Asylum Procedures for Minor Children

Minor and Unaccompanied Minor Asylum Applicants

You may apply for asylum as a minor if you:

  • Are under 18 years old
  • Want to have your own case separate from your parents or spouse

You may apply for asylum as an unaccompanied minor if you:

  • Are under 18 years old.
  • Have no parent or legal guardian in the United States who can provide care or custody.
  • Were separated from your parents or legal guardians.
  • Entered the United States with a parent or other adult guardian but left the parent’s or guardian’s care.
  • Have a parent(s) that is deceased and there is no legal guardianship arrangement.

Asylum officers will decide your case if you are in immigration court proceedings or filed your application with an asylum office. You must attend your immigration court hearings and should follow the Immigration Judge’s instructions.

Interviewing Procedures for Minor Applicants

Asylum officers conduct child appropriate interviews taking into account age, stage of language development, background, and level of sophistication.

For cases involving a minor applicant, asylum officers ask questions about:

  • If you have a guardian or parent 
  • If your guardian or parent allowed you to apply for asylum

If more information is needed about your guardian or parents, the asylum officer may delay your case.

If needed and with your permission, asylum officers may interview your parent or trusted adult about information you may not be able to provide. It is not required that a witness or trusted adult be present at your interview.

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