There are situations in which foreign individuals come to the United States because they are either unable or unwilling to return to their origin country, or they are seeking the protection of the United States due to persecution. These individuals are referred to as asylees. In order for an individual to receive asylee status because of persecution, this persecution must be based on the foreign individual’s race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion. After one year of continuous presence in the United States, asylees are able to adjust their status to a lawful permanent resident.
Am I Eligible?
Foreign individuals are required to meet certain requirements before they may apply for a Green Card. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), these requirements are as follows:
- The individual is physically present in the United States for at least one year after being granted asylum
- The individual continues to meet the definition of an asylee, or they are the spouse or child of an asylee
- The individual has not abandoned their asylee status
- The individual is not firmly resettled in any other foreign country
- The individual must continue to be admissible to the United States
It is important to know that spouses and children are also eligible to apply for a Green Card if they were admitted to the United States as asylees or were included in an individual’s grant of asylum.
How to Apply
In order for an individual to apply for a Green Card as an asylee, there are designated steps to take and requirements to meet. This process includes:
- Completing a Form I-485, also known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
- Submit filing fees. This includes the $1,140 fee for the Form I-485 and the $85 biometric service fee (applicants under the age of 14 do not need to submit biometric service fee).
- Submit evidence. This includes a copy of your Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Record, an approval notice granting asylum, or a copy of the immigration judge’s order that shows the individual was granted asylum. If an individual’s name changed since being granted asylum, they are required to submit evidence of a legal name change.
- Submit photographs
- Submit a Form I-602, also known as the Application by Refugee or Waiver for Grounds of Excludability, if it is applicable
- Submit certified copies of court or arrest records in the event that the individual was arrested, charged, or convicted of a misdemeanor. They must also submit certified disposition documents that show the outcome of the arrest, charge, or conviction.
Once the process is completed and the USCIS receives the proper forms, the individual’s application will be processed. They will then receive a receipt notice of their Form I-485 and a written notice of the decision.
Contact our Firm
John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding immigration law matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and schedule your initial consultation with our firm today.