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Asylum Bars

You can be barred from both applying for and receiving asylum for certain actions.

Bars to Applying for Asylum

You may not be eligible to apply for asylum if you:

  • Did not follow the one-year filing deadline and did not file your Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, within one year of your last arrival in the U.S. or April 1, 1997, whichever is later.
  • Had a previous asylum application denied by an Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals.
  • Can be removed to a safe third country under a two-party or multi-party agreement between the United States and other countries.

There are exceptions to these bars for “changed circumstances” or “extraordinary circumstances.”  Both are defined in 8 CFR 208.4.  For more information on the bars and the exceptions, see our “Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations” page.

Bars from a Grant of Asylum

You could be barred from a grant of asylum if we find that you:

  • Ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion
  • Were convicted of a “particularly serious crime” such that you are a danger to the United States
  • Committed a “serious nonpolitical crime” outside the United States
  • Pose a danger to the security of the United States
  • Have been firmly resettled in another country before arriving in the United States

You will also be barred from receiving asylum if you are inadmissible because you:

  • Have engaged in terrorist activity· 
  • Are engaged in or are likely to engage after entry in any terrorist activity· 
  • Have incited terrorist activity
  • Are a representative of a foreign terrorist organization
  • Are a member of a terrorist organization
  • Have persuaded others to support terrorist activity or a terrorist organization
  • Have received military-type training from or on behalf of any organization that, at the time the training was received, was a terrorist organization
  • Are the spouse or child of an individual who is inadmissible for any of the above within the last 5 years

For more information terrorist and national security bars, see our “Bars to Asylum and Inadmissibility Grounds Related to Terrorist Activity” page.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/01/2011