What Is Affirmative Asylum Affirmative Asylum

Affirmative Asylum Attorney

Topic: What is affirmative asylum, and how does the process work?


The United States has been protecting those who flee persecution in their home countries for a long time. This protection is known as an asylum.


If you’re seeking asylum in the United States, there are different ways to go: defensive and affirmative.

This blog post will discuss affirmative asylum and how the process works. Affirmative asylum is different from defensive asylum in that it’s not a reaction to being placed in removal proceedings. Instead, it’s a proactive decision to apply for asylum. 


In other words, people can fill out affirmative applications either at a port of entry into the United States or after entering the United States.


The person comes to the U.S. and fills out the asylum application, indicating to the U.S. government: I am present in the U.S., and I fear that I will be persecuted or killed if I return to my home country. 


The first step is to fill out and submit an I-589 form to USCIS. Once that’s done, there will be an interview with an asylum officer. If everything goes well, asylum will be granted. 

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Process of applying for affirmative asylum 


To qualify for affirmative asylum, it is mandatory to be physically present in the United States while applying. One can still apply irrespective of how they reached the U.S. 


According to US law, to be eligible for affirmative asylum, an applicant must apply for asylum within one year after arrival in the United States lest they can prove that there were changed circumstances that affected the eligibility for asylum or that there were extraordinary circumstances for delayed filing. 


Extraordinary circumstances could be medical issues or the death of a family member, and there could be any other exceptional reason. It is essential to support the reason with sufficient proof, for instance, providing a copy of the death certificate in case of death and how it impacted the applicant. Merely stating the cause of the delay is inadequate; it is important to be convincing and share supporting documents. 

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The steps of affirmative asylum are as follows:

  1. An individual must file an application for asylum with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  2. The individual must attend an interview with a USCIS officer, during which they must demonstrate that they meet the criteria for asylum.
  3. If the individual is found to be eligible for asylum, they will be granted asylum and allowed to stay in the United States.


The USCIS enables online application filing for certain affirmative asylum applicants. Read affirmative asylum applicants’ online Form I-589  requirements. 

There are a few challenges that can arise during the affirmative asylum process:

  1. It cannot be easy to obtain all required documentation.
  2. The application can be complex and confusing.
  3. The responsibility of proving that you are eligible for asylum can be challenging. 

A few suggestions can help you navigate the affirmative asylum process. First, ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to gather all required documentation. Second, reach out to an experienced asylum attorney or legal professional to help complete the application. Third, make sure you have strong evidence to support your asylum claim.

Getting to this point can be long and daunting, but it is worth it for those facing persecution in their home countries. After a complete review of the applicant’s case, an immigration judge will finally determine whether or not to grant asylum. If the applicant is granted asylum, they can reside and work in the United States indefinitely.

Suppose the USCIS asylum officer does not grant the asylum application. In that case, the individual is referred to removal proceedings, where they may extend the request for asylum by way of the defensive process and appear before an immigration judge. 

Please see the Affirmative Asylum Process for step-by-step information on applying for asylum through the affirmative asylum process.



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