Many who come to the U.S. seeking asylum do so to escape difficult situations in their home countries. Building a family in a chaotic environment is no easy feat. So, some seek stability and security in the U.S. Fortunately, asylum seekers are eligible for legal protections through asylee status. This can come as a great relief to those who have endured significant hardships.
The right to a peaceful life
Most asylum seekers from Latin America, China and Europe (including Russia and Ukraine) seek refuge in the U.S. Asylees may have uncertainty at first, but once granted status, they can experience peace and newfound rights and benefits. These rights include:
- Right to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely
- Ability to apply for a green card
- Ability to apply for derivative asylum status for family members
- Access to certain federal benefits
- Right to travel outside of the U.S. and return
- Access to legal protections
- Protection from deportation to their home country
It is important to note that asylum seekers cannot be deported from the United States. Unless they commit certain crimes or engage in unlawful activities, they may stay in the U.S. indefinitely.
Journey to a better future
After an asylee status grant, they must apply for lawful permanent resident status – a green card – within one year. This status provides them with more benefits and rights. These rights include petitioning family members to join them in the U.S. and apply for citizenship after four years.
In petitioning family members, there are some things to keep in mind. Asylees can petition family members through derivative status before obtaining a green card. Additionally, the two-year deadline for filing a petition is based on the date of the asylee’s grant of asylum, not their application for adjustment of status. The U.S. acknowledges the fact that everyone deserves a chance for a better life. And this includes those seeking asylum in the land of the free.