If you are in F1 status and you apply for asylum and are denied while still in status, you can continue to be a student. However, if you are out of F1 status before you receive a decision on your asylum application and are denied, you could run into problems in the future. Just make sure that you maintain your F1 status while you are in the US.
That being said, asylum cases are very difficult to win. I don't know what country you are from, but you should consult an immigration attorney who can advise you whether you have a good case before you apply.
www.gassonlaw.com - Disclaimer: This a general answer to your legal question. Unless you have a signed engagement letter with me, you should not consider this information to be legal advice.
I would never recommend that someone files an asylum application without the assistance of an immigration lawyer. Those applications are very difficult to win and there are harsh consequences for the applicant if the application is found to have been frivolous. Honestly, applying for asylum is akin to trying to perform surgery on yourself. It's a really bad idea. If you are denied while you are still on F-1 status, you will not have to leave the country. However, if you are denied after your F-1 status has expired, ICE (US Immigration & Customs Enforcement) will immediately initiate Removal proceedings.
You owe it to yourself to contact a lawyer, whether myself or one of my colleagues. If you appreciate the time spent preparing this answer, kindly consider marking it BEST ANSWER or HELPFUL. Also, please be sure to read my disclaimer below. Good luck to you.
Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
560 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during a face to face attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private consultation with an attorney. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, and attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on Avvo.com are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual.
Ms. Gasson is correct ... as long as you obey the F-1/OPT visa rules 100% (that means working at 'related' job) ... you will remain in F-1 status, should they deny your application.
You would be wise ... VERY WISE ... to meet with an immigration lawyer to discuss the 'strength' of your case. At best, 1 out of 20 people that I talk to have a really-strong case.
PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.