An asylee is a foreign national who is currently in the US or is at a port of entry to the US, but who is unwilling or unable to later go back to their home country on account of the fear of persecution. The well-founded persecution has to be on account of religion, membership to a particular group or having a specific political opinion or based on nationality. Typically, asylees enter the country in order to be protected from the harms and other forces within their home country.

Typically, asylees are given green cards, giving them permanent residence. To do this, they are required to fill form I-485, and should have been physically present in the United States at the time of filing it. Once an individual spends a year in the country, they are then granted asylum, and would be defined as a refugee. Asylees are not resettled in any foreign country, and are admissible to the US for lawful permanent residence. Some of the inadmissibility criteria include inability to prove risk to one’s life while in the foreign nation.

Since they are permanent residents, asylees can enjoy benefits including first amendment rights, and can apply for a work permit to obtain a job in the country. The Green Cards awarded to asylees have to be renewed after a duration that is specified once they get the permanent resident status, and they are also required to follow the same rules so that they can retain their permanent resident status. These include not setting up a domicile in another country.