An alien that is present in the U.S., but cannot return to their native country due to a well-founded fear of persecution, may apply for refugee status in the U.S. Such aliens may remain in the U.S. and obtain employment authorization by going through the political asylum process. In limited circumstances, aliens outside of the U.S. may also apply for political asylum in the U.S. Our web site’s Asylum Information Center provides an overview of the asylum process and what is required for an application for political asylum.
Aliens who entered the U.S. illegally or whose authorized period of stay in the U.S. has expired, may be subject to removal from the U.S., otherwise referred to as deportation. In such cases, the USCIS will initiate proceedings in front of an immigration judge asking that the alien be removed or deported to his native country. If removal is ordered, the alien is forced to leave the U.S.
Certain individuals who are subject to removal have various options available to avoid removal and to remain in the U.S. In some instances, such aliens are able to apply for work authorization and/or green card in front of the immigration judge presiding over the removal proceedings. Our web site’s Deportation/Removal Information Center reviews the removal process as well as some of the options available to those aliens who may be subject to removal.