Deadline to Apply for Asylum

A one-year filing deadline rule is applied to every asylum seeker who enters the USA. It means immigrants have 360 days since their last arrival in the United States to apply for political asylum. The deadline is calculated only from the last time the individual crossed the US border. But there are some exceptional circumstances when the individual has a chance to apply for asylum and get approval. This individual needs to file the application and explain what happened and prove his/her eligibility to get asylum granted.

Here are just some of the possible exceptions that could happen with individuals who have a one-year issue:

  1. Applicant’s serious illness. Maybe, the applicant was hospitalized or went for treatment.
  2. Death or serious illness of the applicant’s close family members, such as spouse, children, parents.
  3. Applicant’s psychological trauma.
  4. Applicant’s current non-immigrant status (for example, a student who has a valid status can apply for political asylum even if this student has been in the US for several years and maintains the student status).
  5. Applicant’s legal incapacity.
  6. If the individual was previously included in the application of the main asylum seeker, but has lost family ties with the main applicant (for example, the spouses have divorced or the applicant’s child has reached the age of 21).
  7. The political situation has changed in the individual’s country of residence.
  8. The applicant applied for political asylum within one year, but for some reason, the immigration office returned the application.

Immigrants who applied after one year of their last arrival in the US have the same chances of getting asylum approval after the immigration interview. Those applicants may be referred to the immigration court but still, they have a chance to prove that they are eligible for asylum status.

Applicants can seek asylum even after a few years of their last arrival in the US. They just have to prove and provide evidence that their return to their home country would endanger their, and their family member’s lives or that they would be victims of persecution for their political and religious views, or racial and social membership. The asylee status is something that protects people from past or future persecution if they return to their home country. However, the asylum seekers must have evidence such as testimony, documents, and confirmation that they are afraid of returning to their country.

Individuals who applied for asylum after one year have the same procedure as those who applied within a one-year window. They are eligible to apply for an employment authorization document (work permit), attend an asylum interview, and maybe immigration court (if the immigration officer did not grant asylum and referred the case to the court). After asylum approval, this individual may apply for a family petition and green card in the future.

For informational use only. 

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