granting asylum, or a copy of the immigration judge’s order that shows the individual was granted asylum. If an individual’s name changed, they are required to submit evidence of a legal name change.
  • Submit photographs
  • Submit a Form I-602, also known as the Application by Refugee or Waiver for Grounds of Excludability, if it is applicable
  • Submit certified copies of court or arrest records in the event that the individual was arrested, charged, or convicted of a misdemeanor. They must also submit certified disposition documents that show the outcome of the arrest, charge, or conviction.

Once the process is completed and the USCIS receives the correct forms, the application will be processed. The individual then receives a receipt notice of their Form I-485 and a written notice of the decision.

Contact our Firm

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please contact the office to discuss your circumstances and options.