Minor and Unaccompanied Minor Asylum Applicants

You may apply for asylum with USCIS as a minor if you:

  • Are under 18 years old;
  • Want to have your own case separate from your parents;
  • Are not in immigration court proceedings.

You may apply for asylum with USCIS as an unaccompanied minor, even if you are in immigration court proceedings, if you:

  • Are under 18 years old;
  • Have no lawful immigration status in the United States; and
  • Have no parent or legal guardian in the United States available to provide care and physical custody.

Asylum officers will consider your asylum claim if you filed your application with an asylum office and you meet the criteria above.  If you are in immigration court proceedings, you must attend your immigration court hearings and should follow the Immigration Judge’s instructions, even if you have filed for asylum with an asylum office.

Interviewing Procedures for Minor Applicants

Asylum officers conduct child appropriate interviews taking into account age, stage of language development, background, and level of sophistication.  These interview techniques are outlined in the “Guidelines for Children’s Asylum Claims” link to right.

For cases involving a minor applicant, asylum officers may ask questions about:

  • If you have a guardian or parent;
  • If your guardian or parent allowed you to apply for asylum.

If more information is needed about your guardian or parents, the asylum officer may delay your case.

If needed and with your permission, asylum officers may interview your parent or trusted adult about information you may not be able to provide.  It is not required that a witness or trusted adult be present at your interview.