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Applying for Asylum

The San Francisco Asylum Office processes and conducts interviews for asylum claims from foreign nationals residing in Northern California, and 4 other states. (Alaska, Oregon, and Washington).

To apply for asylum, an applicant must complete USCIS form I-589. Viable asylum petitions must present a well-founded fear of persecution under one or more of the following criteria:


  • nationality
  • race/ethnicity
  • religion
  • political opinion
  • membership of a particular social group
  • sexual orientation or gender identity (LGBT)
  • violations of the UN Convention Against Torture

The petition must be filed within one year of entry into the United States or by clear and convincing evidence of changes in country conditions during that year. To be paroled in to the country upon arriving, asylees must present evidence of a "credible fear" or else be turned away at the port of entry.

** Do not file an application without consultation! **

Doing so will subject you to removal proceedings if the asylum adjudicator does not accept and agree with the allegations contained in your petition, or in the event of insufficient evidence of persecution or danger. Even with a viable claim and adequate proof, a petition will be denied and referred to Immigration Court if the adjudicator believes the evidence or statements are not credible.

Our experience has been our clients who retain us to file their petition and represent them at their asylum interview have a far better chance of being approved at their interview. That approval will save them many months and perhaps years of litigation and many thousands of dollars in lawyer fees.

Contact our asylum immigration office in San Francisco today to learn more.