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Seeking Asylum? FAQs on Asylum Approval Rate for Asylum Seekers

More asylum seekers have been looking for refuge in the United States in the past year. While the asylum cases are increasing, it is also found that the asylum approval rate for the previous year has also increased.

In this article, asylum seekers will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about asylum applications and approval rates.

What is Asylum?

Asylum is a type of protection that immigrants who fear risking persecution can legally request at the United States’ borders or while in the nation.

Asylum cases can be extremely complicated. It is deeply impacted by complex life histories and political and social situations outside of the United States. Plus, there’s a continually changing environment of immigration laws and policies in the United States.

Who is Eligible To Apply For Asylum?

You can apply for asylum if you are in the border countries of the United States. You can also file for an asylum claim if you are already in the country. 

It is important to note that you must submit an asylum application within one year upon arrival in the US.

You would be ineligible to claim asylum if you submitted your application after spending more than a year in the United States. But you can still be considered for an exemption if you demonstrate any of the following:

  • changed circumstances that may affect your asylum eligibility
  • unusual circumstances referring to the delay of your filing of the application

To qualify for an exemption, you must still file your application within a reasonable period under the circumstances.

See 8 CFR 208.4 and the Asylum Bars page for a list of circumstances that may be considered.

How Does The Asylum Officer Determine If You Are Eligible for Asylum?

The asylum officer will determine whether you meet the definition of a refugee. They will decide whether you qualify for asylum based on the facts you submit in your application and during an interview.

If you are wondering how many asylum requests receive approval in a year, let us look into the statistics.

Asylum Approval Rate

Recent statistics show that the asylum approval rates have increased significantly since the Biden administration took office. But this spike in the statistics is unlikely to be related to President Biden.

Based on a recent report released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a data and research institution at Syracuse University, asylum case success rates increased from 29% to 37% during Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021.

According to Austin Kocher, assistant professor, and researcher at TRAC, the greater percentage of asylum grants may be attributed to various reasons.

For example, more asylum applicants received legal assistance last year. Having a lawyer can increase the chances of getting refuge.

While successful asylum cases have increased, the absolute number of applicants granted refuge remains low. This is primarily because immigration courts have yet to regain their pre-pandemic decision rates following COVID-19’s suspension of immigration court work.

How to Improve Your Chances of Qualifying for Asylum

Some factors can affect successful asylum cases. Here are some tips on to increase your chance of obtaining asylum.

Present a Strong Case

You have to prove that you meet the definition of the term “refugee.” You need to show how persecution has occurred to you. You must also present pieces of evidence of your nationality, race, social group, or religion.

Make sure that any asylum restrictions do not apply to you. For more information on bars to asylum, see the Bars to Applying and Receiving Asylum page.

Consider Where You Live

Another tip for raising your chance of winning asylum is to consider the place of your residence.

According to another TRAC report, most immigration judges denied refuge in at least 70% of all cases.

High denial rates might be linked to certain courthouses in the United States. In far South Texas, Houston, Atlanta, Oakdale, California, and Los Fresnos had some of the highest denial rates.

The location where a person seeks asylum is important since case results vary based on the judge who hears a person’s case. The state they are in also matters because various laws apply in different parts of the country.

For example, 98% of all asylum applications in Atlanta immigration courts are denied. However, if you are in New York, you have a higher chance of obtaining asylum if you file a strong case.

Hire an Attorney

Having legal representation in immigration court can give you a higher chance of a granted asylum.

According to a 2016 TRAC report, more than half of asylum seekers in Immigration Courts represented by attorneys had their asylum claims approved.

A competent lawyer will assist you in gathering material to support your asylum claim. Attorneys can help you research Federal Court cases relevant to your application and prepare you for direct and cross-examination in court.

If you are thinking of applying for asylum or need immigration services, you may ask for assistance from an expert immigration lawyer.


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