Form I-589: Application for Asylum

If you want to apply for asylum in the USA, you need to file Form I-589 (Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal) and required documents.

! You can apply for asylum on the territory of the USA within one year of arriving in the United States (there are exceptions, see more information below).

! You can apply for asylum even if you are an illegal immigrant.


Filing fee is not required.

Grounds for asylum

You cannot come back to your country because of well-founded fear of persecution (in the past, present or future) on account of:

  • Race discrimination;
  • Religion;
  • Nationality;
  • Political opinion;
  • Membership in a particular social group (for example, non-traditional sexual orientation).

One year rule

USCIS has to receive your asylum application within one year of your arriving in the United States.

What if it was more than a year?

If the situation in your country has changed and you can prove it, your application will be processed, or you had extraordinary circumstances that prevented you from filing within a year, but you have submitted the documents within a reasonable time after the circumstances have changed.

It is important to send your documents to USCIS. It is not submitting your documents to Immigrateful.

Please, mind the terms. It is better to apply in 2-4 weeks before a year of your stay in the USA is over.

Employment authorization

You can apply for employment authorization and SSN in 150 days after USCIS submitted your package of documents for asylum.

You need to complete Form I-765 application for employment authorization. You can do it on

How to obtain a green card

Green card is a document that authorizes you to live in the USA. In a year after you were granted asylum, you can apply for a green card if you have been residing in the USA for a year cumulatively.

You need to file a separate Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status) for each family member, who was included into your asylum application, if they are in the USA. See more information about the form here.

A green card will be mailed in about 3-6 months (processing times may vary). A green card will be predated by one year when USCIS approved your application.

Spouses and children outside the USA

If you submitted the documents alone and your status was approved, but you have a spouse and children outside the USA, you can bring them to the USA. You need to complete and file Form I-730. See more information about the form here.

Travel abroad

If your asylum application has already been approved, but you have not obtained a green card yet, you can travel abroad and return to the USA without visa. You have to receive a travel document for it, having filed Form I-131. See more information about the form here.


All your documents in any language, except for English, must be translated. You need to bring originals of all the documents mentioned in your application to an interview at the Embassy or Immigration Service.

Copies of documentary evidence attached to an application shall be of good quality and translated into English. Translation must be certified by translator’s signature with his/her name, contacts and qualification. All the originals will be returned after the interview.


  • You complete your case answering simple questions step by step with Immigrateful. You can contact Immigrateful attorney at any stage. All the correspondence on the site is confidential. Applying for asylum via our online system is the same as working with attorney, but at your convenience;
  • Immigrateful attorney will check your case carefully;
  • Immigrateful sends the full package o documents to USCIS;
  • USCIS sends a notice that your case has been submitted for processing. You can apply for employment authorization In 150 days since then.
  • You get an appointment to take your biometrics within a month. Immigrateful will remind you about it;
  • You have an interview with immigration officer;
  • You usually receive a decision on your case in two weeks.
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