How Do I Get My Spouse or Children
Derivative Asylum Status in the United
You may include your spouse or any unmarried children
under the age of 21 in your own asylum application if your spouse or children
are in the United States.
For more information, please see, How Do I Apply for Asylum?.
If you have already been granted asylum, you may apply for derivative asylum
benefits for your spouse or children. This means that your spouse or children
may be granted asylum status based on your own asylum status. See Also,
Application Procedures: Getting Derivative Asylum Status for Your Child, and
Application Procedures; Getting Derivative Asylum Status for Your Spouse. If you
have been a refugee or held asylum status for at least one year, you may be
eligible to change your status to that of a permanent resident. For an
excellent overview of the U.S.
asylum program, please see the chapter on asylum in the Immigration Statistical
Where Can I Find the Law?
The Immigration and Nationality Act is the law that governs the U.S. asylum
program. For the part of the law concerning asylum, please see INA § 208. The
specific eligibility requirements and procedures for applying to bring your
spouse or children to the U.S. as asylees are
included in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR § 208.
Who is Eligible?
You may apply for derivative asylum benefits for your spouse or unmarried
children under the age of 21 within two years of your grant of asylum or by
February 28, 2000, whichever is later. If your spouse or children are already
in the United States,
they may be eligible for derivative asylum benefits regardless of whether they
are in the country legally or illegally. The relationship between you and your
spouse and children must have existed when you were granted asylum and must
continue to exist when you file Form I-730 (Refugee/Asylee
Relative Petition) and when your spouse and children are admitted to the United States
as derivative asylees. If your children are outside
the United States and have
been approved for derivative asylum benefits, your children will be able to
come to the United States
as an asylee at any time as long as they are under
21, unmarried, and maintain their relationship with you. If your spouse is
outside the United States
and has been approved for derivative asylum benefits, your spouse will be able
to come to the United States
as an asylee at any time as long as your spouse
remains married to you.
You may apply for derivative asylum status for a child who was already
conceived, but not yet born, on the day you were granted asylum.
You may apply for derivative asylum status for a step-child if the marriage
between you and the child's parent took place before the child's 18th birthday.
You may apply for derivative asylum status for an adopted child if the adoption
took place before the child's 16th birthday and the child has been in your
legal custody for at least two years.
You may not apply for derivative asylum status for your child's mother unless
she was married to you on the date you were granted asylum.
Parentage testing, also referred to as blood testing or DNA testing, may be
requested only after initial and secondary forms of evidence have proven
inconclusive. Tests will be conducted at the expense of the petitioner.
Parentage testing must be conducted by an American Association of Blood Banks
("AABB") accredited laboratory. A current list of the AABB accredited
parentage testing laboratories can be viewed on the American Association of
Blood Banks website. You may also wish to read the Fact Sheet about Parentage
After your spouse or children are admitted to the United States as derivative asylees, they must be granted special permission to travel
abroad until they adjust to lawful permanent resident status. They cannot
forfeit or give up their asylum status and later be re-admitted to the United States
as asylees. For more information, please see, How Do
I Get a Travel Document?. For other eligibility
information, please see Form I-730 Refugee/Asylee
Relative Petition or INA § 208.
How Do I Apply?
Please click here to see Application Procedures: Getting Derivative Asylum
Status for Your Child, and Application Procedures: Getting Derivative Asylum
Status for Your Spouse.
Will I Get a Work Permit?
Your spouse or any child over the age of 14 will be eligible to work after
their application for derivative asylum has been approved and they have been
admitted to the United States.
Upon their admission, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will issue
your spouse and children an I-94 Arrival and Departure record that will prove
that your spouse and children are derivative asylees
and are allowed to work in the United
States. Your spouse or child also has the
option to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. This form
can be filed at the same time that you file for derivative asylum status for
your spouse and children. However, a work permit will not be granted until
after the application for derivative asylum has been approved, and your spouse
and children are admitted to the United States. For more
information, see How Do I Get a Work Permit?.
How Can I Check the Status of My
Please contact the Nebraska
which is where you should have sent your application. You should be prepared to
provide the staff with specific information about your application. Please
see Finding the status of your case
for complete instructions on checking the status of your application.
How Can I Appeal?
If your application for derivative asylum benefits for your spouse or child is
denied, you will receive a letter that will tell you why the application was
denied. You will not be allowed to appeal a negative decision to a higher
authority. However, you may submit a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider
with the office that made the unfavorable decision. By filing these motions,
you may ask the office to reexamine or reconsider their decision. A motion to
reopen must state the new facts
that are to be provided in the reopened proceeding and must be accompanied by
affidavits or other documentary evidence. A motion to reconsider must establish
that the decision was based on an incorrect
application of law or USCIS policy, and further establish that
the decision was incorrect based on the evidence in the file at the time the
decision was made. For more information, please see How Do I Appeal the Denial
of Petition or Application?.