I asked for extension of B-2 status, which was denied. I now applied for asylum. How does my application for B-2 extension affect my asylum case?

Every application and interaction with the USCIS or DOS creates extra questions in the context of asylum process. One of the tasks of an asylum officer is to verify the applicant’s credibility. One of the ways by which the officer checks the applicant’s credibility is by comparing the asylum application to the applicant’s previous applications and comparing the information provided in the previous forms and visa applications with the information provided in the asylum application and asylum interview.

The situation with applying for extension of visitor or tourist status prior to applying for asylum is especially delicate, because, to be eligible for a visitor status, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she has a home country residence to which the applicant intends to return. But, on the other hand, to be eligible for asylum, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she is not willing and cannot return to his/her home country. Thus, an application for extension of B-2 visitor, in most instances, contradicts the asylum application and damages the applicant’s credibility. The applicant’s credibility may be restored, if the applicant proves that his/her intent or grounds for asylum application came up after the B-2 extension. For example, it is possible that the applicant filed for extension or change to B-2 visitor status, hoping that the situation in the applicant’s country would change and the applicant would be able to return during the six months of the requested stay and, when at a later time, the applicant realized that his/her return is impossible or dangerous, the applicant decides to file for asylum.

Therefore, in general, applying for any non-immigrant status, such as visitor visa (B-2) or student visa (F-1), while intending to apply for asylum is contradictory and not recommended. Of course, making any misrepresentations or providing false information may be deadly for asylum chances.