You can use the Form I-589 to apply for asylum in the United States, or to make sure that the US government doesn’t remove you from the country.
The key requirements for applying this form are: You need to be physically present on the US territory, and you’re not a US citizen. Note that if you naturalized in the US, you don’t need to apply for withholding of removal.
Once you file this form, you start an asylum process, and your Asylum Officer or an Immigration Judge will decide whether you’re eligible for asylum after carefully considering your circumstances and evidence to prove your claim.
You can file this form at the port of entry to the US, such as an airport, a see port, or a border control.
Form I-589 instructions/checklist
There are many aspects of filing and filling out Form I-589. You need to focus on the following:
- Remember to file the form within your first year in the US as a refugee/asylum seeker.
If you don’t file Form I-589 in time, your application will be rejected unless you provide firm evidence of your inability to do that. Possible evidence is a doctor’s certificate about your limited mobility or physical disability that prevented you from filing the form in time. Consult an immigration lawyer to clarify whether your case qualify.
- Remember to gather the evidence to prove that you were or will be persecuted if you come back to your home country.
Evidence can include photographs, videos, and journals or magazines that talk about the hostile situation in your country, and similar documentation. Your evidence must be well founded and persuasive. Again, you might want to consult a lawyer to understand what evidence will be best to prove your request for asylum.
- Only say truth in your Form I-589.
If you use dodgy statements or use different words to describe the same situations, the asylum officer or immigration judge might consider your application untrue. For example, if you say that you were beaten by a bat, and further you claim that you were beaten by a stick, your application for asylum might be rejected. Make sure that you straighten up your facts and bring in order your evidence.
- Fill out the asylum application correctly and never omit any required information.
If you omit information on your asylum application, even without any bad intention, your request can be denied. Double-check every statement before mailing the form to USCIS.
Form I-589 fee/pricing
Filing Form I-589 is completely free of charge. Note that taking your biometrics, which includes taking your photo, fingerprints, and signature, is also completely free. Given that asylum applicants are typically short of money since they often leave their home country abruptly, the US government doesn’t require any payment for form processing.
Form I-589 processing time
It’s not unlikely that your application for asylum will take months to review. However, the US government lately decided to give the first priority to those asylum seekers who most recently applied for asylum. But again, there’s no guarantees that your application will be considered immediately. Be ready to spend at least several months waiting for a decision on your asylum case.
Form I-589 mail address/where to send
Depending on the state where you reside, you need to file the asylum application to different offices. Consult the next table for more information.
|Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Western Pennsylvania* (in the jurisdiction of the Pittsburgh field office), Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming||USCIS Texas Service CenterAttn: AsylumP.O. Box 851892Mesquite, TX 75185-1892|
|Alaska, Northern California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana Nebraska, Northern Nevada (in the jurisdiction of the Reno Field office), North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin||USCIS Nebraska Service CenterP.O. Box 87589Lincoln, NE 68501-7589|
|Arizona, Southern California, Guam, Hawaii,or Southern Nevada* (in the jurisdiction of the Las Vegas field office)||USCIS California Service CenterP.O. Box 10881Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-0881|
|Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania* (in the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia field office), Rhode Island, Vermont||USCIS Vermont Service CenterAttn: Asylum75 Lower Welden StreetSt. Albans, VT 05479-0589|
You can download Form I-589, Application for Asylum or for Withholding of Removal, from our website. Click this link.