Discretionary Denial of Asylum

Even if the applicant would otherwise be eligible for asylum and is not subject to any bars, asylum can be denied at the discretion of the USCIS. However, in the exercise of discretion, the danger of persecution must outweigh all other factors. Moreover, in the absence of adverse factors, asylum should be granted. Adverse factors that might cause a discretionary denial include but are not limited to:

  • fraud used by the applicant to enter the U.S.; and
  • failure to seek asylum in a third country prior to entering the U.S.

Unlike asylum, there is no discretion involved when granting a withholding of removal. If the applicant meets the requirements and is not specifically barred, then the applicant must be granted withholding of removal unless the applicant is granted asylum. For information on eligibility for withholding of removal, please click here.

For more information about Asylum and Withholding of Removal, please click on one of the following topics: