Woburn Massachusetts Immigration Attorney: How do I obtain asylum in the U.S.?


If you have suffered persecution or fear of persecution, you may be allowed to remain in the United States for protection. The persecution must be due to your:

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

Application process

To apply for asylum, you must file an Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, Form I-589, within one year of your arrival to the United States. You may apply regardless of whether you are in the country legally or illegally. A Woburn Massachusetts immigration attorney can help you prepare the application and the evidence you will need to prove your case.

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. Your child must be unmarried and under 21 years old. You must file the petition to bring your spouse and children to the U.S. within two years of being granted asylum unless there are humanitarian reasons to excuse this deadline.

Permission to work

You may not apply for permission to work in the United States at the same time you apply for asylum. You may apply to work if:

  • 150 days have passed since you filed your complete asylum application, excluding any delays you may have caused, and
  • No decision has been made on your application.

If you are granted asylum, you may work right away. Some individuals who are granted asylum opt to get Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) as proof to show an employer that they are allowed to work in the United States, but an EAD is not necessary.

Green card

You may apply for a green card one year after being granted asylum. You must file a separate green card application for yourself and each family member who received asylum based on your case.

For assistance with an asylum application

If you are seeking asylum, contact Ionson Law at 781-674-2562 to speak with an experienced Woburn Massachusetts immigration attorney.  We offer free initial consultations to all prospective clients.