You may apply for asylum if you are at the U.S. border or have been in the U.S. for less than one year and have a legitimate fear of returning to your home country. You may also apply for asylum if you are in Removal Proceedings. To be eligible, you must have a “well-founded fear of persecution” and that fear must be on account of your political opinion, religion, race, nationality, or membership in a particular social group. Additionally, the persecution you fear must be committed by the government of your home country or by a group the government is unwilling or unable to control.
If you are outside of the United States and wish to come to the U.S. because you are unable or unwilling to return to your home country, you may be eligible to apply for refugee status. Like asylum, to be eligible as a refugee, you must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution on account of your political opinion, religion, race, nationality, or membership in a particular social group.