What Are The Differences Between Asylees & Refugees?

Some people find it hard to determine the difference between an asylee and a refugee because of their several similarities. Moreover, their differences are mostly procedural and that is why it is important to understand them, especially when you are the one to benefit.

Refugees And Asylees Are Immigrants Seeking Policy Protections In The U.S. Find Out Which One You Can Apply To

Asylee Vs. Refugee

A refugee is a person who has fled their home country because they fear being persecuted and subjected to severe human rights violations. They think they had no choice but to leave their nation for their safety because their government could not or would not defend them. Refugees are entitled to international defense.

On the other hand, an asylee is a person who has fled their country and is looking for protection from persecution and grave human rights violations in another country. However, they have not yet received official recognition as a refugee and is awaiting a judgment on their asylum claim. An asylee is present in the U.S. or any land border or port of entry into the U.S.

The Differences Of Asylees & Refugees

Before being granted their status, both refugees and asylees must demonstrate similar criteria. Asylees and refugees must confirm that they qualify for protection under American law. However, they differ in their procedure. The distinction in methodology is covered below.

How To Become A U.S. Refugee?

People who apply for refugee status do so through the United States Refugee Admission Program (USRAP) or The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

You can seek refugee status, which entitles you to enter the U.S., if you are in another country and are currently being persecuted, have previously been persecuted, fear persecution, or have another legitimate fear of persecution. Meanwhile, below are the steps to apply as a U.S. refugee.

Contact A USRP Or UNHCR Office Near You. Applicants are given refugee designation by the offices or representatives, who also connect them with the appropriate United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office for further processing. You can get the requirements for obtaining asylum status in the U.S. from this office.

  1. Filling-out Form I-590: It is the main form that a refugee needs to file.
  2. Find Financial Assistance. Refugees in the U.S. require financial security to cover their entry-level living costs and travel costs. Family members living in the United States, nonprofit organizations, or members of religious or human rights organizations can all offer support. Regardless of who your sponsor is, they must submit Form I-34.
  3. Provide Evidence. You need to provide proof of identity and proof of past and imminent persecution, such as affidavits from friends, family members, and even health certificates. 
  4. Attend The USCIS Interview. Attending an interview is the final stage in the refugee application process. Before participating in an interview, USCIS requires candidates to undergo medical examinations. This step aims to confirm your identity and other crucial details like your need to apply for refugee status.

How To Become A U.S. Asylee?

Asylees vs. refugees both must meet the criteria for persecution. Still, asylees must also meet the requirements for persecution on five fundamental bases: race, nationality, religion, membership in a social group, and political opinion. Any persecution that falls outside of these five essential criteria can disqualify you.

Those seeking asylum also use a different form (Form I-589). You’ll need to provide identification verification, proof of persecution, and information about the risks of persecution in your native country.

Rights Difference Between Asylees & Refugees

Aside from the procedural differences between an asylee and a refugee, they also differ regarding their rights. Refugees are permitted to stay in the United States indefinitely or until circumstances in their home country improve or return to normal. 

Refugees are granted work permits and other government assistance a few months after arriving in the U.S. They can apply for permanent resident status after a year of residence. After obtaining a green card, they can apply for American citizenship after four years.

Meanwhile, asylees also remain in the United States indefinitely. 

But, as soon as their requests for asylum status are granted, they can obtain work permits. Some asylum applicants are even permitted to begin working while their cases are being reviewed.

Summary: Asylee Vs. Refugee

There’s a fine difference between an asylee and a refugee, and most times, determining it can be challenging. Hence, the need for an immigration attorney. You can find a seasoned immigration attorney from Lincoln-Goldfnch Law. They will help you understand the differences between asylees and refugees in a way that is easy to understand. Also, attorneys from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law can smoothly navigate the legalities of asylum and immigration.

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