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Famous Immigrants

Alexander Graham Bell
Scotland

When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.

Elie Wiesel
Romania

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

Licensed to Practice State Law in Colorado and California

Green Cards as a Refugee or Through Asylum

Refugee status or asylum may be granted to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of:

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

Refugee status is a form of protection that may be granted to people who meet the definition of refugee and who are of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Refugees are generally people outside of their country who are unable or unwilling to return home because they fear serious harm.

You must receive a referral to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for consideration as a refugee. For more information on the referral criteria, please see http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/refugees/united-states-refugee-admissions-program-usrap-consultation-worldwide-processing-priorities

If you receive a referral, you will receive help filling out your application and then be interviewed abroad by a USCIS officer who will determine whether you are eligible for refugee resettlement. For more information about eligibility, please go to http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/refugees/refugee-eligibility-determination

Your case may include your spouse, child (unmarried and under 21years of age), and in some limited circumstances, other family members. You may include a same-sex spouse in your application provided that you and your spouse are legally married.  As a general matter, USCIS looks to the law of the place where the marriage took place when determining whether it is valid for immigration law purposes. Same-sex partners who are not married but who are qualified  to access the U.S. Refugee Admissions under one of the three designated worldwide processing priorities may have their cases cross-referenced  so that they can be interviewed at the same time and, if approved by USCIS, resettled in the same geographic area in the United States.

There is no fee to apply for refugee status. The information you provide will not be shared with your home country. You may seek a referral for refugee status only from outside of the United States.

Asylum

Asylum may be granted to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of

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

Asylum status is a form of protection available to people who:

  • Meet the definition of refugee
  • Are already in the United States
  • Are seeking admission at a port of entry

You may apply for asylum in the United States regardless of your country of origin or your current immigration status.

If you are eligible for asylum you may be permitted to remain in the United States. To apply for Asylum, file a Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, within one year of your arrival to the United States. There is no fee to apply for asylum.

You may include your spouse and children who are in the United States on your application at the time you file or at any time until a final decision is made on your case. To include your child on your application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried.   For more information, please go to http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/nativedocuments/Asylum_Procedures_Manual_2013.pdf