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What Is the Refugee & Asylum Process?

woman holding fence

Refugees all over the world have fled war, violence, and persecution to find safety in another country. Individuals qualify as refugees when they fear being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. Our Orange County immigration attorneys explain what the refugee process entails.

The Refugee Process

To start the refugee process, you must receive a referral to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for consideration as a refugee. If you receive a referral, you will need to fill out the refugee application and attend an interview with a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer. The officer will determine whether you are eligible for status.

If your family is also seeking relief from persecution, they could be included in your application. The family member must be your spouse or child (unmarried under 21 years of age). The USCIS officer will look into your marriage’s validity to ensure that they qualify. In rare cases, other family members may be included in the application. It is best to seek legal guidance from an immigration attorney to determine who you can include in your submission.

The Asylum Process

If you have suffered persecution or fear that you will suffer persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion, you may be eligible for asylum. To apply for asylum, you must fill out Form I-589 within a year of arriving in the United States. There is no fee to apply.

Similar to the refugee process, you may include your spouse and children (who are also present in the United States) on your application. Your children must be under the age of 21 and unmarried to qualify.

Experienced Orange County Immigration Attorneys

If you need assistance with your refugee or immigration case, our team at Yekrangi & Associates is here to help you. We have vast experience helping families and individuals obtain their desired immigration case results. Our team has the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to analyze your case and guide you through the process.

Contact our experienced Orange County immigration lawyers today at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a case review!


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