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Asylum Application, Client Declaration, and Supporting Evidence

As you begin working with your client, you will draft his or her asylum application (the I-589), and a declaration with a detailed account of her or his story. You will also gather supporting evidence that corroborates your client’s story.

I-589 Asylum Application

Applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture all require a form I-589. You will file this form in immigration court at a Master Calendar hearing, or your client may have filed this document pro se before you started working on the case.

Required Form

Fillable I-589 form

A fillable pdf of the I-589 form is available on uscis.gov

Required Step

I-589 Mailing Instructions

Along with filing your client’s completed I-589 with the Immigration Court, you must mail a copy of the first three pages of the application to USCIS. Follow the link for instructions on how to do this.


I-589 in Spanish

Immigration Justice Campaign
An I-589 translated into Spanish.


I-589 in French

Immigration Justice Campaign
An I-589 translated into French.


Sample I-589 Asylum Application

Immigration Justice Campaign
A sample completed I-589 (for a fictional client) with detailed annotations that guide you through best practices in filling out the form.


Credible Fear Interview Notes

Immigration Justice Campaign
Most detained asylum seekers who are in removal proceedings have passed a “credible fear interview” conducted by a USCIS Asylum Officer, soon after they were first encountered by DHS. Your client should have a copy of the decision and the Asylum Officer's notes. While these notes are sometimes referred to as a "transcript" they are NOT in fact a transcript and frequently contain significant errors. You should make sure to review the notes from the credible fear interview as you are preparing your client’s I-589 and declaration. However, we generally do not advise submitting the credible fear interview as an exhibit with your supporting documents.

Client Declaration

Along with your client’s I-589 application, you will work closely with your client to draft a detailed declaration that fleshes out your client’s story.


Sample Client Declaration

Immigration Justice Campaign
A sample client declaration with detailed annotations that guide you through how to write a client declaration.

Supporting Documentation

Asylum applicants are required to corroborate their testimony with supporting evidence when it is available. The materials below will help you determine what evidence to obtain and how to obtain it.


Corroborating Your Client's Claim

Immigration Justice Campaign
Guidance on the types of corroborating evidence you should submit for your client's Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and CAT case.


Working with Mental Health Experts

Immigration Justice Campaign
Practical tips from a clinical social worker who has provided expert testimony in numerous asylum cases about best practices when working with a mental health expert on an asylum case.


Sample Index of Submissions

Immigration Justice Campaign
A sample index of exhibits in support of an asylum application.


Sample Forensic Medical Evaluation

Immigration Justice Campaign
A sample forensic medical evaluation corroborating an asylum seeker's injuries and scars.


Sample Lay Witness Declaration

Immigration Justice Campaign
This is a sample lay witness declaration that corresponds to the Campaign's sample client declaration.

60 Min.

Documenting Detained Asylum Cases

Immigration Justice Campaign
This webinar provides practical guidance on drafting applicant declarations and gathering supporting evidence for detained asylum cases.


Sample Certificate of Interpretation

Immigration Justice Campaign
Sample certificate of interpretation to attach to an English language document that was read to a client in his or her own language.


Sample Certificate of Translation

Immigration Justice Campaign
Sample certificate of translation to attach to a foreign document and its English translation.
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