In some ways, asylum is just another type of immigration. However, the process is much different than coming to the United States on a work visa or to meet up with family members who are already in the country.
It’s important to know what these differences are if this is a path you’re considering for your future.
Asylum is for those fleeing some type of danger
Overall, asylum is used for people who are in danger in their homelands — those facing religious persecution that could result in death, for instance — and who need to quickly enter another country for protection. There is a level of urgency that someone who is simply looking for better job prospects will not feel.
You may already be thinking that refugees are in the same situation, and it is similar. Refugees are also leaving a dangerous situation and seeking safety and a new start. However, they generally go to a refugee camp, obtain refugee status, and then get sent to another country — like the United States — to start that new life.
An asylum seeker, on the other hand, comes straight to the country where they want protection. They can either get to the border or even enter the country — something that may typically be illegal — and then asks for protection. They may do this if they are actively fleeing persecution that they are afraid will catch up with them if they do not cross that border as soon as possible.
What options do you have?
Your situation dictates what options you have and what status you can use. Be sure you understand the legal process moving forward.