If you fear that you will be abused in your home country because of your race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group you may be eligible to apply for Asylum or to become a Refugee. You must prove that your government is the abuser or that the government allows you to be abused without doing anything to help you.
If you already have asylum or refugee status when you arrive in the United States, you are eligible to apply for your permanent residence (green card) after being in the United States for one year. It does not matter if you are currently in lawful status or not, but, if you come to the United States in another status, like a visitor or a student, or you come unlawfully, you must apply for asylum within one year of arriving. If you have a court date with the Immigration Judge, you have to file your asylum application in court. The Immigration Judge will make a decision on your asylum application. If you do not yet have a court date, you must file your asylum application with the Department of Homeland Security, and a government officer will interview you and make a decision on your case.
Despite the relative small number of major world religions like Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other religions in the world. Throughout history, governments have historically supported some religions and persecuted others.
Modern examples of governments persecuting people because of their religion include Uzbekistan’s ongoing persecution of Christians. Uzbek authorities routinely harass Christians at their homes and places of worship. Azerbaijan is another example. Azeri government actors routinely discriminate against Muslims even though the country is historically Muslim. These abuses include imprisonment and criminal charges.
Immigrants who have been persecuted because of their religion can apply for asylum, and asylum officers are not permitted to question the immigrant on their particular knowledge of their religion. If an immigrant is credible about the specific facts of the abuse that took place against them, asylum will be granted.
U visa – Crime victims
If you are the victim of a violent crime, like robbery, aggravated assault, sexual assault, domestic violence, carjacking, or kidnapping, you can apply for a U visa. After you have your U visa and are in the United States for three years, you can apply for adjustment. It does not matter if you came to the United States legally or not. Your spouse and children can apply for their permanent residence too if they were your derivatives when you applied for the U visa. Make sure you consult with an attorney to make sure you provide the correct evidence and fill out your paperwork correctly.
Parole in Place
Even if you have a spouse, parent, or child who is a United States citizen or permanent resident, if you entered the United States unlawfully (by walking across the border without inspection) you normally cannot apply for adjustment. However, if you have a spouse, parent, or child who is in the United States armed forces (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard, or National Guard), or who is a veteran of the armed forces, you can apply for Parole in Place, which will fix your unlawful entry without you having to physically leave the United States or even go to the border. You can then apply for adjustment.
Special Immigrant Juvenile
If you are in the United States without any parents or legal guardians and you are under 18 years old, you can apply for adjustment. Many times, you must establish that your parents neglected, abandoned, or abused you, and that is why you are in the United States. In some cases, just having one parent, not both, neglect, abandon, or abuse you is enough to apply for adjustment under this category. It does not matter if you came to the United States legally with a visa or unlawfully. However, state law plays a large part in whether this is true for you, and it is important you consult with an attorney to find out if you might apply for adjustment under this category.