Limitations on Filing Affirmative Asylum

You may not apply for asylum if you:

  • Had a previous asylum application denied by an Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals;
  • Resettle in another country before arriving in the U.S. (safe third country); or
  • Missed a one-year deadline.

If any of these apply to you, you may still apply under the “changed circumstances” or “extraordinary circumstances”.

Allan Scott Lolly

managing attorney

One Year Limitation:

Affirmative asylum must generally be filed with the USCIS immigration agency within one year after your most recent entry to the U.S. The applicant does not need to have legal status to seek asylum. A late filing based on changed circumstances is possible, but not easy.

After the one year deadline, you may be eligible for other types of relief, such as withholding of removal or relief under the Conventions Against Torture (CAT).

Other Limitations:

You cannot obtain political asylum if you:

  • Were convicted of a “particularly serious crime” such that you are a danger to the United States;
  • Were ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;
  • Committed a “serious nonpolitical crime” outside the United States;
  • Pose a danger to the security of the United States
  • Have engaged in or incited terrorist activity, are likely to do so; are a member or representative of a terrorist organization, have persuaded others to get involved; have received military-type training on behalf of any terrorist organization; or are the spouse or child of an individual who is inadmissible in relation to such terrorist activities.

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