You need to consult with a qualified immigration attorney as soon as possible. If you're finishing up OPT after F1, then you may have missed the 1 year filing deadline from your last entry for affirmative asylum. There could be exceptions that may apply or you may have entered within the past year, but you should not attempt undertaking something as important and complicated as an affirmative asylum application by yourself.
You can legally remain once you have filed for asylum. You are residing in the most generous, liberal asylum granting jurisdiction in the entire US.. Just be patient for the next 6 months or so, until scheduled for an interview. Use this time to consult with, and hopefully hire a local immigration lawyer to prepare you and accompany you to your upcoming asylum interview.
Your having filed for asylum while still in lawful nonimmigrant status is an exception to the one year asylum filing requirement.
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.
Once you apply for asylum, you are legally able to remain in the US.
(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.