Last Updated: Friday, 25 July 2014, 12:52 GMT

United States: Asylum determination system, including eligibility to obtain asylum; application process; special provisions in place for gender-related claims; rights and benefits that asylum status confers; and termination or withdrawal of asylum status

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 20 November 2007
Citation / Document Symbol USA102499.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, United States: Asylum determination system, including eligibility to obtain asylum; application process; special provisions in place for gender-related claims; rights and benefits that asylum status confers; and termination or withdrawal of asylum status, 20 November 2007, USA102499.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47d6547f28.html [accessed 26 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Section 101 (a) 42 of the United States (US) Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines a refugee as an alien

who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion (US 27 Jan. 2006, 3; US n.d.g; US May 2006, 1).

The term "refugee" refers to an alien who makes a claim for protection while outside of the US (US 27 Jan. 2006, 3; US May 2006, 4; US 28 Apr. 2005). The term "asylee," however, refers to an individual who meets the INA's definition of a refugee, but who makes a claim from within the country or at a US port of entry (US 27 Jan. 2006, 3; US May 2006, 4; US 28 Apr. 2005).

While there is no limit on the number of persons who may be granted asylum in the US (US 28 Apr. 2005; US n.d.d), there is a ceiling placed on the number of refugees admitted to the country (US 28 Apr. 2005; US 27 Jan. 2006, 3; US May 2006, 2). The number of refugees allowed into the US is determined by the country's president, in consultation with Congress, on a yearly basis (US 27 Jan. 2006, 3; US May 2006, 2). For example, for fiscal year 2008, the president has set a ceiling of 70,000 to 80,000 refugees who could be admitted to the country (US 9 July 2007, iv).

This Response provides information related to asylees, unless otherwise noted.

Eligibility to obtain asylum

An individual seeking asylum in the US may apply for asylum regardless of whether he or she is in the country legally (US n.d.a; Immihelp.com n.d.). The asylum-seeker must demonstrate that he or she meets the definition of a refugee and is not barred from obtaining asylum (US n.d.d). Individuals barred from obtaining asylum include those who have participated in the persecution of another person, have been convicted of a serious crime, are seen to pose a danger to national security, have engaged in or encouraged "terrorist" activities, or who are members or representatives of foreign "terrorist" groups (US 28 Apr. 2005; US 27 Jan. 2006, 1-2). Also, persons who have been "firmly resettled" in another country are not permitted to obtain asylum (ibid., 1; US 28 Apr. 2005).

An asylum-seeker in the US must apply for asylum within one year of the date of his or her last arrival in the country (US 28 Apr. 2005; US n.d.a). An asylum seeker who misses the one-year filing deadline may submit a late application if he or she can prove that there are "changed circumstances" affecting his or her eligibility or if there are "extraordinary circumstances" preventing the claimant from filing an application on time (ibid.). These circumstances may include changes in country of origin conditions or changes in personal situation (ibid.). For a more detailed explanation of the one-year deadline for claiming asylum in the US, please refer to Response to Information Request USA101394.E of 9 June 2006.

An individual who previously sought asylum in the US, but whose claim was denied by a US immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), is not eligible to reapply for asylum, unless he or she is able to demonstrate a change in circumstances that affects his or her asylum eligibility (e.g., change in country of origin conditions; activities of the applicant outside country of alleged "persecution" that may put him or her at risk if returned) (US n.d.e; see also US n.d.a).

An asylum seeker may also be ineligible to apply for asylum in the US if he or she can be removed to a "safe third country" as per the country's bilateral or multilateral agreements [e.g., US-Canada safe third-country agreement in effect since 2004 (US n.d.f)] (US n.d.e).

Material Support

Sources consulted by the Research Directorate indicate that anti-terrorism laws implemented following 11 September 2001 have prevented certain asylum seekers and refugee claimants from obtaining protection in the US (HRF 5 Mar. 2007; ibid. 26 Sept. 2006, 1; US 19 Jan. 2007; AP 12 Jan. 2007).

According to Human Rights First (HRF), a New York and Washington-based international human rights organization (HRF n.d.), immigration provisions included under the USA Patriot Act (2001) and the Real ID Act (2005) exclude persons who have provided "material support" to "terrorist organizations" from obtaining asylum or refugee status in the US (HRF 26 Sept. 2006, 1; ibid. 5 Mar. 2007). The definitions of "material support" and "terrorist organization" are said to be so "exceedingly broad" that in certain cases, the victims of "terrorist" groups have been denied asylum or refugee status (HRF 26 Sept. 2006, 1; ibid. 5 Mar. 2007; Refugee Council USA 8 Mar. 2007). For example, a Sri Lankan fisherman was found to be ineligible for asylum in the US because he had paid a 500 US dollar ransom to the armed Liberation of Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) after the group had kidnapped him (The Washington Post 13 Aug. 2007; AP 12 Jan. 2007).

There have reportedly been over 1,000 asylum seekers barred from asylum in the US because of the "strict" interpretation of the provisions in the anti-terrorist legislation (The Washington Post 13 Aug. 2007).

In January 2007, however, the US government announced that it would be shifting its policy and easing anti-terrorism restrictions on asylum seekers and refugee claimants (US 19 Jan. 2007; AP 12 Jan. 2007). Under the policy change, applicants who are able to demonstrate that their support was provided "under duress" or by force may be eligible for asylum or refugee status (ibid.). In addition, in a 19 January 2007 statement, US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Michael Chertoff, indicated that "material support" would not apply to asylum seekers who supported certain armed groups, such as the Karen National Liberation Army, the Tibetan Mustangs, or the Cuban Alzados, among others (US 19 Jan. 2007).

Application process

A person seeking asylum in the US can make a claim either from within the US or at a port of entry (US 27 Jan. 2006, 8; US May 2006, 4). There are two paths through which asylum can be obtained: the "affirmative" process or the "defensive" process (ibid.; US 27 Jan. 2006, 8-9; MIHRC May 2006, 9). For both paths, the burden of proof is on the asylum seeker to demonstrate that he or she meets the definition of a refugee as outlined in the INA (US 27 Jan. 2006, 8). A description of the affirmative and defensive paths to asylum is provided below.

Affirmative process

Individuals who are not in removal proceedings can apply to obtain asylum "affirmatively" (US May 2006, 4; US 27 Jan. 2006, 8; US n.d.h). This includes aliens who are within the United States with valid immigration status as well as those without valid status who have not been apprehended by the authorities (US 13 Sept. 2007). Those aliens without valid status who are apprehended are placed in removal proceedings in the defensive process (ibid.; US n.d.h).

As previously noted, asylum-seekers must submit an application for asylum within one year from the date of their last arrival in the country (ibid.; US May 2006, 4). The application form, entitled "Form I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal" (ibid.; US 14 Dec. 2006), must be filed at a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service centre (US n.d.h; US 27 Jan. 2006, 8).

Following the submission of File I-589, an asylum applicant must undergo a security check and have his or her fingerprints scanned (US May 2006, 4; US n.d.i; US 27 Jan. 2006, 11). A notice for a fingerprint appointment is usually received by the applicant within 21 days of filing an asylum application (US n.d.a). According to the USCIS website, fingerprinting and background checks apply to applicants aged 14 to 79 years of age and are conducted at application support centres or at authorized designated law enforcement agencies (US n.d.i; US n.d.a). The USCIS then sends the applicant's fingerprints and biographical data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for a security check (ibid.; US n.d.i). The USCIS also sends the applicant's biographical information to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for a security check and verifies the applicant's biographical data against other law enforcement databases (ibid.; US n.d.a). In addition, a copy of the asylum application form is sent to the Department of State for a background check to be performed (ibid.; US n.d.i).

Within approximately 21 days of filing an asylum application, an applicant will also receive a notice indicating the time and location of his or her asylum interview (ibid.; US n.d.a). Affirmative asylum applicants undergo a non-adversarial interview with an asylum officer at one of eight USCIS asylum offices located throughout the US (US n.d.i; US n.d.h). If an applicant lives too far away from an asylum office, then he or she may have the interview at a district office (ibid.; US n.d.i). Interviews are usually held within 43 days of submission of an asylum application (ibid.; US n.d.h).

If an applicant does not speak English fluently, he or she must bring an interpreter to the asylum interview (US n.d.i; US n.d.a; MIHRC May 2006, 27). The USCIS does not provide interpreters (MIHRC May 2006, 27; VisaPro.com n.d.a). The applicant has the right to bring a lawyer or a representative to the interview (MIHRC May 2006, 27; US n.d.a), as long as there is no cost to the US government (ibid.). Family members who are listed on the asylum application as dependents (i.e., a spouse or children under the age of 21 years) must attend the asylum interview (US n.d.a; US n.d.i).

During the interview, the asylum officer determines whether the applicant meets the definition of a refugee and whether the applicant may be barred from receiving asylum (e.g., if the applicant was convicted of a serious crime) (US May 2006, 4; US n.d.i). In determining a claim, the asylum officer also considers: the applicant's testimony; information provided in the application and any additional materials the applicant has submitted; the credibility of the claim; and information on conditions in the applicant's country of origin (US 28 Apr. 2005; US n.d.a). Material witnesses (e.g., friends and family) and expert witnesses (e.g., academics, professionals) can also be used to corroborate the applicant's testimony (MIHRC May 2006, 35). Asylum interviews usually last at least an hour, depending on the case (ibid., 27; US n.d.a; VisaPro n.d.a).

Asylum decisions are generally provided within 14 days after the asylum interview or 60 days from the date of submission of the asylum application (US n.d.c). While the asylum application is being processed, affirmative asylum applicants are usually not detained (US n.d.h).

Asylum officers' decisions on claims are reviewed by a supervisory asylum officer (US n.d.i). Certain cases (e.g., involving suspected "persecutors") may be sent to the Asylum Division Headquarters for review (ibid.).

If an asylum officer approves an asylum claim and the applicant passes the security and background checks, the applicant is granted asylum (US 27 Jan. 2006, 9; US n.d.i). In cases where a positive decision is made, but the USCIS has not yet received security clearance results for the applicant, the USCIS will grant a "recommended approval" (US n.d.c; VisaPro.com n.d.c). If the security and background checks reveal negative information about the applicant, the USCIS may deny the asylum claim or refer the case to an immigration judge for further consideration [i.e., if the applicant does not have valid immigration status (US n.d.a)] (US n.d.c).

If an asylum officer does not approve an asylum claim and the applicant does not have valid immigration status, the applicant will receive "charging documents," placing him or her in removal proceedings (US n.d.a; VisaPro.com n.d.b). The applicant's case will also be referred to an immigration judge of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) for further review (US n.d.h; US May 2006, 4).

An applicant's case could also be referred to the EOIR for removal proceedings if he or she does not have valid status and fails to appear for his or her asylum interview without reasonable explanation (Immihelp.com n.d.; US May 2006, 4). If the applicant has valid status, his or her case could be considered "administratively closed" (US n.d.a).

In cases where an applicant is deemed ineligible to receive asylum but still has valid status in the US, he or she will be sent a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) (US n.d.c). The NOID outlines the reasons why a claim was denied (US n.d.c; US n.d.i). An applicant has 16 days to rebut the NOID or to submit further evidence (US n.d.c; US n.d.i; see also VisaPro.com n.d.b). If the applicant does not provide a response to the NOID, his or her asylum application may be denied (US n.d.c). If the applicant provides a response, the asylum officer will review the new information and will then approve or deny the asylum application (US n.d.c ; US n.d.i; VisaPro.com n.d.b). If the claim is denied, the applicant will receive a Final Denial letter (US n.d.c; VisaPro.com n.d.b). The applicant is not permitted to appeal the asylum officer's decision (US 13 Sept. 2007; US n.d.c).

In a 13 September 2007 telephone interview, however, a USCIS asylum officer indicated that although a person with valid status whose claim was denied in the affirmative process has no right to appeal, he or she is allowed to re-file the I-589 form to the USCIS with further supporting evidence. When re-filing, the applicant must go to a USCIS office to submit the information, rather than sending the application to a service centre (i.e., as would have been done with the first application) (US 13 Sept. 2007). The applicant must also meet the one-year filing deadline (ibid.).

Defensive process

A "defensive" asylum claim is made by aliens who are in removal proceedings (US 28 Apr. 2005; US 27 Jan. 2006, 9). In general, aliens placed in removal proceedings are those who do not have valid status and whose cases were referred to an immigration judge by an asylum officer (i.e., who did not grant them asylum); those who were apprehended without proper documentation or were found to be in violation of their immigration status; or those who were caught attempting to enter the US without proper documentation but were found to have a credible fear of persecution or torture (US n.d.h; see also US May 2006, 4-5).

According to the Asylum Officer interviewed by the Research Directorate on 13 September 2007, a claimant who has been through the affirmative process and who was not granted status by an asylum officer has his or her case file sent to an immigration judge with the completed I-589, fingerprints and security checks. Claimants who enter directly into the defensive process, without going through the affirmative process, must also be fingerprinted and have a background/security check completed (US 13 Sept. 2007).

An asylum claim in the defensive process is heard by an immigration judge in adversarial proceedings (US n.d.h). An immigration judge reviews the applicant's asylum claim, while also hearing concerns about the validity of the claim from an attorney representing the US government (US n.d.h; US 28 Apr. 2005).

An individual seeking asylum through the defensive process may be detained until an immigration judge has made a decision concerning his or her case (US 27 Jan. 2006, 9; US 13 Sept. 2007). Decisions on cases referred to the EOIR are generally provided within six months of the date of application (US May 2006, 5). In the 13 September 2007 telephone interview, the Asylum Officer indicated that decisions on asylum claims and detentions of claimants can take longer than six months. However, the Asylum Officer noted that, in general, it is only those claimants who are at risk of flight or those with a criminal background who are detained (US 13 Sept. 2007).

In the defensive process, the immigration judge may either grant an applicant asylum or deny asylum and issue an order of removal (US May 2006, 5). If a claim is denied, the applicant has the right to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) (US 27 Jan. 2006, 9; US 28 Apr. 2005). The appeal must be made within 30 days of the decision (ibid.). If the BIA upholds the immigration judge's decision, the applicant may then file an appeal with the federal court system (ibid.). If the claim is denied in the federal court system, then the asylum seeker is deported (MIHRC May 2006, 23).

Expedited Removal

If an alien arrives at a US port of entry without travel documents or with fraudulent documents, he or she is placed in an expedited removal process (US 13 Sept. 2007; US 28 Apr. 2005; US n.d.h). In the 13 September 2007 telephone interview with the Research Directorate, the Asylum Officer said that aliens with genuine documents, but who lack an appropriate visa, are also generally placed in the expedited removal process.

If an alien expresses a fear of return to the country to which he or she is to be removed, a "credible fear" interview with an asylum officer will be granted (US 13 Sept. 2007; US 28 Apr. 2005; US n.d.j). If the asylum officer determines that the alien has a credible fear of persecution or torture, the person will be placed before an immigration judge in the defensive process (US 13 Sept. 2007; US n.d.j). According to the Asylum Officer interviewed by the Research Directorate, the alien will then be in removal proceedings where the only type of relief or withholding of removal that he or she can pursue is asylum or relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) (US 13 Sept. 2007). The Asylum Officer also indicated that, at this stage in the defensive process, the alien may not be sponsored for immigration by someone within the US (ibid.). CAT protection ensures that a person is not returned to face torture in a specific country; however, the US government may remove the person to a third country where he or she will not be tortured (US 28 Apr. 2005). CAT protection does not confer the same benefits as aslyum, such as permanent resident status or derivative asylum for family members (ibid.).

If an asylum officer determines that an alien does not have credible fear of persecution or torture, the alien may request a review of the decision by an immigration judge (US n.d.j; US 28 Apr. 2005). The review of the decision must be completed within seven days of the asylum officer's initial decision (US 28 Apr. 2005). If the immigration judge supports the asylum officer's negative decision, or if an alien does not request a review of the decision, he or she may be removed from the US (US n.d.j).

Provisions for gender-related claims

In 1995, the US produced its memorandum, Considerations for Asylum Officers Adjudicating Asylum Claims from Women (US 26 May 1995, 1; AI 12 Aug. 2005). The purpose of the memorandum is to ensure consistency among asylum officers in procedures and decisions related to asylum claims from women based partially or wholly on their gender (US 26 May 1995, 1). Examples of gender-related reasons for claiming asylum include Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), "honour killings," sexual violence and domestic violence (US 27 Jan. 2006, 22; AI 12 Aug. 2005).

Another objective of the memorandum on Considerations for Asylum Officers Adjudicating Asylum Claims from Women is to "enhance the ability of US asylum officers to deal more sensitively with substantive and procedural aspects of gender-related claims, irrespective of country or origin" (US 26 May 1995, 1).

The guidelines in the memorandum outline procedural considerations including: using female asylum officers and female interpreters whenever possible; conducting interviews outside the hearing of family members, especially male relatives and children; emphasizing interview techniques that create a non-adversarial asylum interview; requiring cross-cultural sensitivity and skills; considering of the merits of a woman's asylum claim separately, even though she may be listed on her husband's application without requiring her to submit her own; and using objective and current country-of-origin information (ibid., 4-8). The memorandum also provides a legal analysis of gender-based claims in the US and discusses ongoing training and monitoring of asylum officers to ensure the implementation of the guidelines (ibid., 8-19).

According to a 12 August 2005 Amnesty International (AI) fact sheet on gender-related asylum, these guidelines "are only suggestions and do not have the force of the law." AI also notes that women who make gender-based asylum claims in the US are "often denied protection" (12 Aug. 2005).

A 2006 US Library of Congress report on the country's immigration policy regarding asylum seekers indicates that, according to critics of the INA (not specifically identified in the report), persons fleeing gender-based violence are not adequately protected under the law because they "must demonstrate that the abuse was based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion" (US 27 Jan. 2006, 22; see also AI 12 Aug. 2005). These critics also maintain that there have been conflicting judicial decisions in gender-based claims in the US and that the INA would be strengthened if it were amended to include gender as a basis for asylum (US 27 Jan. 2006, 23).

Rights and benefits that asylum status confers

Asylum status in the US confers a number of rights and benefits (US n.d.a; US n.d.c; MIHRC Jan. 2006; VisaPro.com n.d.c). Once granted asylum in the US, an asylee is eligible to work in the country (US n.d.c; US 14 Sept. 2006). The USCIS issues new asylees an employment authorization document (EAD), which includes a photograph, fingerprint (ibid.; US n.d.c), and the signature of the asylee (US 14 Sept. 2006). Valid for two years (ibid.), the EAD card may be presented to employers as evidence of identity and employment authorization (US n.d.c; VisaPro.com n.d.c). It may also be used as proof of "alien" registration, which must be carried by registered "aliens" at all times (US n.d.c). However, an asylee is still permitted to work in the US, regardless of whether or not he or she has an EAD card (ibid.).

Upon obtaining asylum, asylees are eligible to apply for an unrestricted social security card (MIHRC Jan. 2006, 1; US n.d.a; US n.d.c). Holders of this card do not need to apply for or renew work permits issued by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (MIHRC Jan. 2006, 1). A social security card is required to work legally in the US and is also needed to apply for and receive certain public benefits (MIHRC Dec. 2003, 6).

The US Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides funding to state government, private and non-profit organizations to administer services for refugees (US 13 Aug. 2007; US n.d.c). Through these organizations, asylees have access to employment assistance, including career counselling, job search and skills training and attend English language courses (US n.d.c; US 13 Aug. 2007). Other services provided by refugee resettlement agencies may include: cash and medical assistance, transportation, rental assistance and clothing (MIHRC Jan. 2006, 1). However, many of these services are only available within specific time limits, beginning on the date on which asylum was granted (US n.d.c; MIHRC May 2006, 56).

The federal government also provides financial assistance to asylees who wish to attend any two-or four-year program at a college or university (ibid. Jan. 2006, 3).

A person granted asylum is also able to petition to obtain derivative asylum status for a spouse or children (i.e., unmarried and under the age of 21 years at the time the application for asylum was filed), who were not included in the asylum decision (US n.d.a; US n.d.c; VisaPro.com n.d.c). Application to obtain this status for family members must be filed within two years of the date on which the asylee was granted asylum (US n.d.c; MIHR Jan. 2006, 2).

One year after a person has been granted asylum, he or she can apply for an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident (i.e., to obtain a "Green Card") (MIHRC Jan. 2006, 2; US n.d.b; US n.d.c). To be eligible for permanent resident status, an asylee must

  • [h]ave been physically present in the US for at least one year after being granted asylum;
  • Continue to meet the definition of a refugee;
  • Have not abandoned [his or her] status; and
  • ... not [be] firmly resettled in any foreign country. (US n.d.b)

While refugees are required by law to apply for their permanent residence status, asylees are not (ibid.).

MIHRC, now called the National Immigrant Justice Center, is a US non-governmental organization that provides legal services to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers (NIJC n.d.). According to a report published by the organization in January 2006 , applicants who apply to adjust their status to obtain permanent residence are put on a waiting list for a visa and can wait up to 10 years before their application is approved or denied (MIHRC Jan. 2006, 2).

Asylees are permitted to travel outside the US while their permanent residence application is pending; however, a Refugee Travel Document is required to re-enter the US (US n.d.c; US n.d.b). Asylees can apply for a Refugee Travel Document by completing and submitting Form I-131 to the USCIS (US n.d.b; MIHRC May 2006, 56). As a result of new security measures, the processing time for this document can take up to 150 days (US n.d.b).

Termination of asylum status

An individual's asylum status may be terminated if: he or she no longer has a well-founded fear of persecution as a result of a "fundamental change in circumstances"; he or she has been granted protection from another country; or he or she has committed certain crimes or taken part in other activities that make him or her ineligible to maintain asylum status in the US (US n.d.c; VisaPro.com n.d.c).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Amnesty International (AI). 12 August 2005. "Gender-Related Asylum Fact Sheet." [Accessed 29 Aug. 2007]

Associated Press (AP). 12 January 2007. Suzanne Gamboa. "Anti-Terrorism Restrictions Eased." (The Washington Post) [Accessed 28 Mar. 2007]

Human Rights First (HRF). 5 March 2007. "Refugees at Risk under Sweeping 'Terrorism' Bar." [Accesssed 28 Mar. 2007]
_____. 26 September 2006. Eleanor Acer, Anwen Hughes and Jay Staunton. "Abandoning the Persecuted: Victims of Terrorism and Oppression Barred from Asylum." [Accessed 13 Sept. 2007]
_____. N.d. "Our Mission." [Accessed 14 Sept. 2007]

Immihelp.com. N.d. "Asylum." [Accessed 11 Sept. 2007]

Midwest Immigrant & Human Rights Center (MIHRC). May 2006. "Basic Procedural Manual for Asylum Representation Affirmatively and in Removal Proceedings." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2007]
_____. January 2006. "What To Do After You Have Been Granted Asylum: A Guide for MIHRC Clients." [Accessed 29 Aug. 2007]
_____. December 2003. "Beyond Asylum: A Guide to Benefits and Services for Asylees." [Accessed 29 Aug. 2007]

National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC). N.d. "Announcing the National Immigrant Justice Center!" [Accessed 14 Sept. 2007]

Refugee Council USA. 8 March 2007. "The Material Support Problem: Punishing Refugee Victims of Terror." [Accessed 13 Sept. 2007]

United States (US). 13 September 2007. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Telephone interview with an asylum officer.
_____. 13 August 2007. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Refugee Resettlement. "Social Services." [Accessed 4 Sept. 2007]
_____. 9 July 2007. Department of State, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services. Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2008. Report to the Congress. [Accessed 7 Sept. 2007]
_____. 19 January 2007. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). "Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on the Intention to Use Discretionary Authority for Material Support to Terrorism." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2007]
_____. 14 December 2006. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2007]
_____. 14 September 2006. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "Public Notice: New Process for Issuing Employment Authorization Documents to Asylees." [Accessed 29 Aug. 2007]
_____. May 2006. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Kelly Jefferys. "Refugees and Asylees: 2005." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2007]
_____. 27 January 2006. Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. "U.S. Immigration Policy on Asylum Seekers." (ILW.com) [Accessed 29 Aug. 2007]
_____. 28 April 2005. Department of Justice. Executive Office for Immigration Review. "Asylum Protection in the United States." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2007]
_____. 26 May 1995. Department of Justice. "Considerations For Asylum Officers Adjudicating Asylum Claims From Women." (Center for Gender & Refugee Studies) [Accessed 29 Aug. 2007]
_____. N.d.a. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "Frequently Asked Questions About Asylum." [Accessed 30 Aug. 2007]
_____. N.d.b. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "Asylee or Refugee Seeking Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2007]
_____. N.d.c. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "Types of Asylum Decisions." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2007]
_____. N.d.d. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "Asylum: What is Asylum?" [Accessed 6 Sept. 2007]
_____. N.d.e. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "Bars to Applying for Asylum: Ineligibility to Apply for Asylum." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2007]
_____. N.d.f. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "U.S.-Canada Safe Third Country Agreement: Executive Summary." [Accessed 7 Sept. 2007]
_____. N.d.g. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "Definition of Refugee from the Immigration and Nationality Act." [Accessed 7 Sept. 2007]
_____. N.d.h. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "Obtaining Asylum in the United States: Two Paths." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2007]
_____. N.d.i. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "What is the Affirmative Asylum Process?" [Accessed 10 Sept. 2007]
_____. N.d.j. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "Reasonable Fear Screenings." [Accessed 28 Mar. 2007]

VisaPro.com. N.d.a. "Frequently Asked Questions." [Accessed 11 Sept. 2007]
_____. N.d.b. "Frequently Asked Questions." [Accessed 11 Sept. 2007]
_____. N.d.c. "Frequently Asked Questions." [Accessed 11 Sept. 2007]

The Washington Post. 13 August 2007. Darryl Fears. "U.S. Anti-Terrorism Laws Hold Up Asylum Seekers." (Factiva)

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: Asylumlaw.org, European Country of Origin Information Network (ecoi.net), Freedom in the World, Human Rights Watch (HRW), ILW.com, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Kingdom Home Office, United States Department of State.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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