Asylum is a remedy that offers protection to individuals who have been persecuted or have a credible fear of persecution if they return to their home county. The persecution must be based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.
An asylum application must be filed within a specific time period after the individual enters the U.S. If a person missed the filing deadline, they may still qualify for an alternative form of relief such as Withholding of Removal or Convention Against Torture (CAT).
There is no numerical cap on the number of individuals who may be granted asylum each year, and there is no specified list of countries of origin. Anyone with past persecution based on the above categories, or credible fear of future persecution based on the above categories, may apply. Dependants of the applicant may also be eligible for a grant of asylum. Individuals who have a pending asylum application with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, may also be eligible for work authorization.