Form I-589 – Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal for the United States

1. What is the purpose of Form I-589?

The purpose of Form I-589, also known as the Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, is to allow individuals who are physically present in the United States and seek protection as refugees to apply for asylum. It provides a formal avenue for individuals to request protection from persecution in their home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. By submitting Form I-589, applicants provide detailed information about their personal background, the reasons why they are seeking asylum, and any supporting evidence to establish their eligibility for asylum or withholding of removal in the United States. The form helps the U.S. government review the applicant’s case and determine whether they meet the legal criteria for asylum or withholding of removal under U.S. immigration law.

2. Who is eligible to apply for asylum using Form I-589?

1. Individuals who are physically present in the United States, regardless of their immigration status, may be eligible to apply for asylum using Form I-589. This includes individuals who entered the country without authorization, individuals with a valid nonimmigrant visa, individuals with temporary protected status, and others.
2. To be eligible to apply for asylum, the individual must demonstrate that they have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Persecution can take many forms, including violence, discrimination, harassment, or other harmful actions that target individuals for one of the protected reasons.
3. It is important for individuals applying for asylum to meet the regulatory deadlines and requirements set forth by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to have their application considered for approval. Working with an experienced immigration attorney or advocate can help ensure that the asylum application is completed accurately and includes all the necessary supporting documentation to strengthen the case for asylum.

3. What information and supporting documentation are required when completing Form I-589?

When completing Form I-589 – Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal for the United States, certain information and supporting documentation are required to support your claim for asylum. Here are the key pieces of information and documentation needed:

1. Personal Information: This includes your full legal name, contact information, date and place of birth, as well as details about your family members.

2. Detailed Statement: You must provide a detailed statement explaining the reasons why you are seeking asylum in the United States. This should include a description of the persecution or fear of persecution you have faced or might face in your home country.

3. Country Conditions: You should include information about the current conditions in your home country that support your claim for asylum. This can include news articles, reports, or other documents that show the risks you face.

4. Supporting Documentation: It is important to provide any supporting documentation that corroborates your claim, such as police reports, medical records, affidavits from witnesses, or any other relevant evidence.

5. Legal Representation: While not a requirement, having legal representation throughout the asylum application process can greatly increase your chances of success.

6. Declaration: You must sign and date the form, declaring that the information provided is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge.

Ensuring that your Form I-589 is completed accurately and supported by relevant documentation is crucial in presenting a strong case for asylum in the United States.

4. How can an applicant demonstrate a credible fear of persecution on Form I-589?

An applicant can demonstrate a credible fear of persecution on Form I-589 by providing detailed and specific information about the persecution they fear if they were to return to their home country. This can include:

1. Providing a detailed account of past persecution they have suffered or threats they have received in their country of origin.
2. Providing documentation or evidence to support their claims, such as police reports, medical records, or affidavits from witnesses.
3. Providing information about country conditions and specific reasons why they believe they would be persecuted if they return.
4. Demonstrating a connection between their identity, beliefs, or other protected characteristics and the persecution they fear.

Overall, it is essential for the applicant to provide a compelling and credible narrative on Form I-589 that demonstrates a well-founded fear of persecution if they were to return to their home country.

5. Can an asylum application be filed jointly with family members on Form I-589?

Yes, an asylum application can be filed jointly with family members on Form I-589. However, each family member must individually qualify for asylum and must submit their own Form I-589 application. It is important that each individual provide their own detailed account of persecution or fear of persecution in their home country to support their claim for asylum. While the applications can be filed jointly, each family member’s case will be evaluated on its own merit, and each individual will need to attend their own asylum interview and hearing before an immigration judge if required. It is essential that each family member’s application is thorough, consistent, and stands on its own merits to maximize the chances of success for each family member.

6. Are there any filing fees associated with submitting Form I-589?

No, there are no filing fees associated with submitting Form I-589, which is the Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal for the United States. This form is used by individuals who are seeking asylum in the United States based on fear of persecution in their home country. Asylum seekers are not required to pay a fee to submit this application because the United States government recognizes the importance of providing protection to those fleeing persecution and danger. The waiver of fees for Form I-589 allows individuals to seek asylum regardless of their financial situation, ensuring that the asylum process is accessible to those in need of protection.

1. This fee waiver reflects the humanitarian nature of the asylum process, recognizing that individuals seeking asylum often do not have the financial means to pay application fees.
2. By waiving the fee for Form I-589, the U.S. government aims to ensure that individuals are not deterred from seeking asylum due to financial constraints, thus upholding the principles of asylum protection and human rights.

7. What are the consequences of submitting false information on Form I-589?

Submitting false information on Form I-589 can have serious consequences, including but not limited to:

1. BoA denial: The Board of Immigration Appeals (BoA) may deny an applicant’s asylum claim if false information is discovered during the adjudication process.

2. Perjury charges: Providing false information on a Form I-589 is considered perjury, which is a serious offense that can result in criminal charges.

3. Inadmissibility: A finding of fraud or misrepresentation on the application can render an individual inadmissible to the United States, barring them from entering the country.

4. Deportation: If false information is discovered after asylum has been granted, the individual could potentially have their asylum status revoked and face deportation proceedings.

5. Barred from future relief: Submitting false information may also impact an individual’s ability to seek other forms of immigration relief in the future.

Given the severe consequences of providing false information on Form I-589, it is crucial for applicants to be truthful and accurate in their submissions to avoid any potential legal repercussions.

8. How long does it take for USCIS to process a Form I-589 application?

The processing times for a Form I-589 application can vary depending on various factors, such as the current caseload at the USCIS office where the application was filed, the complexity of the case, and any additional factors that may arise during the review process. On average, it can take anywhere from several months to over a year for USCIS to process a Form I-589 application. However, it’s important to note that processing times are subject to change and can be affected by external factors such as policy changes, staffing levels, and resource availability. It’s recommended to regularly check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date information on processing times for Form I-589 applications.

9. Can an applicant apply for employment authorization while their Form I-589 application is pending?

Yes, an applicant can apply for employment authorization while their Form I-589 application is pending. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Eligibility: Asylum seekers who have already submitted a Form I-589 application and are waiting for a decision for more than 150 days may be eligible to apply for employment authorization.

2. Form I-765: To apply for employment authorization while your Form I-589 application is pending, you need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Make sure to submit all required documents and fees along with your application.

3. EAD Approval: If your application for employment authorization is approved, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which allows you to legally work in the U.S. while your asylum application is pending.

4. Restrictions: It’s important to note that the ability to apply for employment authorization is subject to certain restrictions and eligibility criteria. Consult with an immigration attorney or a qualified legal professional for guidance on applying for employment authorization while your asylum application is pending.

10. What are the grounds for denial of an asylum application on Form I-589?

There are several grounds for denial of an asylum application on Form I-589 in the United States. Here are some of the key reasons why an asylum application may be denied:

1. Failure to establish eligibility: If the applicant is unable to demonstrate that they meet the criteria for asylum, such as proving a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, their application may be denied.

2. Inconsistent or implausible statements: If the applicant’s statements are found to be inconsistent or implausible during the asylum interview or in their written application, it may raise doubts about the credibility of their claim and lead to a denial.

3. Criminal history: A history of criminal activity, especially if it involves serious crimes or crimes of moral turpitude, could be grounds for denial of an asylum application.

4. Safe third country: If the asylum officer or immigration judge determines that the applicant could have sought protection in a third country where they would not face persecution, they may be denied asylum in the U.S.

5. Persecution of others: If the applicant has been found to have committed acts of persecution themselves, they may be ineligible for asylum.

6. Security concerns: If there are national security concerns or evidence that the applicant may pose a threat to the United States, their asylum application may be denied.

It is important for applicants to carefully prepare their Form I-589 and supporting documentation to address these potential grounds for denial and present a strong case for asylum.

11. Can an applicant appeal a denial of their Form I-589 application?

Yes, an applicant can appeal a denial of their Form I-589 application. When USCIS denies an asylum application, the applicant typically has 30 days from the date of the decision to file an appeal with the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The AAO will review the decision made on the Form I-589 application and can either uphold the denial or reverse it. It’s important for the applicant to follow the specific instructions provided in the denial notice for filing the appeal, including submitting any additional evidence or arguments that support their case. Appealing a denial of a Form I-589 application can be a complex process, so it’s recommended to seek the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney to guide you through the appeal process and increase your chances of success.

12. Can an applicant apply for asylum defensively through Form I-589 in removal proceedings?

Yes, an individual can apply for asylum defensively through Form I-589 in removal proceedings. When an individual is placed in removal proceedings by the Department of Homeland Security, they have the opportunity to apply for asylum as a defense against deportation. To do this, the individual would submit Form I-589 to the immigration judge overseeing their case, detailing their fear of persecution in their home country and their eligibility for asylum under U.S. law. It is crucial for applicants to adhere to the specific deadlines set by the immigration court for submitting the Form I-589 and supporting documentation to ensure their asylum claim is considered during the removal proceedings. Failure to submit the form within the specified timeline may result in a denial of the asylum application.

13. Are there any time limits for filing a Form I-589 application after arriving in the United States?

Yes, there is a time limit for filing a Form I-589 application after arriving in the United States. According to the regulations, individuals must generally file their asylum application within one year of their arrival in the United States. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, such as changed circumstances or extraordinary circumstances that prevented the individual from filing within the one-year deadline. It is crucial for individuals to adhere to this filing deadline unless they meet one of the exceptions, as failure to file within the one-year time frame without a valid reason can result in the application being deemed untimely. It’s important for individuals seeking asylum to be aware of this requirement and seek legal advice if they have concerns about meeting the deadline to ensure they have the best chance of a successful asylum claim.

14. Can an asylum application be filed by someone who is already in removal proceedings?

Yes, an individual who is already in removal proceedings can file an asylum application using Form I-589. In such cases, the individual can submit the asylum application to the immigration court that is overseeing their removal proceedings. It is important for the individual to adhere to the deadlines and procedures set forth by the immigration court to ensure that their asylum application is considered in the context of their removal case. The immigration judge will evaluate the asylum claim along with any other relief sought by the individual, such as withholding of removal or relief under the Convention Against Torture. It is crucial for the individual to present a strong case supported by credible evidence to demonstrate eligibility for asylum.

15. What is the difference between asylum and withholding of removal on Form I-589?

On Form I-589, the primary distinction between asylum and withholding of removal lies in the nature of protection each offers to individuals seeking refuge in the United States. Asylum is a form of protection granted to individuals who have fled their home country due to fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. With asylum, the applicant is seeking the right to remain in the U.S. and eventually apply for permanent residency.

On the other hand, withholding of removal is a form of protection that prevents an individual from being removed to a country where he or she would likely face persecution or torture. This protection does not grant the same benefits as asylum, such as the pathway to permanent residency, but it does prevent the individual from being returned to a place where their life or freedom would be in danger.

In summary, while both asylum and withholding of removal offer protection to individuals fearing persecution, asylum provides a broader range of benefits and opportunities for long-term stay and residency in the United States, whereas withholding of removal is a more limited form of protection focused on preventing deportation to a place of danger.

16. Can an applicant apply for asylum based on past persecution suffered in their home country?

Yes, an applicant can apply for asylum based on past persecution suffered in their home country. In order to be eligible for asylum, an applicant must demonstrate that they have suffered persecution in the past or have a well-founded fear of future persecution in their home country due to one of the protected grounds outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which include race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Past persecution can be a strong indicator of the likelihood of future persecution and can support an applicant’s claim for asylum. It is important for the applicant to provide detailed and credible evidence of the past persecution suffered, such as medical records, police reports, witness statements, or other documentation that can corroborate their story. Additionally, the applicant should explain how the past persecution is connected to one of the protected grounds and why they fear returning to their home country.

17. How does USCIS evaluate the credibility of the applicant’s asylum claim on Form I-589?

When evaluating the credibility of an applicant’s asylum claim on Form I-589, USCIS considers various factors to determine the veracity of the applicant’s statements and the legitimacy of their fears of persecution in their home country. Some key ways USCIS evaluates credibility include:

1. Consistency: USCIS reviews the consistency of the applicant’s statements throughout their application, interviews, and supporting documentation to ensure there are no contradictions or discrepancies.

2. Detail and Specificity: The agency assesses the level of detail and specificity provided by the applicant regarding the incidents of persecution they experienced or fear, as well as the circumstances surrounding their claim.

3. Corroboration: USCIS looks for corroborating evidence such as country conditions reports, affidavits from witnesses, medical reports, or other documentation that supports the applicant’s statements.

4. demeanor: The applicant’s demeanor during interviews and interactions with USCIS officials can also play a role in assessing credibility.

5. Documentation: The quality and relevance of the documentation provided by the applicant to support their claim are thoroughly reviewed by USCIS.

Overall, USCIS employs a holistic approach to evaluate the credibility of an applicant’s asylum claim, taking into account various factors to make an informed decision on the validity of the claim.

18. Can an applicant include derivative family members on their Form I-589 application?

Yes, an applicant can include derivative family members on their Form I-589 application. Derivative family members include the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of the principal applicant. Including derivative family members on the Form I-589 application allows them to potentially be granted asylum or withholding of removal in conjunction with the principal applicant. It is important for the principal applicant to accurately list all eligible derivative family members on the application to ensure that they are also considered for protection under the asylum process. Failure to list derivative family members on the application may result in their exclusion from potential benefits available through the asylum application.

19. What happens if an applicant is granted asylum based on their Form I-589 application?

1. If an applicant is granted asylum based on their Form I-589 application, they are granted refugee status and are allowed to remain in the United States. Asylees are able to live and work in the U.S. and can eventually apply for lawful permanent residence (Green Card) after one year of being granted asylum.
2. Additionally, asylees may be eligible for certain benefits and services, such as access to social services, healthcare, and employment authorization. They may also be able to petition to bring their spouse and children to the U.S. under certain conditions.
3. It’s important for asylees to carefully follow all U.S. immigration laws and regulations to maintain their asylum status and eventually pursue lawful permanent residence. Failure to comply with these rules could result in the revocation of asylum status and potential removal from the United States.

20. Can an applicant apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident after being granted asylum on Form I-589?

Yes, an applicant can apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident after being granted asylum on Form I-589. To be eligible for adjustment of status, the applicant must have been physically present in the United States for at least one year after being granted asylum and continue to meet the requirements for asylum status. The applicant must also be admissible to the United States for permanent residence and not subject to any bars to adjustment of status. Additionally, the applicant may need to have a qualifying family relationship or employment opportunity to sponsor their adjustment of status application. It is important to carefully review the specific eligibility criteria and requirements for adjustment of status before submitting the application.