An individual seeking asylum applies directly to the United States government. U.S. law generally requires that an application for asylum be filed within one year of the person’s arrival in the United States, although there are very limited exceptions. In addition, there are dangers of applicants being held in detention while their request is being considered, if they have entered the United States illegally. Asylum applicants will receive work authorization after a certain period of time.
Eligibility of Family Members
In addition to the asylum applicant, immediate family members may also be eligible for asylee status, and will receive all of the benefits enjoyed by the applicant, provided that those family members were named in the asylum application. Family members do not need to be present in the United States when the application is filed.