U.S. Permanent Residency/Green Cards for Asylees and Refugees

Asylees and Refugees in the United States

An asylee (a person granted asylum) or a refugee may apply for permanent residency after one year of physical presence in the United States. The one-year time period begins on the date the person is granted asylum or the date the person is admitted into the United States as a refugee.

If you have been granted asylum or were admitted into the United States as a refugee, you may apply for permanent residency by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. There is no annual numerical limitation on the number of asylees or refugees who may be granted permanent residency.

A separate Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, must be completed for each family member applying for permanent residency. This means that the family member that was granted asylum must complete a Form I-485 application packet. In addition, spouses and children that were granted derivative asylum status must file their own Form I-485 application packets. A family’s application packets may be mailed or submitted together.

Refugees filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, do not have to pay the application fee.

While your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is being processed, you may travel outside the United States. However, you must have a Refugee Travel Document to reenter the United States. You can apply for a refugee travel document by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.

Persons Paroled into the United States

Like asylees and refugees, persons who are paroled into the United States may apply for permanent residency after one year of physical presence in the United States.

Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act

Under the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act, nationals of Cuba and the immediate relatives of Cuban nationals may apply for permanent residency after one year of physical presence in the United States if paroled into the United States or admitted to the United States as nonimmigrants. A spouse or child of a Cuban national need not be a citizen or native of Cuba to be eligible to apply for permanent residency. However, the spouse or child must live with the Cuban national.