Changing Student Visa to Asylum application process

Student Visa To Asylum

An F1 student visa is a permit that allows students from other countries to study at colleges or universities in the U.S. At first, students can’t work outside the school, but later, they can do some types of jobs.

But what if it’s not safe for you to go back to your home country? In that case, you can ask to stay in the U.S. safely by changing your student visa to asylum. This guide will help you understand how you can do that and what you need to know.

How F1 Student Visa and Asylum Application Work Together

Applying for asylum in the U.S. can be tricky, especially if you have an F1 visa. But don’t worry, you can do both at the same time.

Key Points:

  1. Dual Application: If you have an F1 visa, you can apply for asylum without losing your student status.
  2. Legal Protections: While waiting for a decision on your asylum application, you are safe from being sent back to your home country.

Keeping Your F1 Visa While Applying for Asylum

It’s important to follow the rules of your F1 visa while you ask for asylum. This helps you avoid any extra problems.

How to Keep Your F1 Visa:

  • Valid I-20 Form: Make sure your I-20 form is current.
  • Full-time Enrollment: Take at least 12 credit hours each semester.
  • Authorized Employment: Only work if it’s allowed by your school or the U.S. government.
  • Updated Information: Keep your address and personal details updated.
  • Valid Passport: Make sure your passport doesn’t expire.

If you follow these rules, you can stay in the U.S. as a student while waiting for a decision on your asylum application.

How to Apply for Asylum on an F1 Visa

Asylum Application Process

The steps to apply for asylum are the same whether you are a student or not.

Eligibility Criteria for Asylum Seekers:

  • Fear of Persecution: You must show that you are afraid of being hurt because of your race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion.
  • In the U.S.: You must be in the U.S. to change your student visa to asylum.
  • No Other Asylum Cases: You shouldn’t have any other asylum or deportation cases going on.

Importance of Evidence: You need to show proof of why you are afraid to go back to your home country. This can include:

  • Medical and Psychological Reports: Letters from doctors or psychologists.
  • Character References: Letters from friends or family.
  • Communication Records: Text messages, social media posts.
  • Photographs and Articles: Photos and news stories that support your case.

Timeframe Considerations for Asylum Applications

You need to apply for asylum within one year of arriving in the U.S. There are exceptions, but it’s important to apply on time.

Steps to Apply:

  1. Form I-589: Fill out this form with all the details about your case.
  2. Biometrics Appointment: You may need to go to an appointment to get your fingerprints and photo taken.
  3. Asylum Interview: You will have an interview where a government officer asks you about your case. You can bring a lawyer as legal representation and an interpreter.
  4. Waiting for a Decision: After the interview, you wait about 180 days for a decision.

Work Permit During the Asylum Process

You can apply for a work permit while your asylum case is being decided. This allows you to work legally in the U.S while studying.

What Happens if Your Asylum Application is Approved or Denied

The process can end with either approval or denial.


  • Asylum Status Granted: You get protection and can apply to stay permanently.
  • Redundant F1 Visa: You won’t need your F1 visa anymore.


  • Appeal Options: You can try again or look for other ways to stay.
  • Maintaining F1 Status: If you keep your F1 status, you can continue studying until your visa expires.
  • Immigration Board of Removals: If you didn’t keep your F1 status, your case goes to the immigration board.

Adjusting Status After a Denied Asylum Claim

If your asylum application is denied, changing to another visa can be difficult.

FAQs About Student Visa to Asylum

  1. Can I Apply for Asylum as an International Student on an F1 Visa?

Yes, you can apply for asylum if you are afraid to go back to your home country.

  1. Can Applying for Asylum Affect My Status as an International Student?

No, but you need to follow all F1 visa rules.

  1. How Long Does the Asylum Application Process Take?

It takes about 180 days after you submit your form.

  1. May I Apply for Work While My Asylum Application Is Pending?

Yes, you can apply for a work permit.

  1. Where Can I Get More Help About Applying for Asylum on an F1 Visa?

You should talk to an asylum lawyer near me or an immigration attorney near me for help.

  1. What Happens If My Asylum Application Is Denied?

You can appeal or try other ways to stay. If you keep your F1 visa, you can keep studying.

  1. Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for Asylum?

It’s not required, but having a lawyer helps a lot.

  1. Can I Travel Outside the U.S. While My Asylum Application Is Pending?

It’s usually not a good idea to leave the U.S. while waiting.

  1. What Kind of Evidence Should I Submit With My Asylum Application?

Submit any proof that shows why you are afraid to go back, like letters, photos, and messages.

  1. What Are the Chances of My Asylum Application Being Approved?

It depends on your case and the evidence. A good lawyer can help improve your chances.

Seeking Legal Assistance

The asylum application process is complicated. It’s really important to get help from an experienced immigration attorney to make sure you do everything right.

How to Find the Best Legal Help

Asylum Lawyer

  1. Immigration Law Firms: Look for an immigration law firm near me. These firms specialize in helping people with immigration issues.
  2. Free Consultations: Search for “immigration lawyer near me free consultation” or “immigration attorney near me free consultation” to find lawyers who offer free advice.
  3. Pro Bono Services: Look for pro bono immigration lawyers near me if you need free help.
  4. Specialized Lawyers: For asylum immigration cases, find an asylum lawyer near me or an asylum attorney near me.
  5. Top Rated Lawyers: Search for top rated immigration lawyers near me or the best immigration lawyers near me.

Additional Resources

  1. Free Services: Look for free immigration lawyers or free immigration lawyers.
  2. Specific Needs: If you need help with a green card or visa, search for a green card lawyer near me, a visa lawyer near me, or a visa attorney near me.
  3. Family and Naturalization: For family immigration issues, search for a family immigration lawyer near me. To become a citizen, look for a naturalization lawyer near me.

Know Your Rights as an F1 Visa Holder

Remember, you can apply for asylum while keeping your F1 visa. Make sure you follow all the visa rules while waiting for your asylum decision.

Santos Khoury LLC: Your Trusted Immigration Law Firm

If you need help with your asylum application, Santos Khoury LLC is here for you. Our experienced immigration attorneys will guide you through the process. Contact us for a free immigration consultation near me, and let us help you.

It’s important to keep your F1 status while applying for asylum. Get legal help to protect your rights and make the process easier.


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