First, the fear must be "credible" and "well-founded," which means sufficient proof must be provided, so that an asylum officer or immigration judge grants the applicant the protection he or she is requesting. Second, there is a deadline to file an asylum application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The applicant must file his or her asylum application within 1 year of arriving in the US. Those who fail to file their asylum application within the 1 year time-frame can be barred from receiving relief from the asylum protection, and be put into removal proceedings, if they are not in some form of lawful status at the time a decision is made. However, there are few exceptions to the 1 year filing rule. For the applicants who are granted protection as an asylee, they become eligible to apply to adjust their status, and receive a "green card" after 1 year of being granted asylum.
In conclusion, the asylum application process is very complicated, and though I may have made it sound simple, it's far from it. However, for those who fall under the eligibility criteria, it may be their only way of remaining in the US lawfully. Please remember that the information provided above is meant for general use only, and not legal advice. If you know anyone who may benefit from applying for asylum, please have them call me. At a minimum, they may benefit from a free consultation. Thank you!