Some people come to the United States to flee catastrophic circumstances in their home country. This situation is troublesome but might lead to certain protections in this country.
One option that some people exercise when they come to the U.S. because they fear they’ll be persecuted in their home country is to file an application for asylum. This enables them to remain in the U.S. and begin to build a life here.
1. Must be physically present in the U.S.
An application for asylum can only be filed if the individual is physically present in the U.S. Applicants must file within one year of coming into the U.S. That’s a strict deadline that can’t be ignored.
2. Spouses and children can be included or added
People filing for asylum can include their spouse and children in their application. The child must be unmarried and under 21 years old. If they aren’t included in the initial application, they can be added anytime before the final determination about the application is made.
3. Employment authorization is possible
Earning a living is possible for people in the U.S. on an asylum basis. They must apply for an Employment Authorization Document at least 150 days after filing the asylum application. The EAD can’t be issued until another 30 days after the asylum application is filed. This makes the total wait time 180 days after the asylum application.
Certain conditions are present for those who apply for asylum. Because the regulations are so complex, it’s best to work with someone familiar with these matters.