Generally, an individual is eligible for asylum if he/she qualifies as a refugee either because he or she has suffered past persecution or because he or she has a well-founded fear of future persecution. Also, the deadline to file for asylum is within one-year after arrival in the United States unless certain exception applies for late filing. Asylum is a very complicated area of law. Your questions are very broad and can only be answered after careful analysis of your immigration history. I would recommend consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer.
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1. Yes, if you suffered past persecution by your home country government or its agents, based in the 5 enumerated grounds, such as political opinion, membership in a particular group, etc,etc., and are presently afraid to go back due to the same reasons.
Being in valid NIV status as you presently are counts as one of the exceptions to the 1 hear filing requirement.
Within one-two months of filing, you will be scheduled for an interview at your local asylum office. Approval is by no means guaranteed and will depend on how strong your case/claim is Hopefully you'll have an immigration attorney assist you. These cases can sometimes take years after "referral" to immigration court.
2. When you apply "affirmatively" as in your case to the asylum office and are still in valid non immigrant status (L-1 & L-2) you can continue working on your L visas. 180 days after applying for asylum you have the right to file for employment authorization under your asylum application. Quite difficult to obtain the first time.
3. Identical, except asylum based GC is permanent (unlike marriage based GC) and adjudicated based on a different section of the law, Section 209 that contains more waivers.
5. There is no fee to be paid to USCIS when applying for asylum on Form I-539. But applying for asylum without the expert guidance of an immigration lawyer experienced in asylum law is not advisable.
Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
I agree with Mr. Behar.
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