What is Pending Asylee Status?

What is Pending Asylee Status?

Asylum seekers are people present in the U.S. or at a port of entry and unable or unwilling to return to the country they left because of persecution (or a well-founded fear of persecution) based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion.

Pending asylee status is an “authorized stay,” or permission to stay and work in the U.S.

Notes about pending status:

  • Once you apply for asylum and have pending asylee status, you no longer accumulate “unlawful presence” in the U.S.
  • This status isn’t exchangeable with a green card unfortunately. Once your pending asylee status is approved and one year of continuous presence in the U.S. has passed, you can adjust status to get a green card.
  • Students can continue to attend school while an asylum case is pending.
  • You can move within the U.S. as long as you promptly notify USCIS and Immigration Court of your move.
  • You can apply for permission to travel outside the country.


Usually, defensive asylum cases -- when you apply with a deportation order already issued against you -- take much longer than affirmative asylum applications. If you have been waiting for 150 days or more without a decision, you can apply for employment authorization using Form I-765: Application for Employment Authorization.

Need Counsel? Call Today!

Immigration law can be complicated and this article does not exhaust all the facts regarding asylee status. These issues can be extremely complex, and a single misstep could potentially lead to a deportation or other immigration penalties. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Call our law firm to consult with an immigration attorney today at: (949) 478-4936.


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