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Asylum applicants can refile for changes in circumstances

If you are seeking asylum in the U.S., getting here is half the battle, because you can only apply once you are in the country. If you don’t apply upon arrival and are now living in Kentucky or elsewhere in the U.S., you must file your application within one year. This is sometimes much easier said than done, however. The U.S. limits the number of refugees receiving asylum each year to 45,000, and beyond that, there are several additional reasons your application may be denied.

The Dept. of Homeland Security notes that you have one year upon arrival to file Form I-589, the application for asylum. Not filing within that timeframe is reason enough to bar you from receiving it. You may also be barred if an immigration judge or board of appeals has denied a previous application unless you can show that your situation or circumstances have changed.

Additional reasons you may be barred from asylum include:

  • Ordering or aiding persecution of someone for their race, political opinion, nationality, religion or social group
  • Conviction of a serious crime that may mean you are dangerous to the U.S.
  • Have already resettled in another country before coming to the U.S.

Any ties that you may have to a terrorist group or activity are enough to bar your asylum as well. That ban extends to your spouse and children too.

If your situation has changed, FindLaw explains that you may be allowed an extension to the filing deadline as long as the timeframe is “reasonable,” due to the circumstances you face. Valid changes include:

  • New U.S. laws that affect your situation specifically
  • Changes in your personal circumstances, such as conversion to a new religion
  • New conditions in your home country or the country in which you previously settled
  • Your asylum was supported due to a previous application, but the qualifying relationship has ended

If you qualify for consideration under changed circumstances, you must still file your application within a reasonable time. In weighing the deadline extension, asylum agents also consider your education level, how long it takes to obtain legal aid, your health and how long you had been aware of changes in your situation.

This article is informational only; it is not to be considered legal advice

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