ASYLUM AND REFUGEES

Refugee status or asylum may be granted to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.

Refugees

Refugee status is a form of protection that may be granted to people who meet the definition of refugee and who are of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Refugees are generally people outside of their country who are unable or unwilling to return home because they fear serious harm.You may seek a referral for refugee status only from outside of the United States. If you are admitted as a refugee, you must apply for a green card one year after coming to the United States.

Under United States law, a refugee is someone who:

  • Is located outside of the United States
  • Is of special humanitarian concern to the United States
  • Demonstrates that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group
  • Is not firmly resettled in another country
  • Is admissible to the United States

A refugee does not include anyone who ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Asylum

Asylum status is a form of protection available to people who:

  • Meet the definition of refugee
  • Are already in the United States
  • Are seeking admission at a port of entry

You may apply for asylum in the United States regardless of your country of origin or your current immigration status. You may apply for a green card one year after being granted asylum.

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