Asylum is a form of protection which allows an individual to remain in the United States instead of being removed to a country of feared persecution. Please note that there are two paths to obtain asylum in the U.S. The affirmative asylum process is for individuals who are not in removal proceedings and the defensive asylum process is for individuals who are in removal proceedings.

To apply for either affirmative or defensive asylum in the United States, individuals must obtain and complete the required application form I-589 and submit it with the appropriate attachments. The form I-589 is included in online UNHCR resources for asylum-seekers, but it can also be obtained by calling the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Forms Line at 1-800-870-3676, from DHS on the internet at, or from an agency authorized to represent immigrants. 

The webpages Affirmative Asylum, Defensive Asylum, Asilo Afirmativo, and Asilo Defensivo provide general information about the asylum process in the United States, but they are not a substitute for legal counsel.