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You must list your spouse and all your children on your Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, regardless of their age, marital status, whether they are in the United States, or whether they are included in your application or filing a separate asylum application.

You may ask to have your spouse and/or any children who are under the age of 21 and unmarried included in your asylum decision if they are in the United States. You should bring these individuals with you to the asylum interview. This means that if you are granted asylum, they will also be granted asylum status (unless they are barred from such status) and will be allowed to remain in the United States. However, if you are referred to the Immigration Court, they will also be referred to court for removal proceedings if they are not in legal status. You should refer to the instructions in Form I-589 for information on the documents you will be required to submit establishing your family relationships, such as marriage certificates and birth certificates.

Children who are married and children who are 21 years of age or older at the time you file your asylum application must file for asylum independently by submitting their own Form I-589.

If you are granted asylum, you may petition using the I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, to bring to the United States your spouse and/or children who are unmarried and under the age of 21 as of the date you filed the asylum application.  By completing the I-730, you may also seek derivative status for your spouse or minor unmarried children who are already in the United States, but who were not included as dependents in your asylum application. For more information about dependants, see “Securing Immigration Benefits for Spouses and Children of Asylees”.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 
06/18/2013