There is no fee to apply for asylum.

To apply for asylum, you will need to complete Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. Forms are available by clicking on the link to Form I-589 below or by calling the forms request line at 1-800-870-3676. The table below explains where to file your Form I-589. See 8 CFR § 208.4(b). For more information on applying for asylum, see “Obtaining Asylum in the United States: Two Paths” and “The Affirmative Asylum Process” in the links below. Circumstance Where to File Your Form I-589 Applying for asylum for the first time and have not been placed in removal proceedings in Immigration Court USCIS Service Center that has jurisdiction over your place of residence. Information about where to send your application is found in the instructions to Form I-589. USCIS will confirm in writing its receipt of your completed application. Previously applied for and were denied asylum by INS or USCIS Previously included in a spouse’s or parent’s pending application but no longer eligible to be included as a dependant. Asylum Office having jurisdiction over your place of residence. Include a letter with your application stating that you previously applied for asylum and were denied, or that you are now filing independently for asylum and reference the application on which you were a dependent. Currently in removal proceedings in Immigration Court Immigration Court having jurisdiction over your place of residence. Information about the Immigration Courts can be found at Certain crewmembers, stowaways, individuals who entered the U.S. pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program and others described in 8 CFR § 208.2(c) so long as you have not been referred for a hearing by an IJ (through service of a Form I-863, Notice of Referral to Immigration Judge), has been filed. USCIS Service Center having jurisdiction over your place of residence. Information about the district offices can be found at “Where Do I Send My Application? – Service Centers”.

The legal provisions governing the Asylum Program are codified in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). For the part of the law concerning asylum, please see INA § 208. Rules concerning eligibility requirements and procedures to be followed by applicants and the government are incorporated into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 8 CFR § 208. Asylum officers also rely on case law to adjudicate asylum claims. Administrative decisions made by the Board of Immigration Appeals can be found at

Under the Child Status Protection Act, signed into law by President Bush on August 6, 2002, your child will continue to be eligible as a derivative on your application if he or she turned 21 after your asylum application was filed but while it was pending. Your child must have been unmarried and under 21 years of age on the date that you filed your I-589. The “filing date” is the date that USCIS received your application. Provided you listed your children on the I-589, you can include them as derivatives in your asylum application. There is no requirement that your child was included as a derivative on your asylum application at the time of filing, only that your child was listed as your child on your I-589 and included prior to the decision made on your claim. This means that as long as your child was listed on your asylum application you may later include in your asylum application a son or daughter who is now 21 years of age and unmarried, but who was under 21 and unmarried at the time you filed your asylum application. For more information about derivative asylum, see “Securing Immigration Benefits for Spouses and Children of Asylees”.

For asylum applications filed on or after April 1, 1997, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that the initial interview should take place within 45 days after the date the application is filed. A decision should be made on the asylum application within 180 days after the date the application is filed, unless there are exceptional circumstances. See INA section 208(d)(5). As of Jan. 29, 2018, the USCIS Asylum Division is scheduling interviews in the following order of priority:* First priority: Applications that were scheduled for an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the applicant’s request or the needs of USCIS; Second priority: Applications that have been pending 21 days or less since filing; Third priority: All other pending affirmative asylum applications will be scheduled for interviews starting with newer filings and working back towards older filings. *This scheduling approach was first established following the asylum reforms of 1995 (PDF, 22 KB), and was in place previously for 20 years. Workload priorities, including those related to border enforcement, may affect our ability to schedule all new applications for an interview within 21 days. Asylum office directors may consider, on a case-by-case basis, an urgent request to be scheduled for an interview outside of the priority order listed above. Please submit any urgent interview scheduling requests in writing to the asylum office with jurisdiction over your case. Go to the USCIS Service and Office Locator page for contact information. For asylum applicants who live far from an asylum office or an asylum sub-office, asylum offices schedule interviews at USCIS field offices (“circuit ride” locations) as resources permit. Please contact the asylum office with jurisdiction over your case for more detailed information. See Affirmative Asylum Interview Scheduling for more information.

Immigration FAQs

Factors considered by the USCIS include: Whether the applicant has an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; Whether the applicant has a permanent employment opportunity in the U.S., and whether that employment fits under one of the five eligible employment categories; Whether the applicant is making a capital investment in the U.S. that meets certain dollar thresholds, and that either creates or saves a specified number of jobs; and Whether the applicant qualifies for refugee status as an individual who suffers or fears persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political view, or membership in a certain group in his or her country of origin.

The purpose of the DV Lottery Program is to annually award immigrant visas to applicants whose country of origin has low immigration rates to the U.S. (not more than 50,000 in the last five years). The program is called a lottery because there are more applicants than available visas, and the visas are granted randomly among qualified applicants.

Deportation (or removal) occurs when an alien is found to have violated certain immigration or criminal laws, consequences being that the alien forfeits his or her right to remain in the U.S., and is usually barred from returning.

The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement issues a Notice to Appear (NTA) stating the reason why the alien should be deported or removed. The NTA is served to the alien and is filed with the immigration court. A hearing is scheduled, at which an immigration judge will determine if the information in the NTA is correct. If it is, removal of the alien will be ordered.


There are more than 20 nonimmigrant visa types for people traveling to the United States temporarily. There are many more types of immigrant visas for those coming to live permanently in the United States. The type of Visa you need is determined by the purpose of your intended travel. For an overview of visa types, please see Types of Visas for Temporary Visitors or Visa Types for Immigrants.

Please use the illustrated guide below to learn how to read your new nonimmigrant visa (for travel to the U.S. as a temporary visitor). In addition, as soon as you receive it, check to make sure information printed on the visa is correct (see below). If any of the information on your visa does not match the information in your passport or is incorrect, please contact the nonimmigrant visa section at the embassy or consulate that issued your visa. What is a Visa? Nonimmigrant Visa Types (Classifications) Immigrant Visa Types (Classifications)

A visa must be valid at the time a traveler seeks admission to the United States, but the expiration date of the visa (validity period/length of time the visa can be used) has no relation to the length of time a temporary visitor may be authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to remain in the United States. Persons holding visas valid for multiple entries may make repeated trips to the United States, for travel for the same purpose, as long as the visa has not expired, and the traveler has done nothing to become ineligible to enter the United States, at port-of-entry.

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