Legal Assistance

Legal Assistance

NYC Asylum Application Help Center

The NYC Asylum Application Help Center provides help to immigrants in our temporary shelter system to complete and submit their own asylum applications, with the guidance of immigration attorneys and staff. The Center does not provide legal representation, but we can help you apply for asylum, work authorization or Temporary Protective Status (TPS).

Appointments at the Center are only available for asylum seekers who currently stay in NYC shelters or have left shelter within the last 30 days. We have a combination of in-person interpreters and utilize the city’s Language Line to accommodate language needs that comes through our doors.

Note: An appointment is required. The Center does not accept walk-ins. Everyone must make their own appointment. Appointments can be up to four to five hours long, and staff want to make sure they have time to serve everyone that day.

What to Bring to Your Appointment

You should bring your information and relevant documents with you to your appointment at the NYC Asylum Application Help Center.

  • You should consider how your circumstances qualify for asylum, including the reason for your persecution.
  • Bring any documents related to your asylum claim.
  • Bring all information and documents you can about your spouse and children, including their immigration information.
  • Bring all documents you’ve received about your immigration case, including your “A number.”
  • Bring your and your family members’ passports and any IDs you have.
  • Bring information about all the places you’ve lived, gone to school, and worked in the last 5 years, with no gaps.
  • And bring anything else you think might be helpful.

About Asylum

Asylum is a form of protection for people who fear going back to their country, to allow them to stay permanently in the United States. To be granted asylum, you must show:

  • You are afraid to return to your country because you fear being persecuted there or you were persecuted there;
  • The persecution was committed or would be committed by your country’s government or people the government is unwilling or unable to control;
  • The persecution happened because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group; and
  • You have not been convicted of any serious crimes or committed any acts that would prevent you from getting asylum.
  • Also, you generally must apply for asylum within one year of your arrival to the United States. 

Know Your Rights: Guide for Asylum Seekers in NYC