Unfortunately, not everyone has the fortune of starting out in a safe country. Many people all around the world go to great lengths to escape a war-torn, impoverished or otherwise dangerous country to seek better lives elsewhere.
In many situations, you may be able to apply for asylee status if you make it to the United States. However, there are many parameters and rules set up around seeking asylum.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services discusses questions about asylum eligibility in the country. First, know that you can apply for asylee status regardless of your current immigration status in the country. You must apply at a port or a point of entry though, and you must send in your application within a year of your arrival to the country.
You cannot file for asylum if you waited longer than a year, though there are exemptions. First, you must show changed circumstances that affect your eligibility as an asylee. Then, you need to show that extraordinary circumstances got in the way of you filing. You must file the application in a reasonable timeframe to maintain eligibility for exemption, too.
Did you face previous denial?
If you previously applied for asylum and faced denial by an Immigration Judge or Board of Immigration Appeals, you cannot apply again. An exemption involves demonstrating that circumstances which contributed to the initial asylum decision have changed since then.
Dealing with asylum status and other immigration issues often creates complex situations and potential problems for those applying. You may find it beneficial to seek the aid of legal help when going through the process.