Types of Affirmative Asylum Decisions
When you apply for asylum in the affirmative process with USCIS, you will receive one of the following decisions (for information on the ways to obtain asylum, visit our Obtaining Asylum in the United States page):
If we determine that you are eligible for asylum, you will receive a letter and completed Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record, indicating that you have been granted asylum in the United States.
The grant of asylum includes your spouse and minor children, provided that:
- They were present in the United States
- They were included in your asylum application
- You established a qualifying relationship to them
See Family of Refugees & Asylees for more information on immigration benefits for your spouse and children.
A grant of asylum allows you to apply for:
- An Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
- A Social Security card
- A Green Card (permanent residence)
- Immigration benefits for your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21
See Benefits and Responsibilities of Asylees for more information on how to obtain these benefits.
A grant of asylum in the U.S. does not expire. However, USCIS may terminate your asylum status if you:
- No longer have a well-founded fear of persecution because of a fundamental change in circumstances
- Obtained protection from another country
- Obtained the original asylum grant through fraud
- Committed certain crimes or engaged in other activities that make you ineligible to retain asylum in the United States
See Section 208(c)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for more information on the termination of asylum status.
If we are unable to approve your asylum application and you are in the United States illegally, we will forward (or refer) your asylum case to an immigration court. A referral to an immigration judge includes your spouse and unmarried children under 21 if they:
- Were included on your asylum application
- Are in the United States illegally.
A referral is not a denial of your asylum application. Instead, we refer your case for further review by an immigration court. If we cannot approve an asylum claim, we will send you a letter of explanation and a Form I-862, Notice to Appear, indicating the date and time you are scheduled to appear in court. You do not have to re-file your asylum application.
The immigration judge will evaluate your asylum claim independently and is not required to rely on or follow the decision made by USCIS.
After you file Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, with USCIS, we will review your immigration records to determine next steps for processing your asylum application.
In certain cases, we will send your asylum application to the immigration court. This may occur if we determine that:
- DHS previously issued you a Form I-862, Notice to Appear (NTA), and you filed your asylum application with us 21 calendar days or fewer after the date your NTA was filed and docketed with EOIR;
- DHS previously issued you an NTA, and your NTA was filed and docketed with EOIR after you filed your asylum application with us; or
- DHS previously issued you an NTA that has not been filed and docketed with EOIR.
If any of these circumstances apply, we will not adjudicate your asylum application. Instead, we will send your application to the appropriate immigration court with jurisdiction over your case for adjudication and notify you by mail.
We will issue a recommended approval when you are eligible for asylum but we have not received the results of required security checks. A recommended approval includes your spouse and children, provided that:
They are present in the United States
They were included on your application
You established a qualifying relationship to them
When a recommended approval has been issued due to pending security checks, you and your family members may apply for permission to work in the United States by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. When we receive the results of the required security checks and you are cleared, the recommended approval will be changed to a grant of asylum (see 'Grant of Asylum' section above).
You may receive a notice of intent to deny (NOID) if you have valid legal status in the United States but are found ineligible for asylum. The NOID will state the reason(s) that you are ineligible for asylum. You will have 16 days to explain in writing either why the claim should be granted or submit new evidence to support the claim, or both. If you do not to respond within 16 days, your asylum claim may be denied. If we receive a timely response, the asylum officer will carefully consider the response or new evidence, or both and then make a final decision to approve or deny the claim. If the claim is approved, the officer will issue a grant of asylum (see above); if the claim is denied, the officer will issue a final denial (see below).
You will receive a notice of intent to deny (NOID) and a final denial letter if:
You do not respond to the NOID within 16 days, or
You submitted a response but the new information failed to overcome the reasons for denial stated in the NOID
You cannot appeal the asylum officer’s decision. The denial includes any dependents included on your asylum application. If your claim is denied, you may reapply for asylum. However, you must show changed circumstances that affect your eligibility for asylum.