Asylum & Refugee

Asylum & Refugee

Lim Law P.A. – Central Florida & Orlando Immigration Attorney

Asylum is the process of seeking protection for an individual who is already in the U.S to stay in the U.S., for fear of persecution once they return home. This fear of persecution is generally due to:

  • Religion
  • Political Opinion
  • Race
  • Nationality
  • Membership of social groups.

If the individual has felt persecuted or fears persecution, they can file an I-589 form, the Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal. (Click to Download) In order to be granted asylum, there must be proof of persecution or risk of persecution upon returning to their home country. Application should be submitted no less than one year after entering the U.S. Spouses and children may be included in the application.

If granted asylum you may petition to bring your spouse and children to the United States. To include your child on your application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried.

You may apply for a green card one year after you were granted Asylum.

Employment Authorization

You cannot apply for permission to work (employment authorization) in the United States at the same time you apply for asylum.

You may apply for employment authorization if 150 days have passed since you filed your complete asylum application, excluding any delays caused by you (such as a request to reschedule your interview) and no decision has been made on your application.

If you are granted asylum you may work immediately. Some asylee choose to obtain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for convenience or identification purposes, but an EAD is not necessary to work if you are an asylee.

There is no fee to apply for your first EAD if you have a pending asylum application or if you have been granted asylum.


Refugees seek admission for permanent residency or temporary relocation until problems in their home countries are resolved. They must demonstrate that they were once persecuted or fear persecution in their home countries.

A refugee is someone who:

  • Is located outside of the United States
  • Is of special humanitarian concern to the United States
  • Demonstrates that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group
  • Is not firmly resettled in another country

Is admissible to the United States The refugee must receive a referral to the U.S Refugee Admissions Programs, where they may include spouses and children (under 21 years old and unmarried) in their application. After the application, there will be an interview by a United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer, who will determine if you are eligible. If admitted, you can apply for a green card one year after entering the United States. Refugees are eligible to receive medical and monetary assistance.

If you are a refugee in the United States and want your family members who are abroad to join you, you may file for your spouse and unmarried children under 21. You must file within two years of your arrival to the United States unless there are humanitarian reasons to excuse this deadline.

You may also be eligible to file an Affidavit of Relationship for your spouse, child (unmarried, under 21), or parents. The Affidavit of Relationship is the form used to reunite refugees and asylees with close relatives who are determined to be refugees but are outside the United States. The Affidavit of Relationship records information about family relationships and must be completed in order to begin the application process for relatives who may be eligible to enter the United States as refugees through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.


Lim Law's team of immigration attorneys handle various immigrant investor visas, including EB-5 employment based visas and E-1 and E-2 Treaty Trader Visas.
Schedule a Free Consultation