WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: Federal


View all
Laws current as of December 17, 2020

What happens if they deny my asylum request?

If you apply for asylum with USCIS and they do not grant your application, if you do not have any other immigration status, such as a student or visitor visa for which your stay has not expired, they will issue you a Notice to Appear in removal proceedings and you will have to appear in immigration court. At that time, you can ask again for asylum from the immigration judge.

If you ask for asylum as part of your defense in removal proceedings, and the immigration judge says that you do not qualify and you don’t have other applications for immigration status pending, you will be issued an order of removal from the United States. You can appeal that decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which is the highest court in our immigration court system. If the BIA denies your request, your order of removal will become final. You can still appeal to a federal court and ask that your final order of removal be put on hold while you appeal the decision. If you are still denied asylum by federal court, or if you do not file an appeal when the immigration judge denies your case, you could be deported if the immigration authorities decide to enforce your removal order. It is almost impossible to do any of this successfully without an attorney with experience in asylum.

It’s important to know that even if you lose your asylum case and are issued a final removal order, you may still be able to apply for survivor-based immigration relief in the form of a U visa, T visa, or VAWA self-petition. It’s important to speak to a lawyer if you have any questions about applying for one of these options, especially if you have a removal order.

To find a list of legal resources in your area, please see Finding a Lawyer and select your state or see our National Organizations - Immigration page.