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How Long Will It Take to Get PR After Asylum Application?

asylum application
asylum application

Navigating the asylum application process in the United States can be complex and time-sensitive, and one aspect of this is understanding the pathway from seeking asylum to obtaining permanent residency (PR) which is crucial. 


Asylum seekers often face various challenges when applying for LPR status, from gathering documentation to attending interviews and meeting timeline specifics. 


Ultimately though, a Green Card and LPR status should be your end goal as this offers your gateway to eventual US Citizenship via naturalization if this is what you want to achieve. After 5 years as a lawful permanent resident, you can apply for US Citizenship.


In this blog, we’ll outline the steps involved in transitioning from asylum status to permanent residency, shedding light on the timeline and essential considerations along the way. Whether you’re an asylum seeker or supporting someone through the process, this guide aims to provide clarity on the journey ahead.


To start, including the year that you must stay in the US to start the LPR application, the average time is between 20-24 months (12 months waiting 8-14 months for the USCIS to process your application).


What Is an Asylum Green Card?


An asylum green card, officially known as lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, is a vital milestone for those granted asylum in the United States. It offers stability, legal rights, and a pathway to citizenship. Specific benefits include:


  • Lawfully live and work in the United States.
  • You can eventually become a naturalized US Citizen.
  • You cannot be deported to your country of origin.
  • You can also retain citizenship of your country of origin.
  • You fall under state and local US laws in terms of legal protection.
  • Travel to and from the US is made easier.
  • You can receive a wide range of federal benefits, such as education assistance.


As you can see, this is a fantastic range of benefits, and this is why waiting for asylum interview date and your asylum approval letter is worth it as it can lead to LPR status and a brighter future for yourself. It’s important to note that Green Card holders cannot vote, and even attempting to register to vote could result in fines and legal sentencing.


Eligibility for an asylum green card hinges on meeting specific criteria outlined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Asylum seekers who have been granted asylum status are typically eligible to apply for LPR status after one year of continuous physical presence in the U.S. Other requirements include:


  • You must be physically in the US to apply.
  • You can show you can support yourself financially.
  • Clear of any grounds of inadmissibility as stated in the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act).
  • Show evidence of a medical examination.


As mentioned above, obtaining an asylum green card allows you to work, travel abroad, and eventually apply for citizenship, thus solidifying your place in American society and allowing you to forge a more secure future for yourself and potentially your family.

asylum immigration lawyer
asylum immigration lawyer

How to Apply for an Asylum Green Card in 7 Steps


Transitioning from asylum status to permanent residency involves a series of meticulous steps. An asylum lawyer can walk you through these steps and provide counsel at each stage. We have provided a detailed step-by-step guide below to get you started.

1. Completing Form I-485


Form I-485, also known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is the primary application for obtaining an asylum green card. This is the starting point for your Green Card application, and it’s imperative you get it right. For the best results, the best asylum lawyer in USA can help and make sure there are no errors.


The USCIS also provides a useful set of guidelines for completing this form, including explaining its purpose, fees, and where to file it. 


  • Part 1: Information About You
  • Part 2: Application Type of Filing Category
  • Part 3: Additional Information About You
  • Part 4: Information About Your Parents
  • Part 5: Information About Your Marital History
  • Part 6: Information About Your Children
  • Part 7: Biographic Information
  • Part 8: General Eligibility and Inadmissibility Grounds
  • Part 9: Accommodations for Individuals With Disabilities and/or Impairments
  • Part 10: Applicant’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature
  • Part 11: Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
  • Part 12: Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing This Application
  • Part 13: Signature at Interview
  • Part 14: Additional Information


This might seem like a heap of information to digest, but the key is to take each part of the form slowly. Read the questions carefully and double-check you understand the request and meaning before completing any fields.


Also, it’s imperative that you answer truthfully and give as much information as possible. Falsifying any information or failing to complete the form fully may hamper your LPR status application and even jeopardize your asylum status.

2. Gathering Supporting Documents


Assembling the necessary documentation, including proof of identity, employment authorization, and any additional evidence supporting your asylum claim.


  • Original birth certificate.
  • Any ID issued from the US government.
  • Photographs used for your passport.
  • Proof of marriage (if applicable).
  • Proof of employment (if applicable).
  • Documents showing you entered America legally.
  • Evidence showing the continuous upkeep of your lawful asylum status since entering the US.
  • Proof of Immigration Medical Examination and Form I-693.


These are all applicable if you are the petitioner (i.e. you are applying for LPR status for yourself). If you are applying on behalf of someone else, such as your spouse or child, you must provide documents that prove your relationship with them, such as a marriage certificate for your spouse or a birth certificate for your child.


We want to stress the importance of providing this supporting documentation. Failure to do so will delay your application as the USCIS will typically request the missing documents which slows down the already lengthy process.


3. Paying the Filing Fees


Unfortunately, filing Form I-485 isn’t free, and this is something you must account for when considering the process and applying. You must ensure all required fees are paid in full to USCIS, as outlined in the current fee schedule. Your asylum lawyer can advise on the fee schedule, but we have outlined the main costs and any waivers below:


  • Form I-485 filing fee: $1140.
  • Form I-485 filing fee for those under the age of 14:
    • $750 when filed with a parent’s form.
    • $1140 when filed as a standalone form.

Filing Fee Exemptions


  • Refugees filing for an adjustment of status under the INA are automatically exempt from the Form I-485 fee.
  • If you believe you fall under the classification of “inability to pay”, you can complete Form I-912, which is the Request for Fee Waiver, together with evidence that shows you are unable to pay.
  • If you are already in removal proceedings, the Immigration Judge may waive your form filing fees.


Fees must be submitted in their exact amounts, and you can only pay the fee by cheque or money order – do don’t try and post cash. 

4. Submitting the Filing Packet to USCIS


Once you have your fees sorted and have completed the form, it’s time to file it. This should also be done with care, and the exact filing process differs depending on your status and eligibility category. We advise checking the USCIS guidelines on Form I-485 submission.


The submission process can be confusing, and the USCIS website isn’t exactly clearly structured so this is an area your asylum attorney can assist with. It’s important to make sure you submit the form to the correct address as failure to do so could delay the process and even mean that you have to complete a new form and start from scratch.

best asylum lawyer in USA
best asylum lawyer in USA

5. Attending the Biometrics Appointment


Typically after you have filed Form I-485, you will receive a notice of receipt from the USCIS. This could include a request for additional info if you have filed the form incorrectly or have missed some important info.


Usually, two weeks after you have received the notice of receipt (and any additional info has been submitted), the USCIS will send you a biometrics appointment. These appointments are usually held at the nearest Application Support Center.


Biometrics appointments are mandatory, and it’s vital that you attend the scheduled date or request a date change ASAP if you cannot make it. During the appointment, you will provide photographs, your signature, and fingerprints for government records. This biometric info is also often used to run background checks.


Make sure that you take an official ID card and proof of ID with you, plus your original notice of appointment that you received from the USCIS.

6. Attending the Green Card Interview (if Applicable)


Some applicants may be required to attend an interview to discuss their application further. This is not always the case, and it usually depends on how much information you provided in Form I-485 and if the USCIS needs to clarify any further details.


If you require an interview, it is usually scheduled around two months after your biometrics appointment. When attending the interview, you must bring the original documents you submitted with Form I-485 (even if they are expired). 


Compared to your initial asylum interview, the LPR interview is usually much shorter, lasting 20 minutes. During the interview, the USCIS officer will ask you to confirm your identity and status and ask that you show the documents you submitted with your form. It’s still important to prepare thoroughly for this interview and your asylum lawyer can be present too.


At the end of the interview, if approved, the USCIS officer stamps your passport with the I-551 stamp – you won’t receive your Green Card at this point.

7. Receiving the Asylum Green Card


Upon approval, USCIS will issue the asylum green card, granting lawful permanent resident status. Your Green Card will be sent via the postal service. If denied, you will receive a postal notification, together with an explanation of why you were denied – this now gives you the chance to appeal.

Timeline for Obtaining PR After Asylum Application


The timeline for obtaining permanent residency after an asylum application can vary based on several factors. One crucial aspect is the one-year physical presence requirement in the U.S., which must be met before applying for an asylum green card. 


Additionally, maintaining refugee status and refraining from resettling in foreign countries is essential to the process. 


USCIS processing times also play a significant role, impacting the overall duration from application to approval. 


The green card interview and approval process typically require careful coordination and may vary in duration depending on individual circumstances. 


However, once granted, the asylum green card confers various rights and responsibilities upon the individual as a lawful permanent resident of the United States.


On average, it takes the USCIS between 8-14 months to process LPR status applications. This doesn’t include the initial year that you have to stay in the US before applying for LPR. Therefore, we can say that the total timeframe for your PR asylum application is between 20-24 months. 


Of course, it can be shorter than this, and this lengthy process reinforces the need to complete each step carefully, make no mistakes, and attend all appointments and interviews when requested.

asylum attorney
asylum attorney

How Do You Apply for an Asylum Green Card for Your Family Members?


Family members of asylum seekers may also be eligible for green cards through derivative asylum. This process allows immediate family members, including spouses and unmarried children under 21, to apply for LPR status based on the principal applicant’s asylum status. 


Similar to the individual application process, applying for family members involves completing Form I-485 and providing supporting documentation. Including all relevant supporting documents for each family member is crucial for a successful application, and this is something an asylum immigration lawyer can help you with.


Permanent Residency is the End Goal of Your Asylum Application


Navigating the asylum process and obtaining permanent residency in the United States is a significant milestone for asylum seekers. Understanding the steps involved and seeking assistance from an experienced asylum attorney can streamline the process and increase the likelihood of success. 


From completing forms to attending interviews, each step is critical in achieving permanent residency status. Asylum seekers are encouraged to seek legal guidance and support to ensure their applications are thorough and accurate. 


By obtaining permanent residency, you gain access to a range of opportunities and rights, paving the way for a brighter future in the United States and we hope you are now armed with knowledge on how to start this process.


To reiterate, the timeframe for obtaining PR after your asylum application takes, on average, 20-24 months. This is broken into two sections – 12 months after your asylum application before you can submit Form I-485 and 8-14 months processing time of your application by the USCIS.



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