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Personal Statement for Asylum Application

by: Justin Burton

You have considered your options and have decided that you should apply for asylum in the United States. Once you have made the decision, it is time to start the application process. You will need to complete Form I-589. In addition, your asylum application should be accompanied by a personal statement or declaration and corroborating documents.

A personal statement is a statement that details your story, explains why you are applying for asylum, and works to persuade the officer or judge that your application should be granted.  It is usually a number of pages long.

Your personal statement should be organized so that it is easy to follow and easy to reference. Most importantly, the statement should be truthful and accurate.  You should provide as much detail as possible in the narrative so that the Asylum Office can get a full understanding of your background and the kind of persecution you have suffered or fear suffering. It is best to follow a chronological order.


Besides writing a thorough narrative, you need to supplement the personal statement with appropriate documentation. Evidence can include:

  • Membership documents such as baptism certificates which show you were part of a particular group,
  • Political activity documents which show you were involved in some political party or activity that made you suspect to persecution,
  • Medical reports of injuries or psychological problems,
  • Police Reports,
  • Witness statements,
  • Photographs,
  • News articles,
  • Expert reports.

Seeking counsel

The personal statement and the accompanying documents are the most important part of an asylum application. Remember to include as many details as possible so that USCIS can have a vivid picture of your narrative. Consult with an attorney at Kriezelman, Burton & Associates in preparing your asylum application so that you can make the most compelling case possible under the law to have your application granted.

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