Asylum is granted to foreign nationals who are already in the United States and they are on fears of persecution because of their religion, race, nationality, political ideology as well as membership of some organizations. Once the asylum is granted, the applicant can live and work in the United States along with his/her spouse and unmarried children under age of 21. After one year of your asylum approval you can file for your Green card. The Asylum applicant is required to demonstrate that he or she is unwilling or unable to return to or avail himself or herself of the protection of, his or her country because of persecution or a well founded fear of persecution. Persecution means threat to life, confinement and torture. Severe economic deprivation may also be a constituted persecution. It also included arbitrary interference with a person's privacy, exclusion from the institutions of education, enforced social or civil inactivity or forced to become an informer. However mere harassment or indiscrimination, law and order issues does not constitute persecution.
Also, as long as you are in the United States even illegal, you can apply for asylum. The applicants must provide enough documents to illustrate their fear of return to their native countries.
Your application may be denied if you fall within the mandatory bars, like if convicted of serious crimes, aggravated felonies, participated in persecution of others, danger to the Security of the United States or involved in terrorism activities.
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