Many people come to the United States to flee persecution from their homeland and the U.S. can provide a safe haven. 

Asylum Status and Refugee Status are closely related.

Asylum:

An Asylee is an alien in the United States or at a port of entry who is found to be unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality, or to seek the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. 

Persecution or the fear thereof must be based on the alien's race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. For persons with no nationality, the country of nationality is considered to be the country in which the alien last habitually resided

With rare exceptions for extraordinary circumstances or changed circumstances, applicants must apply for asylum within one year of their last arrival in the United States.  Asylum cases may be filed with USCIS or in the Immigration Court.  In either situation, these cases must be carefully prepared and presented.  Experienced immigration counsel is strongly recommended.

A person granted asylum is permitted to reside in the USA indefinitely.

Asylees are eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status after one year of continuous presence in the United States.

Refugee:

A Refugee is any person who is outside his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. 

Persecution or the fear thereof must be based on the alien's race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.  People with no nationality must generally be outside their country of last habitual residence to qualify as a refugee. 

Refugees are subject to ceilings by geographic area set annually by the President in consultation with Congress.  Those granted refugee status can travel and enter the USA and are eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status after one year of continuous presence in the United States.

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Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, German, and Slovak, and we can arrange for translators in any other language.