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Seeking asylum in South Carolina

Immigrants who are seeking asylum may apply for the procedure in order to remain in the United States. In order to be eligible to apply for asylum, the applicant must have faced or have been threatened with persecution for their nationality, their race, their religion or their political beliefs.

In order to apply for asylum, applicants must file a Form I-589, which withholds the removal of a person from the United States. This particular form does not have a fee attached to it. Additionally, the applicant's spouse or any children that they have can also be included on the form when it is filed. In order to be eligible any children that wish to be included must be under 21 and not be married. The petition to bring family members to the United States must be filed within two years of the asylee being granted asylum.

It should be known that those who are applying for asylum cannot apply for work authorization at the same time. The only time the applicant may apply for work is if no decision was made on the application within 150 days after the form was filed. The 150-day period excludes any delays that were caused by the applicant. A person who was granted asylum has the option of beginning work immediately. Some individuals choose to apply for Employment Authorization Documents, which are useful for identification purposes. However, these documents are not necessary to obtain employment.

It can be difficult for some individuals to seek asylum. However, an immigration and naturalization attorney may potentially assist those wishing to apply. The attorney could gather evidence that the applicant was persecuted or was threatened with persecution and thus fulfilling that eligibility requirement.

Source: Department of Homeland Security , "Asylum", October 30, 2014

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