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Immigration Law Associates, PC

Asylee Benefits: Once you have been granted asylum what can you expect?

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  • Derivative Asylum
    • You have two years from the grant of your asylee status to file for your minor children under 21 and your spouse regardless or whether they are in the US or  overseas.  Failure to do so would foreclose this option to have them granted asylum.  If your child is over 21 at the time of the grant consult attorney  to see if they qualify under the Child Status Protection Act  (CSPA)
    •  Different criteria apply on re-availment  if you plan to return to home country before becoming a  U.S. citizen.
      • Need to file Form I-730 with supporting documents that should be examined for compliance with Foreign Affairs Manuel ( FAM)  by your attorney or serious problems can result
      • No government filing fee is required.


CAVEAT:  Your relatives can be subject to long months or even years delay if the principal asylee is deemed to be subject to the terrorist bar or if they are  not properly prepared and reviewed before the consulate interview.  

  • Social Security Number and Driver’s License
    • You may immediately apply for an unrestricted Social Security card at a Social Security office near you once you have asylee status.
    • Can now apply for a Driver’s License
      • Original Form I-94 marked as asylee indefinite is sufficient documentation to present to apply for a Driver’s License.
  • Government Benefits
    • During the entire 8 months from the date you were granted asylum you are entitled to certain government benefits depending on the state in which you reside:
      • Cash Aid ( very limited)
      • Food Stamps
    • If you are over age 65 or legally blind you may be eligible for SSI benefits.
    • To apply for the government benefits  such as SSI you would need to inquire at the local Social Services office.
  • Health
    • Entitled to a no-cost or low-cost comprehensive health assessment including
      • Immunizations,
      • Mental health assessment,
      • Certain blood tests.
  • Employment
    • If you are granted asylum, you are authorized to work in the United States whether or not you have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). If for some reason you do not receive an EAD after being granted asylum, you should contact the asylum office that granted your case.
      • You may use the EAD to present to an employer as a List A document on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form
    • You are eligible to use employment services from One-Stop Career Centers including:
      • Job search assistance
      • Career counseling
      • Occupational skills training
  • Green Card
    • One year from the date of the grant of your asylee status, you can apply for a green card. The green card gives you the right to work and live in the U.S. indefinitely.
      • Asylees are given an extra benefit by the U.S. government. Because the green card is backdated by one year, you can actually file four years from the grant of the green card (five years according to the date on the green card).
    • You may be eligible to receive the help from an organization in your area funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Service may include:
      • Financial assistance
      • Medical assistance
      • Employment preparation and job placement
      • English language training


Filed under: dc immigration law, Immigration Issues

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