Refugee status is a form of protection that may be granted to people who meet the definition of refugee and who are of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Refugees are generally people outside of their country who are unable or unwilling to return home because they fear serious harm. Asylees are also considered refugees. Asylum may be granted to individuals who have been persecuted or who fear future persecution in the home country because of:
- Membership in a certain social group, or
- Political belief or opinion.
Candidates granted refugee and asylee status may work in the United States immediately and petition for permanent residency (Green Card).
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