The I-589 Application for Asylum can be filed as an offensive or defensive application. General requirements to file for asylum includes filing inside of 366 days since arriving in the United States (a/k/a the “year and a day rule.”) Asylum can also be requested at the border, in such cases a Credible Fear Interview will be conducted by an immigration officer. If a credible fear is found, the asylum applicant may be paroled into the United States pending an adjudicative hearing on the asylum request. In Florida, offensive asylum applications are typically adjudicated in Miami, Florida. If denied, the application then gets referred to immigration court, typically within the jurisdiction closes to the applicant. If the applicant lives in Central Florida, they are often referred to the Orlando Immigration Court.
In Immigration Court, the I-589 Application for Asylum or Withholding of Removal may also be filed as a defensive application. The same “year and a day rule” when seeking asylum in Immigration Court applies. If this requirement is not met, the applicant may still seek relief under Withholding for Removal. Although different standards apply in Asylum and Withholding of Removal, they are very similar to one another. For example, both must show that the applicant suffered from some type of government persecution on the basis race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group. In some cases, the applicant may seek protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) or other international treaties.
Asylum should be filed ONLY has a last resort when there is no other immigration relief available. Asylum’s are difficult to achieve and the wait list is very long, lasting years.