The United States government often allows people who suffer persecution in other countries to stay in the U.S. by granting them asylum. As an asylee, you may stay in the country for an indefinite period of time and take an American job for as long as you stay here. As an asylee, you can also apply to become a Legal Permanent Resident. However, you should know that the U.S. government could decide to end your asylum status.

Staying for an indefinite period does not mean you will remain in the United States for the rest of your life. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, an asylee is not the same as a permanent legal resident or a United States citizen. There are a number of reasons why the U.S. government might end your asylum and deport you from the country.

Reasons to end your asylum status

You might have come to the United States because your home country has persecuted you for reasons like your race, your religion or your political opinion, or it might persecute you in the future. However, circumstances in your home country might change to end the persecution. Because of this, the U.S. government might decide that you no longer have a strongly founded fear of suffering persecution and end your asylum.

You might lose asylee status for other reasons. You might decide on your own that you want to live in another country. If that country grants you protection, the U.S. government may end your asylum. Also, if you commit specific crimes, you could lose your status as an asylee.

You may apply for permanent residency

To increase your chances of staying in the United States, you may apply to become a lawful permanent resident and eventually apply for citizenship in the United States. If the government grants you asylum, you have a chance of gaining permanent residency by staying in the United States for one year after receiving asylum.

You have a path to citizenship in the United States after you change your status to permanent residence.  Therefore, it is very important for asylees to make sure with the help of an experienced attorney, to apply for their change of status to a legal permanent resident as soon as they are eligible to do so.