You’ve been granted asylum. Now what?

by | Dec 8, 2023 | IMMIGRATION LAW


Derivative Asylum for Spouse and Children
The asylee may petition for immediate relatives living abroad, spouse and children (who were under twenty one (21) years old when the application was filed), within a two-year period after being granted asylum. This period may be extended for humanitarian reasons.
Eligibility for Employment and a Social Security Number
As an asylee you are automatically eligible to work in the United States, and DOES NOT need an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). See uscis.gov/graphics/lawsregs/handbook/Asylees031003.pdf.
You are eligible for an unrestricted social security card that along with proof of identity is sufficient to establish that she is eligible to work in the United States. See www.ssa.gov/immigration/documents.htm. Unrestricted social security cards are obtained by applying with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Asylees will need to bring the original grant of asylum to the SSA, along with other proof of identity and signature.
While as an asylee you are not required to possess an EAD, many asylees do not possess sufficient proof of identity to easily obtain identity documents, including state IDs or Drivers’ Licenses. Accordingly, many asylees who don’t have a valid passport or other government-issued picture/signature identity card choose to apply for an EAD. (Keep in mind as an asylee you are prohibited from obtaining a passport from your home country.)
Finally, some potential employers illegally require that asylees present an EAD as proof of employment eligibility. Such a demand is document abuse, and should be reported to the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.
Public Benefits
Asylees are entitled to certain public benefits. For the first seven years after being granted asylum, asylees are eligible for Social Security Income, Medicaid, and Food Stamps, and a variety of other benefits and services.
International Travel
Asylees can travel outside the United States with refugee travel documents. It is essential that the asylee not return to her home country until she has become a U.S. citizen and can travel with a U.S. passport. If the asylee does return to her home country, DHS could refuse to allow her to reenter the United States on the grounds that she implicitly no longer fears persecution.
Asylees must only travel with a United States issued Refugee Travel Document. If an asylee travels with the passport issued by their home country she can be seen as availing herself of the protections of her government which could lead to a finding by the U.S. government that she no longer needs asylum protection.
Green Card
After having been granted asylum, an asylee is eligible to apply to adjust her status to legal permanent residence (green card) with CIS one year after being granted asylum.
Citizenship.
Green card holders may apply for United States Citizenship after five (5) years. Keep in mind that an asylee green card is back dated one year from the date it’s granted.

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