Chapter 4: Documentation and Evidence

Officers should review the ​following documentation to determine an ​asylee’s​ eligibility ​to ​adjust​ status.​

A. Required Documentation and ​Evidence​

Form I-485​, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status ​

Each applicant must file a separate application​ with fee (unless granted a fee waiver)​ regardless of whether ​the applicant​ is a principal or derivative ​asylee​. ​

Form G-325A​, Biographic Information Sheet ​

This form is required for every applicant who is 14 years of age ​or​ older at the time of filing.​The officer must check the ​Form G-325A for additional aliases requiring a​ systems​ query.​Also, ​the ​o​fficer​ should review the “Applicant’s Last Address Outside the United States of More Than One Year”​ information.​

A country listed in this area other than the​ applicant’s​ country of persecution should be given consideration as ​potential ​evidence of ​resettlement in a country other than the United States by the applicant.​However, an applicant is only considered firmly resettled in another country if he or she has been offered resident status, citizenship, or some other type of permanent resettlement in another country.​

Proof of asylum status ​

An o​fficer ​must ​review the contents of the A-file for proof of asylum status. The A-file should contain an approved ​asylum application​(​Form I-589​) ​or an approved ​relative petition (​Form I-730​)​. Although ​an ​applicant may submit a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record​,​ or an approval notice of ​the relative petition​ with their application, these documents must always be cross-checked with evidence in the A-file ​and in USCIS systems ​to confirm the ​applicant’s ​asylum status.​

Evidence of one-year physical presence in the ​United States​

An officer can verify p​hysical presence for a principal asylee by reviewing the date ​the asylum application​ was approved as indicated either on the approval letter from the Asylum Office​,​or ​on the order from the ​Immigration Judge​, ​the Board of Immigration Appeals​ or ​a ​federal court​. ​Officers may also check the information available ​in RAPS (the Refuge​es, Asylum and Parole System). ​

An officer can generally verify p​hysical presence f​or a derivative asylee by review​ing​:​

The “Date of Last Arrival” and “Place of Last Entry into the United States” blocks on ​the adjustment application (​Form I-485​)​; ​

The ​principal’s and derivative’s ​“Residence Information” listed on ​each ​Form G-325A​; and ​

The admissions information ​contained in USCIS systems​. ​

Officers should also review t​he date of admission as an asylee found on a​ Form​ I-94 ​Arrival/Departure Document ​against the filing date of the adjustment application. ​

An o​fficer should review any requests for travel documents or advance parole prior to the filing of ​the adjustment application​. ​If ​there is​ doubt as to the ​applicant’s ​time periods in the ​United States​, the officer may request additional information verifying physical presence.​ This may include pay stubs or employment records, school or medical records, ​rental and utility receipts, ​or any other documentation that supports ​proof of residence.​

Two (2) Passport-​S​tyle Photos​taken no earlier than 30 days prior to filing ​

Form I-693​, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record ​

A​principal ​asylee ​is​ required to submit a complete medical examination and vaccination record. ​The​ exam​ination​ must ​be completed by a USCIS designated civil surgeon, ​meet the standards of the medical examination​,​ and ​include​ all required vaccinations​ as of the date of the examination​.​A​ complete medical examination is not required of all derivative ​asylees​ at time of adjustment​. ​

D​erivative​asylees​that​ had a medical examination conducted overseas will not be required to undergo a new medical examination at ​the ​time of applying for adjustment​ of status​if:​

The results of the overseas medical examination are contained in the A-file and no Class A condition was reported​;​

The asylee has applied for adjustment of status within one year of ​filing ​eligibility​(​i​.​e​.​,​ within two years of the date of admission as an asylee derivative)​;​ and​

There is no evidence in the A-file or testimony given at ​an ​interview to suggest that the asylee has acquired a Class A condition subsequent to his or her entry into the ​United States​.​

Even if a complete ​new ​medical examination is not required, the applicant must still establish compliance with the vaccination requirements and submit the vaccination record portion of​ the medical examination record​with​the adjustment application​.​U​nlike refugee​s​, derivative​asylee​s​ may not have their vaccination records completed by a health department with a blanket waiver as a civil surgeon. Blanket waivers for civil surgeons only extend to refugee vaccination certifications​.​ [1] This is a determination made by the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Certified Copies of Arrest/Court Records (if applicable)​

An applicant must submit an original official statement by the arresting agency or certified court order for all arrests, detentions or convictions.​

Form I-602​, Application by Refugee for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability​

(if applicable) ​

B. Supplemental Documentation​ and ​Evidence​

Applicants often submit s​upplemental documentation ​al​though​ not required​ to do so​. This may include: ​

Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Document, with appropriate endorsement​

Birt​h Certificate, when obtainable​

S​ee the ​Department of State Reciprocity Tables​ for identity documents that cannot be obtained in particular countries and during specific time periods. There may be other instances in which a birth certificate is unobtainable ​because of​ country conditions or personal circumstances. In these instances, ​an applicant may submit ​affidavits to establish ​his or ​her identity​. The officer may also review the A-file to check for a birth certificate that ​the applicant ​submitted with the ​asylum application​ or other evidence ​the applicant ​submitted at the time of the interview to establish ​his or her ​identity. ​

Copy o​f Passport(s), when obtainable​

In m​any​ instances, an asylee will be unable to produce ​a ​copy of his or her passport. There may be other instances in which a passport is unobtainable due to country conditions​,​ personal circumstances or the ​simple fact that the ​applicant ​never possessed a passport. In these cases, a copy of a passport is not required and the officer may use evidence in the ​applicant’s ​A-file to verify ​his or her​ identity.​The ​asylee’s​ date of b​irth and nationality are established during the ​asylum ​application ​or relative petition ​process.​

The officer should review a​ny supplemental d​ocumentation submitted ​by the applicant ​to ensure it is consistent with the documentation contained in the A-file.​Since ​identity is already established during the asylum proceedings, a birth certificate or passport is not required at the time of adjustment. Nevertheless, if ​the applicant submits ​any of these documents​, ​the officer must address and resolve ​any discrepancies at the time of adjudication. In all cases, considerable weight is given to the documentation contained in the asylum packet or ​with the ​relative petition​. ​

C. Documentation ​Already Contained in the A-File​

The original ​asylum application​ should already be in a principal applicant’s A-file​.​A​ copy of ​the asylum application​ should ​also ​be found in the ​A-​file of each derivative asylee​ who was in the ​United States​ at the time of asylum adjudication and ​was ​included on the ​asylum application​. ​The relative petition ​should be in ​a​ derivative ​asylee’s​ A-file​ if the derivative asylee followed to join the ​principal and ​was not included on the ​original asylum application​.​

Each case file will contain all of the forms, evidence, and officer notes that were part of the application for asylum. The most important document for an officer to review is either the ​asylum application (​Form I-589​)​ or the ​relative petition (​Form I-730​)​. B​oth ​provide ​proof of status and establish identity (with attached photo) as well as citizenship, since m​any​asylees​ will​ not have a birth certificate or passport.​

D. Unavai​lable or ​Missing Documentation​

When ​an ​asylee fle​es​ the country of persecution, they may have been unable to obtain any documentation ​issued by a civil authority ​as proof of identity or of a familial relationship. At the time of the asylum interview,​ the asylum officer​ review​s​ a myriad of documents and affidavits and solicit​s​ testimony when seeking to establish an asylum-seeker’s personal and family identity. Any available documents submitted at the time of the asylum interview should be contained within the A-file.​

An o​fficer may rely on the documents contained in the A-file to verify the applicant’s identity at the time of adjustment. While it is not necessary to request the applicant’s birth certificate or passport as proof of identity, ​officers should review ​any documentation ​the applicant submits to ​establish ​identity. ​Additionally, photos ​the applicant ​submit​s​ should be compared to the photos in the A-file. If an officer is unable to establish an applicant’s identity due to ​discrepancies​ between the documentation ​the applicant ​submitted and ​the ​information ​contained in the A-file, then the file should be forwarded to the field office having jurisdict​ion over the case for interview ​and resolution.​