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Is asylum the same as withholding of removal?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2020 | Immigration Law

There are a few ways in which you can come into this country and secure residency without fear of deportation. The two main ways include seeking asylum or withholding of removal. 

According to the American Immigration Council, the U.S. has multiple agreements that all pertain to not deporting individuals who will face persecution in their home country. Providing this protection allows you to come into the U.S. and stay here with the potential to become a U.S. citizen in some cases. However, asylum and withholding of removal are quite different. 


Asylum is when you apply to live in the U.S. under the country’s protection. You must be a refugee who is leaving your own country due to the potential danger it would pose to you. 

As an asylee, you gain a variety of rights. You can bring your children and spouse to live here, become a citizen, work, get a Social Security number, travel outside the U.S. and get some government benefits. 

Withholding of removal

You may not qualify for asylum because you have previously undergone deportation or did not apply in time. If you are not eligible, you can seek withholding of removal. 

This option also protects you from being sent back to your home country. However, you will have to go to court and have the court rule that it is withholding your removal from the U.S. 

Do note the court can deport you to another country. Also, you cannot leave the U.S. or become a citizen. You also do not have the right to bring your family here or have a permanent residence in the U.S. If your home country becomes stable and the danger to you is gone, the U.S. will send you back.