How to Write an Asylum Declaration to Go With Your I-589 Application

I-589 Application

Crafting an asylum declaration is a pivotal step in seeking asylum in the United States. This document serves as the backbone of your I-589 application, offering a comprehensive account of your past experiences, present fears, and why you seek refuge in the United States. 


The importance of clarity, detail, and honesty cannot be overstated when drafting this declaration. In this article, we’ll delve into the essentials of preparing a compelling asylum declaration that effectively communicates your story and circumstances to immigration authorities.



What is the Asylum Declaration – The Basics


The asylum declaration is a sworn statement that provides a detailed narrative of your past experiences of persecution, if any, and the reasons why you fear future persecution in your home country. 


It encapsulates the core elements of your asylum claim and is crucial in demonstrating your eligibility for asylum in the United States.


This is commonly referred to as your “statement” and must be included with your I-589 application for asylum and for withholding of removal.

The Purpose of the Asylum Declaration


This document serves multiple purposes: it helps immigration officers assess the validity of your asylum claim, provides evidence to support your case, and offers insight into your circumstances. 


A well-crafted asylum declaration can significantly strengthen your application and increase your chances of a successful asylum outcome.


Consider this – once your asylum I 589 form is submitted, it is processed by a USCIS officer. This could be the person who makes the decision about your approval, and thus, you must show to them that your case is credible and that you have suffered persecution or still have a founded fear of it.


The declaration is also vital for your asylum interview as the USCIS officer will commonly go through it during the meeting and ask you questions about it. The more detail you provide and the more convincing it is, the quicker your interview may proceed.

Making Your Asylum Declaration Unique and Reflective of Your Experiences


Each asylum declaration is unique, as it reflects the individual experiences and circumstances of the applicant. This is why we cannot provide a sample declaration as there is no single structure to follow.


It’s essential to personalize your declaration by providing specific details and examples that illustrate the persecution you have faced or fear in your home country. 


This personalization enhances the credibility and persuasiveness of your claim. It also shows personalization and that you haven’t simply plagiarized a generic sample you found on the internet.


How to Prepare Your Asylum Declaration


Before putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard you must understand how to prepare your declaration. This includes the language it must be written in and how it should be submitted with your I-589 application for asylum and withholding of removal.

Language Requirements


Your asylum declaration must be written in English, the official language of immigration proceedings in the United States. 


If English is not your native language, you may seek assistance from a qualified translator or attorney to ensure accurate translation and interpretation of your statement. In this instance, you would write your declaration in your native language and then have it translated.

Submission Requirements


The asylum declaration should be submitted along with your Form I-589 application for asylum. It must be typed or neatly handwritten, signed under penalty of perjury, and dated. Any false statements or omissions in your declaration can have serious consequences for your asylum case.


If you have a translated version, you must include the following with your application:


  • The original version in your native language.
  • The translated version.
  • A signed statement from the translator stating they translated the document word for word, faithfully and completely and that they are fluent in both languages.


An immigration asylum attorney can help find a suitable translator and make sure they provide the proper statement of authenticity.


How to Structure Your I-589 Application Asylum Declaration

Asylum Immigration Attorney

As mentioned in previous sections, there is no “right way” to structure your asylum declaration as part of your I-589 application. However, you can observe the following tips:


  • Make sure the structure flows logically (Intro, main body, conclusion).
  • Keep the structure organized and, if possible, in chronological order.
  • Use clear headings.
  • Keep paragraphs short (3-4 lines per paragraph or 2-3 sentences).
  • Include a table of contents with a list of the headings at the start.

Format Overview With Recommended Section Headings


A well-structured asylum declaration typically includes the following sections:


  • Background: Provide information about your personal background, including your identity, family, education, and employment history.
  • Past Perceution: Detail any past incidents of persecution you have experienced in your home country.
  • Fear of Future Persecution: Explain why you fear returning to your home country and the specific threats or risks you anticipate.
  • Relocation: Discuss any attempts you have made or considered to relocate within your home country to avoid persecution.
  • Lack of Government Protection: Describe the reasons why you believe you cannot obtain protection from your home country’s government.
  • Conclusion: Summarize your asylum claim and reiterate your request for protection in the United States.

Additional Sections Based on Individual Circumstances


Depending on your unique experiences and circumstances, you may need to include additional sections addressing specific aspects of your asylum claim, such as medical or psychological evidence, country conditions reports, or corroborating witness statements.


How to Write the Common Sections of Your Asylum Declaration

Writing About Your Background


Provide a concise yet comprehensive overview of your personal background, including relevant details about your family, education, employment, and any other significant life events. This section sets the context for your asylum claim and helps immigration officers understand your background and experiences.

Detailing Past Persecution


Describe in detail any past incidents of persecution you have endured in your home country. Include specific dates, locations, perpetrators, and the nature of the persecution you faced. Providing corroborating evidence, such as medical records, photographs, or witness statements, can strengthen your case.


This is possibly THE most important section and it’s essential you write as much detail as possible and recount any instance of persecution that adds weight to your case.


In this section, it’s also vital to try and write events in chronological order. Don’t keep skipping back and forth between dates. Instead, take a notepad and write a list of the separate incidents then try and organize them in date order. With this list compiled, you can create a sub-section in your declaration for each instance of persecution.

Explaining Your Well-Founded Fear of Future Persecution


Articulate the reasons why you fear returning to your home country and the basis for your well-founded fear of future persecution. This may include threats, harassment, violence, or discrimination you have experienced or witnessed, as well as relevant country conditions that support your claim.


You could provide things like SMS messages, social media messages, Whatsapp messages, or other media that show you are still under threat. Additionally, you could write about people you know who are still facing persecution while you are in the U.S. filing for your I-589 application with their testimonials.

Addressing Your Relocation Challenges


Discuss any attempts you have made or considered to relocate within your home country to escape persecution. Explain why relocation is not a viable option for you due to ongoing risks, lack of resources, or other obstacles.


For example, you could provide evidence showing that the persecution is nationwide or that the persecutor has a wide reach and resources, meaning no place in your country is safe. Essentially, you must show that you have explored the possibility of relocation, but asylum is the only viable option.



Highlighting the Lack of Government Protection


Provide compelling reasons why you believe you cannot obtain protection from your home country’s government or authorities. This may include instances of government complicity in persecution, failure to enforce laws or systemic discrimination against certain groups.


This section should include evidence and facts where possible – merely stating that it’s your opinion that the government won’t protect you isn’t enough. If you can show the government is active in their neglect or has participated in persecution, your case has more weight. Your political asylum attorney can help find relevant articles, newspaper clippings, and press for this section.

Best Asylum Lawyer In Usa

Ending With a Compelling Conclusion


Summarize your asylum claim and emphasize the urgency of your need for protection in the United States. Reiterate your request for asylum and express your hope for a favorable outcome to your case. 


The conclusion should be concise and reiterate the points of your declaration however, it should also aim to answer common questions a USCIS officer might ask. 


Examples of questions could include – Why can’t you return to your home country? Why can’t the government protect you? Isn’t there anywhere in your home country where you can safely live? Your asylum immigration attorney can help with more potential questions.

Seeking Legal Assistance


While it is possible to prepare your asylum declaration on your own, seeking assistance from the best asylum lawyer in USA can greatly enhance the quality and effectiveness of your application.

How a Political Asylum Attorney Can Help


An experienced immigration lawyer asylum expert can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the asylum application process. They can help you understand your legal rights and options, gather evidence to support your claim and prepare a persuasive asylum declaration tailored to your circumstances.


Important Resources for Writing Your Asylum Declaration


In addition to legal assistance, various resources are available to help you prepare your asylum declaration, including online guides, sample declarations, and community organizations that support asylum seekers.


  • Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project – Sample Declaration
  • Official USCIS Affirmative Asylum Info Page – Link
  • USCIS Q&A Relating to Asylum Application – Link
  • Grammarly – Automatic Spelling & Grammar Checker – Link
  • Hemingway Editor – Useful tool to improve writing quality – Link
  • Refugee Council USA – Link
  • Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project – Link
  • I-589 Defensive Asylum Instructions – Link

Start Drafting Your Asylum Declaration Today


Crafting a compelling asylum declaration is a critical step in the asylum application process. By providing a detailed and persuasive account of your experiences and circumstances, you can strengthen your case and increase your chances of obtaining asylum in the United States.


Remember to always be truthful. Include as much detail as possible and be accurate with your info by including dates, names, addresses, and timeframes. If you require assistance writing your declaration or the I-589 application, please contact Santoskhourny today. We have years of experience with this process and can guide you through it, including assisting in writing your asylum declaration.


Can I use a sample asylum declaration for my application?

While sample asylum declarations can provide useful guidance, it’s important to tailor your declaration to your own experiences and circumstances to ensure its authenticity and effectiveness. If you simply copy and paste a sample and swap in your name and info, you will be found out, and your application rejected.

Do I need to write my asylum declaration in English?

Yes, your asylum declaration must be written in English, the official language of immigration proceedings in the United States. You can write your declaration in your native language too, but it must be translated. When submitting Form I-589, you must include the original declaration, the translated version, and a signed statement of authenticity from the translator.

What should I do if I’m unsure about what to include in my declaration?

Seek guidance from a qualified immigration attorney who can help you identify relevant information and structure your declaration effectively.

Is there a specific format I should follow for my asylum declaration?

While there is no strict format requirement, it’s advisable to follow a structured format with clear section headings to ensure clarity and organization. Make the sections numbered too and include an initial table of contents so the USCIS officer can easily follow the flow and find the different details they wish to ask questions on.

How detailed should my description of past persecution be?

Provide as much detail as possible, including specific dates, locations, perpetrators, and the nature of the persecution you experienced. Corroborating evidence can strengthen your claim. We understand that it’s difficult, but you mustn’t shy away from any details and be as graphic/descriptive as possible.

What if I cannot remember specific dates for past incidents?

If you cannot recall specific dates, provide approximate timeframes or describe the events to the best of your recollection. Giving specifics like dates and timeframes is advisable, though, as it makes your declaration much more credible.

Should I include incidents that may not rise to the level of persecution in my declaration?

Include any relevant incidents that contribute to your overall fear of returning to your home country, even if they may not individually constitute persecution. The more relevant evidence you can provide (no matter how big or small), the stronger your case becomes.

What if I need to explain extraordinary circumstances for missing the one-year asylum filing deadline?

Consult with an immigration attorney to determine if you qualify for an exception to the one-year filing deadline based on extraordinary circumstances.

Can I seek legal help with drafting my asylum declaration?

Yes! Hiring political asylum lawyers can help greatly as they understand the common structure of declarations and what you should include. However, you must write the declaration yourself – your legal representative must only advise and assist.


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