What Are The Different Types Of Asylum Decisions?
When an individual applies for asylum in the United States, they may receive one of several different types of decisions from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The different types of asylum decisions include
- Grant of Asylum: If granted asylum, the individual is permitted to live and work in the United States and may also be able to apply for a green card one year after being granted asylum.
- Permission to Return: This decision is made when an individual is not eligible for asylum but is allowed to return to their home country voluntarily and apply for other entry methods to the U.S.
- Referral to Immigration Court: This decision is made when an individual is not eligible for asylum and USCIS intends to initiate removal proceedings. The individual will then have the opportunity to present their case before an immigration judge.
- Notice of Intent to Deny: This decision means that USCIS has determined that the individual is not eligible for asylum and intends to deny the application. The individual will be given the opportunity to respond to the notice before a final decision is made.
- Final Denial: If their application for asylum is denied, the individual will be required to appear in immigration court. Upon the applicant’s court date, they have the opportunity to appeal for asylum. If the judge does not grant asylum, the applicant can appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). If the applicant’s request is denied by the BIA, the applicant can appeal to a federal court. If the federal court denies the applicant’s request, the asylum-seeker will be deported.
In the next section, I will explain the different types of asylum decisions you can expect when during the asylum process in the United States.
Grant Of Asylum
A grant of asylum is the most favorable decision an individual can receive when applying for asylum in the United States. In order to be granted asylum, an individual must demonstrate that they have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. If an individual is granted asylum, they are permitted to
- Live and work in the United States with your spouse/children assuming that
- They are present in the U.S.
- They were included in the asylum application
- The applicant established a qualifying relationship to them
- Apply for a refugee travel document to travel outside the U.S. freely
- Apply for family members outside of the U.S. to be granted asylum
- Apply for a green card one year after being granted asylum
- Apply for certain immigration-related and other government benefits and services
Referral to Immigration Court
A referral to immigration court occurs when an application requires further review. The asylum-seeker will have the opportunity to present their case before an immigration judge. The individual's asylum application will be transferred to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the department within the Department of Justice that oversees the immigration courts.A referral to an immigration judge includes the asylum-seeker’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 if they:
- Were included on the asylum application
- Are in the United States illegally
During the hearing before an immigration judge, the individual will have the opportunity to
- Present evidence and testify about their asylum claim
- Identify any other forms of relief that may be available to them
The immigration judge will evaluate the applicant’s asylum claim independently and is not required to rely on or follow the decision made by USCIS.
Sending Your Application to Immigration Court
If UCIS refers an applicant to immigration court, they will send the application along with any documentation originally provided. UCIS may determine this is necessary if
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) previously issued the applicant a Notice to Appear (NTA) and the asylum application was submitted after the date the NTA was filed
- The DHS previously issued the applicant an NTA and the asylum application was submitted 21 calendar days or fewer after the NTA issue date
- DHS previously issued you an NTA that has not been filed and docketed with EOIR.
If these circumstances apply, USCIS will not make a decision regarding the asylum application, they will forward the application to immigration court.
Notice of Intent to Deny Asylum
A Notice of Intent to Deny is when the agency determines that an individual is not eligible for asylum and intends to deny the application.
- This decision means that USCIS has evaluated the individual's asylum application and concluded that the individual has not met the burden of proof to establish eligibility for asylum.
- When an individual receives a Notice of Intent to Deny, they will be given the opportunity to respond to the notice before a final decision is made.
- The individual will have a chance to provide additional information or evidence supporting their claim, or address any concerns that USCIS has identified in the notice.
- After the individual has had the opportunity to respond, USCIS will make a final decision on the asylum application.
Final Denial of Asylum
A Final Denial is the most unfavorable decision an individual can receive when applying for asylum in the United States.
- A final denial is issued after USCIS has completed its review of the asylum application, including any response to a Notice of Intent to Deny, and has determined that the individual does not meet the requirements for asylum.
- In a final denial, USCIS will provide a detailed explanation of why the individual's application was denied and inform the individual of their appeal rights.
- It's important to note that an individual who receives a final denial cannot appeal the Asylum Officer's decision with USCIS.
- Additionally, an individual who has received a final denial may apply for relief under other forms of relief such as withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
FAQs For The Different Types Of Asylum Decisions
How long does it take to be granted asylum?
The application process for asylum can take anywhere from 3 months to five years.
If granted asylum, can the asylum-seekers families stay in the United States?
If the asylum seekers’ family is in the United States, they are granted asylum assuming that:
- They are present in the U.S.
- They were included in the asylum application
- The applicant established a qualifying relationship with them
- They are either the asylum seeker’s spouse or unmarried children under age 21
What Is the follow-to-join asylum process?
The follow-to-join asylum process allows the eligible family members to obtain asylum in the United States as derivatives of the principal asylum-seeker. The follow-to-join process can be initiated by filing an I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, and the family members must be outside the United States at the time the petition is filed and approved.
How do I know my asylum is granted?
If the applicant is granted asylum, they will receive a letter and a completed Form I-94 (Arrival Departure Record). The applicant should keep this for their records. The grant of asylum includes the applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. A grant of asylum allows you to apply for:
- An Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
- Social Security Card
- Green Card
- Immigration benefits for the applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21
What if my address changes during asylum proceedings?
If the applicant moves or has a change of address during the application process, the applicant must file Form AR-11 within 10 calendar days and submit written notification to the asylum office with jurisdiction over the case.
Conclusion For The Different Types Of Asylum Decisions
The decisions an individual may receive from USCIS when applying for asylum in the United States range from the most favorable outcome of being granted asylum, to the most unfavorable outcome of a final denial. The grant of asylum permits an individual to live and work in the U.S. and to apply for a green card after one year. A referral to immigration court is made when USCIS intends to initiate removal proceedings, and the individual will have the opportunity to present their case before an immigration judge. A Notice of Intent to Deny is issued when USCIS determines that the individual is not eligible for asylum, and a final denial is issued after USCIS completes its review of the asylum application.