Asylum Statistics

TOP 10 nationalities that seek asylum in the US

Every year, millions of people find themselves displaced or persecuted for one or another reason. The United States recognizes the right of asylum of individuals as specified by international and federal law. A number of legally defined refugees, either apply for asylum from inside the U.S. or apply for refugee status from outside the U.S., are admitted annually. Refugees compose about one-tenth of the total annual immigration to the United States, though some large refugee populations are very prominent.

According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum has three basic requirements:

?      First, an asylum applicant must establish that he or she fears persecution in their home country.

?      Second, the applicant must prove that he or she would be persecuted on account of one of five protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, and social group.

?      Third, an applicant must establish that the government is either involved in the persecution, or unable to control the conduct of private actors.

Almost every year, the number of asylum applications filed with USCIS increases. In January 2015, USCIS received 6,008 petitions. The most of petitions were filed to Houston and Newark (19% each office), Los Angeles and Miami (14% each office), New York (12%), Arlington (8%), Chicago and San Francisco (7% each office). As of January 2015, TOP 10 nationalities that filed for asylum in the US were as follows:

1.     China

2.     Mexico

3.     Guatemala

4.     El Salvador

5.     Honduras

6.     Venezuela

7.     Ecuador

8.     Haiti

9.     India

10.  Iraq

Nationalities of the mentioned above countries are accountable for 67% of total number of petitions for that period.

In March 2016, USCIS reported 10,345 applications received which is 4,337 more requests for asylum than in 2015; an impressive number, isn’t it? The TOP 10 made:

1.     China

2.     Venezuela

3.     Mexico

4.     Guatemala

5.     El Salvador

6.     Honduras

7.     Ecuador

8.     India

9.     Haiti

10.  Ukraine

TOP 10 nationalities listed above are accountable for 72% of total applications for asylum in the US for that period. Some countries shifted places in the list and a newcomer can be seen in the TOP – Ukraine, which took the place of Iraq. From the end of February 2014, demonstrations by pro-Russian and anti-government groups took place in major cities across the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, in the aftermath of the Euromaidan movement and the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. During the first stage of the unrest, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation after a crisis in the region, Russian military intervention, and an internationally criticized referendum. Protests in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts escalated into an armed separatist insurgency This led the Ukrainian government to launch a military counter-offensive against the insurgents, which resulted in the ongoing War in Donbass From late 2014, cities outside of the Donbass combat zone, such as Kharkiv, Odessa, Kiev and Mariupol, were struck by bombings that targeted pro-Ukrainian unity organizations.

Besides Ukraine, there are other post-soviet countries that mark their presence in the general list yearly. According to the data presented by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the 2014 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, number of individuals granted asylum affirmatively is as follows:

Number of individuals granted asylum affirmatively
Armenia – 91
Azerbaijan – 15
Belarus – 48
Estonia – N/A
Georgia – 17
Kazakhstan – 62
Kyrgyzstan – 99
Latvia – N/A
Lithuania – N/A
Moldova – 60
Russia – 220
Tajikistan – 20
Turkmenistan – 5
Ukraine – 98
Uzbekistan – 60

Note: Statistics for years 2015 and 2016 are not yet available.

For more information on types of asylum (affirmative or defensive) please visit

The Law Office of Natalia Malyshkina can help you apply for asylum in the U.S, our services are compassionate and confidential, book a consultation.

Looking forward to hear back from you soon.

Truly yours,

Natalia Malyshkina, ESQ

Immigration Attorney

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