Got asylum through parent who hasn’t applied for green card – can I apply for one?

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Question:

My family came to the U.S. from Sri Lanka, and my mother was granted asylum. My father, my brother, and I were all listed on her I-589 asylum application. So, we all got asylum at the same time. That was over a year ago. Now my parents are very busy and say they have not had time to apply for a green card. But I am in college, and would like to apply for mine, and get this matter settled. Do I have to wait for them, or can I apply alone? And will it be a problem if I turn 21 before I get my green card?

Answer:

No, you do not have to wait for your parents in order to submit an application for a green card (adjustment of status) in the United States. The important thing will be to include a copy of your asylum approval notice with your application, along with the other required forms and documents, as described in Nolo’s article, “How to Apply for Permanent Residence (a Green Card) as an Asylee.”

As for turning 21, this is not a problem either. You are probably thinking about the fact that turning 21 would have made you legally too old to be included in your mother’s asylum application. But now that you have been granted asylum, you will continue to be treated as your mother’s child for purposes of continuing on and applying for your green card. (This comes from a law known as the Child Status Protection Act.)

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