Refugees and Asylum
Persons can also obtain permanent resident status as either a refugee or as an asylee. Refugees are located outside the U.S., and seek protection in the U.S. on the grounds that they face persecution in their country. To be admitted as a refugee, a person must establish a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of either race, religion, membership in a social group, political opinion, or national origin. Refugees usually apply for admission to the U.S. in a refugee camp or other designated site. The U.S. limits the total number of refugees each year, and sets a ceiling for different regions of the world.
Persons already in the U.S. may apply for asylum. Like a refugee, an asylum applicant must establish a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country on the basis of either race, religion, membership in a social group, political opinion, or national origin. In most cases, a person must apply for asylum within one year of entering the U.S. However, exceptions to the one-year rule may apply to an applicant who has waited longer than one year to apply.
Refugees and asylees may apply for permanent residence after one year in the U.S.
No annual limit for adjustment applications exists for refugees or asylees.