Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Political opinion

You may only file this application if you are physically present in the United States, and you are not a U.S. citizen.

At this time, the option to file an online Form I-589 is only available for certain affirmative asylum applicants. Affirmative asylum applicants may not file an online Form I-589 if they:

  • Are in proceedings in immigration court or before the Board of Immigration Appeals;
  • Are an unaccompanied alien child as defined in 6 U.S.C. § 279(g) and are in removal proceedings;
  • Are among the categories of applicants who must currently file by mail with the Asylum Vetting Center as outlined in the Special Instructions section of our Form I-589 webpage; or
  • Already submitted Form I-589, which is still pending with USCIS.

If you are eligible for asylum you may be permitted to remain in the United States. To apply for asylum affirmatively or defensively, file a Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, within 1 year of your arrival to the United States. Visit our Obtaining Asylum in the United States page for more information on affirmative and defensive filings. There is no fee to apply for asylum.

You may include your spouse and children who are physically present in the United States as dependents on your affirmative or defensive asylum application at the time you file or at any time until a final decision is made on your application. To include your child as a dependent on your application, the child must be under 21 years old and unmarried. For more information see our Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal page.

If you were placed in expedited removal proceedings, you received a positive credible fear determination, and USCIS retained your asylum application for further consideration in an Asylum Merits Interview, please visit our Asylum Merits Interview with USCIS: Processing After a Positive Credible Fear Determination page.

Ref source: