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How to Apply for CAT Protection

As you file Form I-589 “Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal,” in Part B, include a request for CAT protection and submit any requested documents relevant to CAT protection.

If you already applied for asylum and want to request CAT after the fact, you can submit if a “supplement” to your asylum application. You can do this anytime, including after a final deportation order has been issued against you.

It’s important to note the following ways in which CAT protection is more limited than asylum:

  • CAT protection does not stop the U.S. government from removing you to a third country that is not the country where you fear torture.
  • If DHS believes it is safe for you to return to a country of origin, they can start a new case in immigration court to request that your CAT protection is rescinded.
  • CAT protection does not extend to your family members, and you will not be eligible for naturalization or permanent resident status.

How to Apply for Convention Against Torture Protection (CAT)

There are three petitions for relief from deportation, including asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT). CAT protection applies to you when there is significant evidence that you would be tortured if you were removed from the U.S.

Often, asylum applicants from within the U.S. who fear torture if they return to their home countries will apply for CAT protection while their asylum application is being processed.

If approved, CAT protection requires the U.S. to allow you to remain in the U.S. even if asylum is denied.

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