The American dream draws many thousands of people to the U.S. every year. It is the land of opportunity, where anything is possible.
There are two different processes through which you can obtain U.S. asylum. They are the affirmative process and the defense process. Which process you go through depends on whether you are already in the removal process for one of several reasons described below.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services manages this method of processing your application for asylum. This federal organization oversees legal immigration into the United States. You must be physically present in the U.S. to seek asylum in this way, and your current immigration status doesn’t matter. To begin the process, you will complete Form I-589, submit it to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and wait for a review date. The non-adversarial review will take place before an immigration officer.
When you request asylum to prevent removal from the U.S. because you were ineligible, apprehended without proper documentation, or taken into custody by border patrol, you will follow the defense asylum process. In this situation, your case will lead to an adversarial court proceeding where both you and the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement will provide testimony before a judge.
There are different ways to seek asylum in the U.S., depending on your circumstances. The legal immigration process takes time, and you will need to exercise patience, but reaching your goal of U.S. citizenship is well worth the effort and the time it takes to do it the right way.