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Asylum - Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible to apply for derivative status on my Asylum approval?

You may apply for derivative Asylum benefits for your spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21 within two years of your grant of Asylum.

  • You may apply for derivative Asylum status for a child who was already conceived, but not yet born, on the day you were granted Asylum
  • You may apply for derivative Asylum status for a stepchild if the marriage between you and the child's parent took place before the child's 18th birthday
  • You may apply for derivative Asylum status for an adopted child if the adoption took place before the child's 16th birthday and the child has been in your legal custody for at least two years
  • You may not apply for derivative Asylum status for your child's mother unless she was married to you on the date you were granted Asylum

Note: After your spouse or children are admitted to the U.S. as derivative asylees, they must be granted special permission to travel abroad until they adjust to lawful permanent resident status. They cannot forfeit or give up their Asylum status and later be re-admitted to the U.S. as asylees.

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Can I apply for Asylum for my spouse and children?

Yes, you may ask to have included in your Asylum decision your spouse and/or any children who are under the age of 21 and unmarried, if they are in the U.S. This means that, if you are granted Asylum, they will also be granted Asylum status and will be allowed to remain in the U.S. incident to your Asylum status. However, if you are referred to the Immigration Court, they will also be referred to the court for removal proceedings. You should refer to the instructions in Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, for information on the documents you will be required to submit establishing your family relationships, such as marriage certificates and birth certificates.

  • Children who are married and/or children who are 21 years of age or older at the time you file your Asylum application must file separately for Asylum by submitting their own Asylum applications
  • Once you are granted Asylum, you may petition to bring your spouse and/or children (unmarried and under the age of 21 as of the date you filed the Asylum application, as long as your Asylum application was pending on or after August 6, 2002) to the U.S. or to allow those already in the U.S., who were not included in your Asylum decision, to remain incident to your Asylum status
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