Refugee & Immigrant Program
Instructions - Affirmative Asylum Applications

Disclaimer:  The following information is general information provided for the use of Minnesota Advocates volunteer attorneys.  It is not legal advice and does not intend or purport to give individualized legal advice to clients or others.  If you need legal advice about immigration, you should contact an attorney.  A list of free legal service providers is available at in their Pro Bono Programs information.


Current versions of all forms are available at  Forms and filing requirements are updated frequently, so make sure you are using the current version.


Submission Check List:


The original and two copies of the following materials should be submitted: 

  1. Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney (Form G-28).  The G-28 form must  be signed by the client.  The form should be printed on blue paper.

  2. Two ADIT photos (photos must be passport size and film, with a white background, taken at a 3/4  angle showing the right ear and both eyes)

  3. Request for Asylum in the United States (Form I-589) signed by client and attorney.  Please note that the INS will only accept Form I-589 version October 18, 2001.

  4. Affidavit of Client.

  5. Exhibit List (with short summary about each exhibit) and exhibits.   Exhibits should include: 

    A. Copy of passport (cover to cover), if available; 

    B.  Copy of any U.S. Immigration records (I-94, etc.);

    C.  Copy of birth certificate or other identification documents (with translation), if available;

    Practice Pointer!  Identity and nationality may be at issue.

    D.  Evidence proving family relationship and translations if applicable such as birth certificates for children of client, marriage certificate for spouse of client, or affidavit from at least one person with knowledge of event proving relationship.

    Reminder! Translations must accompany all foreign-language documents submitted.  Translations must be certified as accurate.

    E. Supporting documents, including articles, affidavits of witnesses or experts, human rights reports compiled by the State Department, Amnesty International, etc.  Be sure to highlight relevant paragraphs.

Including Spouse/Children

Submit one additional copy of applicant
's asylum application for each dependent who is included in the application and is in the US, together with three copies of the marriage/birth certificate and translation, and two ADIT photos of each dependent. 

Mailing Address

Your client's Asylum Application should be mailed to:

U.S. Department of Justice

Immigration and Naturalization Service

Northern Service Center

P.O. Box 87589

Lincoln, NE  68501-7589


Anything sent to the INS should provide for proof of delivery (e.g. certified mail, return receipt requested).


For those attorneys sending by express service the address is:  


INS Northern Service Center

850 "S" Street

Lincoln, NE  68508



Photographs can be obtained from the International Institute.  They have a branch right in the INS Bloomington office.  However, if your client is out of legal status, he or she should not visit the INS Bloomington office.  He or she can obtain photographs from the International Institute, 1694 Como Avenue, St. Paul.   Telephone: (651) 647-0191.

Your client may also obtain photos from any photographer who takes passport photos. Note that INS photos are not the same as passport photos.  INS photos must be taken at a ¾ angle, showing the clients right ear and both eyes.


An asylum applicant can only get their fingerprints at an INS Application Support Center (ASC) with a notice of an appointment from the INS. After the asylum application is submitted, the asylum applicant will receive a notice requesting that s/he appear for fingerprinting at the local ASC within a certain time period (usually two weeks).   It is essential that your client shows up for their appointment.  Failure to appear for a fingerprint appointment may result in an asylum officer dismissing the asylum application or a referral to the EOIR.  There is no fee for fingerprints for an asylum application.

If Your Client Moves


You must send a change of address form (AR-11) to the INS and notify the Chicago asylum office in writing. 

U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service

2901 Metro Drive, Suite 100

Bloomington, MN  55425

Information and forms: (612) 854-7754       

Hours:                   Monday - Thursday 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

      Friday      CLOSED


Office of Asylum

401 S. LaSalle St., 8th Floor

Chicago, IL  60605

Telephone: 312-353-9607

Fax:     312-886-0204

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