If Your Asylum Application Is Denied

If, after your interview, the officer expects to deny your asylum application, he or she may, in rare cases, send you a written notice by mail warning you and explain­ing the reasons. In that case, you have an opportunity to send the asylum officer additional materials or a personal statement to try to overcome his or her doubts.

More often, you’ll simply receive your denial when you go to pick up your decision after your interview. You will be given what’s called a a Notice to Appear (NTA), which is the start of a removal proceeding. such proceedings take place in immigration court, where your application may be considered again by an immigration judge. You can (and should) bring an immigration lawyer, who will help you fully present your story orally before the judge.

If your application is then turned down by the immigration judge, you may file an appeal with the Board of Immigra­tion Appeals, in Washington, DC. If that
appeal is unsuccessful, you may have your case reviewed in a U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals. You should not attempt such appeals without the assistance of an expe­rienced immigration lawyer, because you are in serious danger of being deported.

G. How to Get a Green card as a refugee or Asylee

Refugees who get their statuses before entering the U. S. are entitled to apply for green cards one year or more after arriv­ing in the United States. Political asylees are also eligible to apply for green cards one year or more after their asylee status is granted. You will not receive a notice to come in for a green card interview. You will have to keep track on your own of when you are eligible to apply, then assemble and submit your application.

It’s worth applying for your green card as soon as you can. For one thing, if the conditions supporting your claim to asy­lum status end before you are approved for a green card, you may never receive a green card and you may have to leave the United States.

The sooner you get your green card, the sooner you can apply for U. S. citizenship. Since citizenship is the most secure status the U. S. can offer, it’s worth applying as soon as you’re eligible.

The process of applying for your green card—that is, adjusting your status to per­manent resident—involves preparing a set of forms and documents (a separate set for you and each of your accompanying spouse and children), mailing these to a usCIs service center, waiting for some weeks or months until you’re called in to have your fingerprints taken, and then waiting a few weeks or months longer until you’re called in for your final green card interview at a local USCIS office (not the one to which you sent your applica­tion). You should be approved for your green card at or soon after the interview. See Chapter 4 for information on track­ing the progress of your application at the service center and at your local office.

As part of your adjustment of status application, you and your family mem­bers may apply for permission to work (an Employment Authorization Docu­ment or EAD). If you already have a work permit, you can renew it, when necessary, with the office processing your adjustment application.

Security checks are a likely cause of delays. As part of your adjustment of status application, the FBI must run both a fingerprint check and a name check on you, and the CIA must run a separate name check. These name checks tend to take several weeks, especially because many applicants have similar names. If you’ve been informed that your case is stalled due to security checks, get the name of a person you can keep in touch with for updates, or hire a lawyer to help with this task.

Updated: 18th July 2015 — 3:10 pm