305 Broadway Suite 100 New York, New York, 10007-1109 TEL: 1 (212) 267-2555 TOLL FREE: (800) 272-8160
Metro Park NJ office (By Appointment Only) (732) 313-0075

Applying for Asylum in NYC and New Jersey

New York asylum lawyer answers questions about applying for asylum

It can be difficult to know when and how to apply for asylum, especially when you have just escaped a difficult situation in your home country.  The experienced asylum lawyers at Bretz & Coven, LLP want to help.  Here are their answers to the most common questions about asylum in the U.S.

Do I qualify for asylum?

You may qualify for asylum if you are a refugee—defined under U.S. law as someone outside his or her country of residence, who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

How do I apply for asylum?

How you apply for asylum depends on your circumstances.  In all cases, you must submit a Form I-589.  However, the location at which you submit the form varies, depending on if you:

  • Are applying for the first time, and are not in removal proceedings—apply at the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Service Center that has jurisdiction over your place of residence
  • Previously applied for and were denied asylum, or someone else applied for you, but you are no longer eligible as a dependent—apply at the asylum office having jurisdiction over your place of residence
  • Are in the midst of removal proceedings—apply at the immigration court that has jurisdiction over your place of residence
  • Are with a group, including crewmembers, stowaways, or individuals who entered the U.S. pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program—apply at the USCIS Service Center that has jurisdiction over your place of residence

Should I bring a lawyer to my asylum interview?

You are not required to bring a lawyer, but applicants with New York City immigration asylum attorneys are much more likely to succeed in their asylum applications.

How do I apply for asylum for my spouse and children?

You must list your spouse and children on your Form I-589, regardless of whether they are with you in the United States, or want to be included in your asylum application.  However, you may ask to include your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 in your application.

How long does it take?

Most asylum applicants receive a decision within six months of their application, barring unusual circumstances.

Work with skilled New York asylum lawyers

The immigration attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP successfully have represented hundreds of asylum applicants, from uncomplicated first-time applicants to individuals already in removal proceedings.  If you are contemplating applying for asylum, or want to appeal an adverse asylum decision, contact our experienced immigration attorneys right away.

We invite you to contact us online or by phone, at 1 (212) 267-2555, or to visit our conveniently located offices in downtown Manhattan, to discuss your application for asylum and any other immigration concerns you may have.  For an office appointment in Metro Park, New Jersey, call 1 (732) 313-0075.

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