What are the Benefits and Responsibilities of Asylees?

Working in the United States

If you are granted asylum, you are authorized to work in the United States whether or not you have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  If for some reason you do not receive an EAD after being granted asylum, you should contact the asylum office that granted your case. You may use the EAD to present to an employer as a List A document on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form .  You are eligible to use employment services from One-Stop Career Centers including:

  • Job search assistance
  • Career counseling
  • Occupational skills training

For information, call 1-877-872-5627.

Obtaining a Social Security Card

You may immediately apply for an unrestricted Social Security card at a Social Security office once you have asylees status.  You can get Social Security Card information by contacting the Social Security Administration.

Asylum for Family

You may request derivative asylum status for your spouse or children who were listed on your asylum application.

Permanent Residence (Green Card)

After one year in the United States, you may apply for permanent residence (a green card).  You must file a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, for yourself and each qualifying family member who wants to become permanent residents.

Services and Help

You may be eligible to receive the help from an organization in your area funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  Service may include: 

  • Financial assistance;
  • Medical assistance;
  • Employment preparation and job placement; and
  • English language training.

Many of these programs are available for a limited time period once you are granted asylum.  Find out more by calling 1-800-354-0365 or visit the “Office of Refugee Resettlement” webpage.

Travel Documents

Asylees are subject to special rules for traveling outside the United States.  If you plan to leave the United States, you must receive prior permission to by obtaining a refugee travel document.

For more information, see the “How Do I Get a Refugee Travel Document?”brochure from the USCIS.

Change of Address

You must inform USCIS of your new address within 10 days of moving.  You may do so by:

Selective Service Registration

All male asylees between the ages of 18 and 26 must register for the Selective Service.  If you fail to register for the Selective Service, your ability to become a U.S. citizen or obtain other benefits in the United States may be negatively affected.  For Selective Service registration information, see the Selective Service System website.