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Asylum - Frequently Asked Questions

9.

Where should I file Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal?

Extraordinary circumstances may include but are not limited to the following:

  • If you are applying for Asylum for the first time and have not been placed in removal proceedings in Immigration Court, you may file Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, at the Service Center that has jurisdiction over your place of residence
  • If you have previously applied for and were denied Asylum by the USCIS or were previously included in a spouse’s or parent’s pending application but no longer eligible to be included as a derivative, you may file Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, at the Asylum Office having jurisdiction over your place of residence
  • If you are currently in removal proceedings in Immigration Court, you may file Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, at the Immigration Court having jurisdiction over your place of residence
  • If you are a certain crewmember, stowaway, individual who entered the U.S. pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program or as described in 8 CFR § 208.2(c) before Form I-863, Notice of Referral to Immigration Judge, has been filed, you may file Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, with the District Director having jurisdiction over your place of residence

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10.

Can I apply for Asylum even if I am illegally in the U.S.?

Yes, you may apply even if you are in the U.S. illegally. You may apply for Asylum regardless of your immigration status as long as you file your application within one year of your last arrival or demonstrate that you are eligible for an exception to that rule based on changed circumstances or extraordinary circumstances, and that you filed for Asylum within a reasonable amount of time given those circumstances.

11.

Can I apply for Asylum even if I was convicted of a crime?

Yes, however, you may be barred from being granted Asylum depending on the crime. You must disclose any criminal history on your Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, and at your Asylum interview. Failure to disclose such information may result in your Asylum claim being referred to the Immigration Court, and possible fines or imprisonment for committing perjury.

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