In the case of the unsuccessful applicant who is legally residing in the U.S., he will receive a Notice of Intent to Deny. This letter will state the reason(s) the applicant was found ineligible for asylum. The applicant will have 16 days to submit a rebuttal or new evidence. If the applicant fails to respond within this time, the applicant will receive a Final Denial by mail. If a timely rebuttal is received, the Asylum Officer will consider the rebuttal and then either approve or deny the claim. In any event, an unsuccessful applicant may remain in the country under his existing temporary visa.
On the other hand, if USCIS decides that the applicant is eligible for asylum, the applicant will either be given a Grant of Asylum or a Recommended Approval in the case that it has yet to receive the necessary security clearances. A grant of asylum is for an indefinite period but it doesn't give the applicant the right to remain permanently in the United States. Asylum status can be terminated if circumstances change in the applicant's home country so that the threat of persecution no longer exists. Likewise, it can be terminated if the applicant obtains protection from another country, commits certain crimes or engages in other activities that make him ineligible for asylum status.
Nevertheless, an asylee can apply for certain benefits. For instance, an asylee may apply for a work permit, social security card, travel documents, employment assistance and services through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. In addition, an asylee may request derivative asylum status for any spouse or unmarried child less than 21 years of age as of the date the asylee filed the asylum application. Finally, after one year of asylum status, the asylee and his family members may apply for lawful permanent residence in the United States by filing Form I-485 with the USCIS.
In the next article we will discuss defensive asylum.
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