Can I Travel Outside the United States?

If you are applying for asylum and you want to travel outside the United States, you must receive advance permission before you leave the United States in order to return to the United States. This advance permission is called Advance Parole. If you do not apply for Advance Parole before you leave the country, you will abandon your application with the BCIS and you may not be permitted to return to the United States. If your application for asylum is approved, you may apply for a Refugee Travel Document. This document will allow you to travel abroad and return to the United States. For more information, see How Do I Get a Travel Document?.

Will I Get a Work Permit?

Asylum applicants can not apply for employment authorization at the same time they apply for asylum. Rather, you must wait 150 days after the BCIS receives a complete application before you can apply for employment authorization. The BCIS has 30 days to either grant or deny your request for employment. Please see How Do I Get a Work Permit? for more information.

How Can I Find Out About the Status of My Application?

Please contact the BCIS Asylum Office that received your application. You should be prepared to provide the BCIS staff with specific information about your application. Please click here for complete instructions on checking the status of your application. Click here for information on BCIS offices.

How Can I Appeal?

Applicants will be interviewed by an Asylum Officer or an Immigration Judge. The Asylum Officer will either approve your application or refer it to an Immigration Judge for a final decision. If the Immigration Judge denies your asylum application, you will receive a letter telling you how to appeal the decision. Generally, you may appeal within 33 days of receiving the denial. After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, D.C.

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Asylum: Other Issues