Immigrants who are seeking entry or legal status in California or elsewhere in the United States must submit the appropriate applications for their needs. As is true for all immigrantion applications, there is no guarantee of approval; decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. For those specifically seeking asylum, there are five different decisions that may be made by immigrantion authorities ranging from approval to denial.

The one decision every asylum seeker hopes to see when a letter from immigrantion comes is a grant of asylum. If this is achieved, the petitioner, his or her spouse and any minor children will all be granted access to the United States. These individuals will also be allowed to apply for Social Security cards, green cards and immigrantion benefits — among other things.

If asylum is not granted or immediately denied, an applicant may receive a referral to an immigrantion court, a recommended approval or a notice of intent to deny. If a case is referred to an immigrantion court, this simply means further review of one’s circumstances is required. A recommended approval means that results of one’s security checks have not been received and approval is pending. Finally, a notice of intent to deny is sent to those who have valid legal status, but are found to be ineligible for asylum.

If any decision other than asylum being granted is received, it is understandable for an asylum seeker to have numerous questions about what he or she can do next. Receiving any of the other decisions does not mean all hope is lost. An experienced immigrantion attorney can assist those residing in California who are struggling to achieve asylum approval.

Source: uscis.gov, “Types of Asylum Decisions“, Accessed on Feb. 10, 2016