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What criteria need to be met if you are seeking asylum?

Every day, people come to the Kentucky and the United States to avoid persecution or fear of persecution. The protection they request is known as asylum. If you are persecuted in your home country or fear you will be persecuted for your political opinion, nationality, religion race or because you are a member of a social group, you may be eligible for asylum in the United States.

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, you can request and apply for asylum once you are in the United States or at a port of entry to the country. Within one year of arriving in the county, you can still apply for asylum, regardless of your current immigration status. There are still some cases where you can apply after you have been here for a year, but you must meet certain criteria.

Your children and spouse should be listed on your asylum application and you can count your spouse as a dependent. You can also claim your children as dependents if they are in the country, unmarried and under 21.  It is encouraged that you bring your family members to the asylum interview, and if you are granted your request they will be included and can remain in the country.

Once the application is submitted, a decision is made regarding your asylum case within 180 days. This may change if there are exceptional circumstances. Minors can apply for asylum on their own, and those who have been convicted of a crime can apply, although the crime may affect the outcome of the application.

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