An asylee, like a refugee, is a person who flees his or her country and is unwilling or unable to return due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted. This persecution is based on reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. However, asylees arrive in the United States on their own as students, tourists, business people, or without any immigration status at all. After they have entered the country or reached a port of entry, they apply for and may receive a grant of asylum, which acknowledges that they meet the legal definition of a refugee and are permitted to stay in the United States. Asylees are eligible for the same services as refugees beginning the date on which they are granted asylum and may apply for Legal Permanent Resident status after one year and U.S. citizenship after five years in the U.S. Learn more about asylum status in the U.S.
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