People come from all over the world to seek asylum in the United States. This is more than just a chosen immigration process and involves certain protection to those who are in danger in their home countries. For the United States to accept an applicant under asylum conditions, they must be under persecution or fear of persecution in one of five different areas. These include the following, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services:
- Political opinion
- Being a member of a certain social group
Asylum applications are only available for those who were not born in the United States, and the applicants must currently be in the country to apply. They cannot apply from within their home country, even if persecution is imminent.
Who does the application include?
When a person comes to the country looking for asylum, their application includes any spouse and children who are physically present with them. This refers to children who are dependents and are under 21 years of age.
What are the three ways to obtain asylum?
A person may receive asylum in the United States in one of three ways.
- The defensive process
- The affirmative process
- An Asylum Merits Interview in which a credible fear of persecution or torture is established
Asylum provides safety to those who have fled their home countries because they fear imminent threat or danger to themselves or their families. While the process can be complex and extensive, many foreign nationals receive asylum in the United States each year through one of these three processes.