What is asylum?

Within the United States, the term asylum is common when referring to immigrants. This protection is available under the country’s immigration laws.

But, despite how it may seem, it is not something available to everyone. There are rules and requirements people must meet for the U.S. to admit them under asylum.

Definition

Asylum is a protection provided for individuals who have to flee their native country due to the threat of violence or persecution. Examples include people who come from a country overrun with crime or where the leadership is discriminatory against them due to their religious choices. In general, the reason for fleeing is something that would put that person’s life in danger and typically is also something illegal in the United States, such as discrimination.

Application

Applying for asylum requires a person to be in the U.S. The person should enter through legal means, but some people will come without first securing the legal right to be in the country. They may or may not be able to stay in the U.S. while awaiting their asylum hearing. It typically depends on the law, which can change often, and where they came from.

Approval

Generally, a person will receive asylum status if they belong to a protected class or a group that has protection within the U.S. For example, someone fleeing due to religious persecution would likely receive approval because discriminating or going after someone due to their religion is illegal in the U.S.

Not everyone who seeks asylum in the United States will get it. The decision is up to the court and depends on the evidence the person presents in court.