HOW TO FILE AN ASYLUM APPLICATION

Posted about 2 years ago. 4 helpful votes

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I-589 APPLICATION FORM

The first step for filing for asylum is to correctly fill out the USCIS Form I-589. Make sure you list all your family members, and children especially because it may affect their eligibility to receive derivative status. Also, you should check off all the applicable boxes. If you miss any and/or do not provide description thoroughly, your application can be denied. It is important to check off the correct basis for your application. Why? Because sometimes an applicant does not qualify for an asylum, but may qualify for withholding or CAT protection. The laws and standards for these reliefs differ, and it is best if you protect yourself by checking off the boxes. Very important: the application is FREE. If you run out of space, you may always attach addition sheets of paper.

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AFFIDAVIT and SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

Now, after you have your application filled out, you may realize that you don't have enough space to explain what happened to you. That is why you need to submit an Affidavit, or a sworn statement describing the events, your life, your feelings, etc. Affidavit must be prepared very thoroughly as, it is fair to say, it is the main document that the Asylum Officer and later Immigration Judge will look at when analyzing your claim. What to write in the affidavit? It depends on the basis for your claim. You may start with an introduction into country condition (a short one), and description of what lead to the events you will describe in the main part. Do not omit significant details, and do not omit how you felt. It is important to provide the reader with an accurate picture of what happened to you, so the reader will feel what you felt, and will be able to understand how strongly the events affected you and your life. Finally, do not forget suporting documents.

Additional Resources

You can get more information at http://www.immigrationequality.org/issues/asylum/seeking-asylum/; http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/

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