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Local: 502-442-2039 Toll-Free: 888-832-2944

What is derivative asylum status?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2022 | asylum

Your efforts to seek residency in the United States through asylum have paid off. However, you still have close family in your home country and they may be subject to the same persecution that you have fled from. This is where derivative asylum status may be of help.

Derivative asylum status means certain family members can receive asylum because you are an asylee. This provision is not for all relatives, however. The USCIS explains who is eligible for this protection.

Spouses

If you have a wife or husband who is not a U.S. resident, your spouse may be able to acquire derivative asylum status. The main requirement is that you had married your spouse before you entered the United States as a refugee or you acquired asylum. Be ready with documents like a marriage certificate to help prove your marital status.

Children

You may seek derivative asylum status for your children. However, they must fulfill the requirements of being a child under U.S. law. They have to be under 21 years old and not married. They must have a relationship with you at the time you had filed Form I-730 and, if the circumstance calls for it, when they enter the United States.

Additionally, your child should have been at least conceived before you gained refugee or asylum status. This means the mother of your child should be pregnant with your child at this time. It is also possible to qualify your stepchildren, adopted children and legitimated offspring into asylum status, but requirements will be specific to these categories.

Be aware of possible disqualifications

U.S. law can deny derivative asylum status on different grounds. The government may decide someone cannot gain derivative asylum due to meeting a mandatory asylum bar. A spouse may not gain entry if there is no proof the spouse received a divorce from a previous spouse. Different questions will matter depending on your case.