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How to Apply for Asylum in Los Angeles

To be eligible for asylum in the United States, you must ask for asylum at a port-of-entry (airport, seaport or border crossing), or file an application within one year of your arrival in the United States. You may ask later than one year if conditions in your country have changed or if your personal circumstances have changed within the past year prior to your asking for asylum, and those changes of circumstances affected your eligibility for asylum. You may also be excused from the one year deadline if extraordinary circumstance prevented you from filing within the one year period after your arrival, so long as you apply within a reasonable time given those circumstances. You may apply for asylum regardless of your immigration status, meaning that you may apply even if you are illegally in the United States.

In addition, you must qualify for asylum under the definition of “refugee.” Your eligibility will be based on information you provide on your application and during an interview with an Asylum Officer or Immigration Judge. If you have been placed in removal (deportation) proceedings in Immigration Court, an Immigration Judge will hear and decide your case. If you have not been placed in removal proceedings and apply with the BCIS , an Asylum Officer will interview you and decide whether you are eligible for asylum. Asylum Officers will grant asylum, deny asylum or refer the case to an Immigration Judge for a final decision. If an Asylum Officer finds that you are not eligible for asylum and you are in the United States illegally, the Asylum Officer will place you in removal proceedings and refer your application to an Immigration Judge for a final decision. Immigration Judges also decide on removal if an applicant is found ineligible for asylum and is illegally in the United States. If you are in valid immigrant or nonimmigrant status and the Asylum Officer finds that you are not eligible for asylum, the Asylum Officer will send you a notice explaining that the BCIS intends to deny your request for asylum. You will be given an opportunity to respond to that notice before a decision is made on your application.


There are numerous immigration laws that could result in the denial of this visa if not properly prepared.  If the petition is put together correctly and professionally by a qualified immigration law firm, the chances of approval is greatly increased.


2 Comments - Leave a Comment
  • sagar rana -

    Came to USA as a F-1 student, went back to home country in 2011 and returned after a month and applied for asylum and still maintaining student status with valid I-20, visa and passport. But after 15 months I got a letter saying I overstayed in USA without authorization so I am placed in the proceeding of removal and assigned me to be present at the court in December 2012 without having interview in asylum office once. Since, I am still maintaining the student status will I be able to withdraw from asylum application by proving my authorized stay in USA as a student?

    If it is possible, how should I proceed?

  • Marilize Bezuidenhoud -

    I am a South African single, 38 year old woman living here in Egypt for the last 7 years.

    I would like to inquire regarding Asylum given the current escalating and dangerous Political situation here in Egypt. Also based on the grounds of President Nelson Mandela’s critical condition and news of his death leading to civil unrest and perhaps war. I am in fear of my life at this very moment here in Egypt as well as in South Africa. I have already been in touch with the South African Embassy in Cairo and they can not guarantee my safety here in Egypt if the situation in Cairo on continues.

    I would like to ask for your much needed advise and assistance in how to proceed to successfully apply for Refugee Asylum from Cairo, Egypt.

    Thanking you for your much needed assistance in advance.

    Marilize Bezuidenhoud

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