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If you’re admitted to the United States either as a Refugee, a qualifying family member of an asylee, you may apply for your green card after one year of arrival. If you have been granted asylum in the United States, you may apply for your green card after one year of being granted the asylum status.


Numerous people come to the United States each year to seek protection from persecution or fear that they will be persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, member in a particular social group, or political opinion.

If physically in the United States, you may include your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 at the time you file or at any time until a final decision is reached in your case.

If your spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21 are not physically present in the United States, you may petition to bring them to the United States as soon as your asylum is granted. In any case, you must petition for them within two years of being granted asylum unless the delay is caused by humanitarian reasons.

You must apply for asylum within one year of your arrival to the United States. You may be allowed to legally remain in the United States if it is determined that you are eligible for asylum.

Unfortunately, you cannot obtain employment authorization at the same time your application for asylum is filed. You may only request employment authorization if 150 days have passed since you filed your complete, acceptable asylum application and no decision has been made. The 150 days delay cannot be caused by you, for example, you did not submit crucial evidence or other documentation required for asylum.

Once the asylum is granted and you have not applied for employment authorization previously, you may start working immediately. You are not required to obtain any Employment Authorization Documents in order to work, unless you’d like to receive one for identification purposes.

You may not apply for permanent residence until one year after your asylum status is granted.


A refugee is typically someone who is located outside of the United States and is of special humanitarian concern to the United States. In order to qualify, one must have been subjected to persecution or suffered fears of persecution due to religion, race, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. And the potential refugee must not have ordered or assisted in the persecution of another person based on the same criteria.

A potential refugee must also be admissible to the United States, and has to prove that he/she will not be safe even if he/she relocates in another part of his/her home country, or is not firmly resettled in another country.


In order to be considered a refugee, you must first obtain a referral for consideration to the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), which divides potential refugees into three priority categories depending on the degree of humanitarian concern.

Your spouse (including legally married same sex spouse), unmarried children under the age of 21, and even some family members under limited circumstances, may be included in your application.

In general, the validity of marriage is determined by the law of the place where the marriage took place. Same sex partners who are not legally married may have to file two separate petitions, however, they may be interviewed at the same time and be relocated in the same geographic area in the United States.

If you are in the United States and your family members are still abroad, you may file a petition within two years of your arrival on their behalf. The deadline to petition your family members is strict, unless there is a humanitarian reason to justify the delay or extension of deadline.

The United States government does not charge a fee for the application of a regufee, and the information regarding your case will be confidential.


After your approval of regufee status, you will receive a medical examination, help with your travel plans, and a small loan to arrange your travels to the United States. Once in the United States, you may be eligible for medical and cash assistance and other benefits.

Employment authorization will be filed on your behalf upon your arrival to the United States.

You must file a petition to obtain a Green Card within one year of arrival. The United States government does not charge a fee for refugees to apply for permanent residence.

Before you receive your Green Card, you may travel abroad. However, you will need to obtain a Refugee Travel Document in order to return to the United States.

Contact Kristy Qiu, Esq., a knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale Immigration Attorney to learn more about acquiring a Green Card Through Asylum or Refuge.


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