Member Of:
AILA - American Immigration Lawyers Association
Sacramento County Bar Association
AILA - Northern California Chapter


The U.S. government may grant asylum to a person who is unable or unwilling to return to their home country and unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

Affirmative Applications for Asylum

Persons who are not in removal proceedings and file their applications affirmatively while they are in the United States file their I-589 application for asylum with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The Asylum Office will conduct an interview and typically decisions are issued approximately two weeks after the interview.

Defensive Applications for Asylum

If an individual is placed in removal proceedings, and they file an asylum application with the Immigration Court, this is called a defensive asylum application. Instead of being interviewed at an Asylum Office, the Immigration Judge makes the decision on the asylum application. Typically, the applicant (respondent) testifies in court, and the government attorney has the opportunity to cross-examine the applicant (respondent).

Asylum laws are extremely complex and constantly changing. Contact our immigration law firm at (916) 295-7650 to schedule a consultation.

Client Reviews
Simply the best. Thorough and to the point. Thank you for everything! B. Noce
Ms. Hennessey is very knowledgeable in the area of immigration law. She and her staff are so very courteous and friendly and truly care about their clients. Always polite and respectful. W. Domi