U.S Code last checked for updates: Jun 18, 2024
§ 1158.
Asylum
(a)
Authority to apply for asylum
(1)
In general
(2)
Exceptions
(A)
Safe third country
(B)
Time limit
(C)
Previous asylum applications
(D)
Changed circumstances
(E)
Applicability
(3)
Limitation on judicial review
(b)
Conditions for granting asylum
(1)
In general
(A)
Eligibility
(B)
Burden of proof
(i)
In general
(ii)
Sustaining burden
(iii)
Credibility determination
(2)
Exceptions
(A)
In general
Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien if the Attorney General determines that—
(i)
the alien ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;
(ii)
the alien, having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the community of the United States;
(iii)
there are serious reasons for believing that the alien has committed a serious nonpolitical crime outside the United States prior to the arrival of the alien in the United States;
(iv)
there are reasonable grounds for regarding the alien as a danger to the security of the United States;
(v)
the alien is described in subclause (I), (II), (III), (IV), or (VI) of section 1182(a)(3)(B)(i) of this title or section 1227(a)(4)(B) of this title (relating to terrorist activity), unless, in the case only of an alien described in subclause (IV) of section 1182(a)(3)(B)(i) of this title, the Attorney General determines, in the Attorney General’s discretion, that there are not reasonable grounds for regarding the alien as a danger to the security of the United States; or
(vi)
the alien was firmly resettled in another country prior to arriving in the United States.
(B)
Special rules
(i)
Conviction of aggravated felony
(ii)
Offenses
(C)
Additional limitations
(D)
No judicial review
(3)
Treatment of spouse and children
(A)
In general
(B)
Continued classification of certain aliens as children
(C)
Initial jurisdiction
(c)
Asylum status
(1)
In general
In the case of an alien granted asylum under subsection (b), the Attorney General—
(A)
shall not remove or return the alien to the alien’s country of nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, the country of the alien’s last habitual residence;
(B)
shall authorize the alien to engage in employment in the United States and provide the alien with appropriate endorsement of that authorization; and
(C)
may allow the alien to travel abroad with the prior consent of the Attorney General.
(2)
Termination of asylum
Asylum granted under subsection (b) does not convey a right to remain permanently in the United States, and may be terminated if the Attorney General determines that—
(A)
the alien no longer meets the conditions described in subsection (b)(1) owing to a fundamental change in circumstances;
(B)
the alien meets a condition described in subsection (b)(2);
(C)
the alien may be removed, pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement, to a country (other than the country of the alien’s nationality or, in the case of an alien having no nationality, the country of the alien’s last habitual residence) in which the alien’s life or freedom would not be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, and where the alien is eligible to receive asylum or equivalent temporary protection;
(D)
the alien has voluntarily availed himself or herself of the protection of the alien’s country of nationality or, in the case of an alien having no nationality, the alien’s country of last habitual residence, by returning to such country with permanent resident status or the reasonable possibility of obtaining such status with the same rights and obligations pertaining to other permanent residents of that country; or
(E)
the alien has acquired a new nationality and enjoys the protection of the country of his or her new nationality.
(3)
Removal when asylum is terminated
(d)
Asylum procedure
(1)
Applications
(2)
Employment
(3)
Fees
(4)
Notice of privilege of counsel and consequences of frivolous application
At the time of filing an application for asylum, the Attorney General shall—
(A)
advise the alien of the privilege of being represented by counsel and of the consequences, under paragraph (6), of knowingly filing a frivolous application for asylum; and
(B)
provide the alien a list of persons (updated not less often than quarterly) who have indicated their availability to represent aliens in asylum proceedings on a pro bono basis.
(5)
Consideration of asylum applications
(A)
Procedures
The procedure established under paragraph (1) shall provide that—
(i)
asylum cannot be granted until the identity of the applicant has been checked against all appropriate records or databases maintained by the Attorney General and by the Secretary of State, including the Automated Visa Lookout System, to determine any grounds on which the alien may be inadmissible to or deportable from the United States, or ineligible to apply for or be granted asylum;
(ii)
in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the initial interview or hearing on the asylum application shall commence not later than 45 days after the date an application is filed;
(iii)
in the absence of exceptional circumstances, final administrative adjudication of the asylum application, not including administrative appeal, shall be completed within 180 days after the date an application is filed;
(iv)
any administrative appeal shall be filed within 30 days of a decision granting or denying asylum, or within 30 days of the completion of removal proceedings before an immigration judge under section 1229a of this title, whichever is later; and
(v)
in the case of an applicant for asylum who fails without prior authorization or in the absence of exceptional circumstances to appear for an interview or hearing, including a hearing under section 1229a of this title, the application may be dismissed or the applicant may be otherwise sanctioned for such failure.
(B)
Additional regulatory conditions
(6)
Frivolous applications
(7)
No private right of action
(e)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 1, § 208, as added Pub. L. 96–212, title II, § 201(b), Mar. 17, 1980, 94 Stat. 105; amended Pub. L. 101–649, title V, § 515(a)(1), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 5053; Pub. L. 103–322, title XIII, § 130005(b), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2028; Pub. L. 104–132, title IV, § 421(a), Apr. 24, 1996, 110 Stat. 1270; Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title VI, § 604(a), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–690; Pub. L. 107–56, title IV, § 411(b)(2), Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 348; Pub. L. 107–208, § 4, Aug. 6, 2002, 116 Stat. 928; Pub. L. 109–13, div. B, title I, § 101(a), (b), May 11, 2005, 119 Stat. 302, 303; Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, § 702(j)(4), May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 866; Pub. L. 110–457, title II, § 235(d)(7), Dec. 23, 2008, 122 Stat. 5080.)
cite as: 8 USC 1158