Alice Vacek Aranda
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How do refugee status and asylum status differ?

People who are being persecuted over their beliefs or lifestyles in other countries might decide to seek asylum in the United States. There are some very important points that those who are interested in asylum must know before they decide that this is an option for them.

Are asylum status and refugee status the same?

There are some differences in asylum status and refugee status. While all people who are granted asylum status are considered refugees, not all refugees are granted asylum status. Additionally, the number of people who are granted asylum in the U.S. isn't limited. The number of refugees that can come into the U.S. is limited based on the refugees home country. For example, President Obama recently lifted the number of refugees that the U.S. will accept from Syria to 10,000 for the fiscal year that starts in October 2015. That is a marked increase from the fewer than 2,000 that were admitted into the U.S. for the fiscal year that ends next month.

How does a person apply for asylum?

A person can apply for asylum by either filing an application within one year of his or her arrival in the U.S or by asking for asylum at the port-of-entry. There are some factors that might extend the one-year deadline to apply for asylum. If you think that you can qualify for asylum, make sure that you learn all you can about the process. Even simple mistakes can often make it difficult for you to get the asylum that you need to avoid having to go back to your home country.

Source: ImmiHelp, "Asylum," accessed Sep. 13, 2015

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