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Obtaining asylum in the U.S.

Florida residents may benefit from learning more about how people qualify for asylum. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, individuals may seek refuge and protection in the United States if they are being persecuted in their native country for their political beliefs, affiliations with specific social parties, race, nationality or religion. People who qualify for asylum and apply within 1 year of arrival are allowed to remain in the country.

People seeking asylum are also permitted to include their spouse and children on the application or at any point before the final decision is rendered. However, children who are older than 21-year-old or who are married are not allowed onto their parent's applications. In order to apply for asylum, applicants are required to submit Form I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. Individuals applying for asylum are not required to pay any fees. Individuals are typically prohibited from filing for asylum and employment authorization simultaneously.

Potential immigrants are permitted to apply for employment authorization if no decision has been made on the asylum application and if 150 days have passed since the date the asylum application was filed, discounting any delays caused by the applicant. Applicants who have been granted asylum can begin working immediately. Once an individual is recognized as an asylee, Employment Authorization Documents are no longer necessary although some people keep them on-hand to make identification more convenient.

People who need more information about applying for asylum may benefit from contacting a lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to assist these individuals with the application process. Immigration lawyers may also be effective in assisting with other issues, such as family and work visas, as well.

Source: Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security, "Asylum ", December 02, 2014

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