8 U.S.C. § 1158 : US Code - Section 1158: Asylum

    (a) Authority to apply for asylum
      (1) In general
        Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who
      arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port
      of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United
      States after having been interdicted in international or United
      States waters), irrespective of such alien's status, may apply
      for asylum in accordance with this section or, where applicable,
      section 1225(b) of this title.
      (2) Exceptions
        (A) Safe third country
          Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien if the Attorney
        General determines that the alien may be removed, pursuant to a
        bilateral or multilateral agreement, to a country (other than
        the country of the alien's nationality or, in the case of an
        alien having no nationality, the country of the alien's last
        habitual residence) in which the alien's life or freedom would
        not be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality,
        membership in a particular social group, or political opinion,
        and where the alien would have access to a full and fair
        procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent
        temporary protection, unless the Attorney General finds that it
        is in the public interest for the alien to receive asylum in
        the United States.
        (B) Time limit
          Subject to subparagraph (D), paragraph (1) shall not apply to
        an alien unless the alien demonstrates by clear and convincing
        evidence that the application has been filed within 1 year
        after the date of the alien's arrival in the United States.
        (C) Previous asylum applications
          Subject to subparagraph (D), paragraph (1) shall not apply to
        an alien if the alien has previously applied for asylum and had
        such application denied.
        (D) Changed circumstances
          An application for asylum of an alien may be considered,
        notwithstanding subparagraphs (B) and (C), if the alien
        demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Attorney General either
        the existence of changed circumstances which materially affect
        the applicant's eligibility for asylum or extraordinary
        circumstances relating to the delay in filing an application
        within the period specified in subparagraph (B).
        (E) Applicability
          Subparagraphs (A) and (B) shall not apply to an unaccompanied
        alien child (as defined in section 279(g) of title 6).
      (3) Limitation on judicial review
        No court shall have jurisdiction to review any determination of
      the Attorney General under paragraph (2).
    (b) Conditions for granting asylum
      (1) In general
        (A) Eligibility
          The Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General
        may grant asylum to an alien who has applied for asylum in
        accordance with the requirements and procedures established by
        the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General
        under this section if the Secretary of Homeland Security or the
        Attorney General determines that such alien is a refugee within
        the meaning of section 1101(a)(42)(A) of this title.
        (B) Burden of proof
          (i) In general
            The burden of proof is on the applicant to establish that
          the applicant is a refugee, within the meaning of section
          1101(a)(42)(A) of this title. To establish that the applicant
          is a refugee within the meaning of such section, the
          applicant must establish that race, religion, nationality,
          membership in a particular social group, or political opinion
          was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting
          the applicant.
          (ii) Sustaining burden
            The testimony of the applicant may be sufficient to sustain
          the applicant's burden without corroboration, but only if the
          applicant satisfies the trier of fact that the applicant's
          testimony is credible, is persuasive, and refers to specific
          facts sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant is a
          refugee. In determining whether the applicant has met the
          applicant's burden, the trier of fact may weigh the credible
          testimony along with other evidence of record. Where the
          trier of fact determines that the applicant should provide
          evidence that corroborates otherwise credible testimony, such
          evidence must be provided unless the applicant does not have
          the evidence and cannot reasonably obtain the evidence.
          (iii) Credibility determination
            Considering the totality of the circumstances, and all
          relevant factors, a trier of fact may base a credibility
          determination on the demeanor, candor, or responsiveness of
          the applicant or witness, the inherent plausibility of the
          applicant's or witness's account, the consistency between the
          applicant's or witness's written and oral statements
          (whenever made and whether or not under oath, and considering
          the circumstances under which the statements were made), the
          internal consistency of each such statement, the consistency
          of such statements with other evidence of record (including
          the reports of the Department of State on country
          conditions), and any inaccuracies or falsehoods in such
          statements, without regard to whether an inconsistency,
          inaccuracy, or falsehood goes to the heart of the applicant's
          claim, or any other relevant factor. There is no presumption
          of credibility, however, if no adverse credibility
          determination is explicitly made, the applicant or witness
          shall have a rebuttable presumption of credibility on appeal.
      (2) Exceptions
        (A) In general
          Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien if the Attorney
        General determines that - 
            (i) the alien ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise
          participated in the persecution of any person on account of
          race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular
          social group, or political opinion;
            (ii) the alien, having been convicted by a final judgment
          of a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the
          community of the United States;
            (iii) there are serious reasons for believing that the
          alien has committed a serious nonpolitical crime outside the
          United States prior to the arrival of the alien in the United
          States;
            (iv) there are reasonable grounds for regarding the alien
          as a danger to the security of the United States;
            (v) the alien is described in subclause (I), (II), (III),
          (IV), or (VI) of section 1182(a)(3)(B)(i) of this title or
          section 1227(a)(4)(B) of this title (relating to terrorist
          activity), unless, in the case only of an alien described in
          subclause (IV) of section 1182(a)(3)(B)(i) of this title, the
          Attorney General determines, in the Attorney General's
          discretion, that there are not reasonable grounds for
          regarding the alien as a danger to the security of the United
          States; or
            (vi) the alien was firmly resettled in another country
          prior to arriving in the United States.
        (B) Special rules
          (i) Conviction of aggravated felony
            For purposes of clause (ii) of subparagraph (A), an alien
          who has been convicted of an aggravated felony shall be
          considered to have been convicted of a particularly serious
          crime.
          (ii) Offenses
            The Attorney General may designate by regulation offenses
          that will be considered to be a crime described in clause
          (ii) or (iii) of subparagraph (A).
        (C) Additional limitations
          The Attorney General may by regulation establish additional
        limitations and conditions, consistent with this section, under
        which an alien shall be ineligible for asylum under paragraph
        (1).
        (D) No judicial review
          There shall be no judicial review of a determination of the
        Attorney General under subparagraph (A)(v).
      (3) Treatment of spouse and children
        (A) In general
          A spouse or child (as defined in section 1101(b)(1)(A), (B),
        (C), (D), or (E) of this title) of an alien who is granted
        asylum under this subsection may, if not otherwise eligible for
        asylum under this section, be granted the same status as the
        alien if accompanying, or following to join, such alien.
        (B) Continued classification of certain aliens as children
          An unmarried alien who seeks to accompany, or follow to join,
        a parent granted asylum under this subsection, and who was
        under 21 years of age on the date on which such parent applied
        for asylum under this section, shall continue to be classified
        as a child for purposes of this paragraph and section
        1159(b)(3) of this title, if the alien attained 21 years of age
        after such application was filed but while it was pending.
        (C) Initial jurisdiction
          An asylum officer (as defined in section 1225(b)(1)(E) of
        this title) shall have initial jurisdiction over any asylum
        application filed by an unaccompanied alien child (as defined
        in section 279(g) of title 6), regardless of whether filed in
        accordance with this section or section 1225(b) of this title.
    (c) Asylum status
      (1) In general
        In the case of an alien granted asylum under subsection (b) of
      this section, the Attorney General - 
          (A) shall not remove or return the alien to the alien's
        country of nationality or, in the case of a person having no
        nationality, the country of the alien's last habitual
        residence;
          (B) shall authorize the alien to engage in employment in the
        United States and provide the alien with appropriate
        endorsement of that authorization; and
          (C) may allow the alien to travel abroad with the prior
        consent of the Attorney General.
      (2) Termination of asylum
        Asylum granted under subsection (b) of this section does not
      convey a right to remain permanently in the United States, and
      may be terminated if the Attorney General determines that - 
          (A) the alien no longer meets the conditions described in
        subsection (b)(1) of this section owing to a fundamental change
        in circumstances;
          (B) the alien meets a condition described in subsection
        (b)(2) of this section;
          (C) the alien may be removed, pursuant to a bilateral or
        multilateral agreement, to a country (other than the country of
        the alien's nationality or, in the case of an alien having no
        nationality, the country of the alien's last habitual
        residence) in which the alien's life or freedom would not be
        threatened on account of race, religion, nationality,
        membership in a particular social group, or political opinion,
        and where the alien is eligible to receive asylum or equivalent
        temporary protection;
          (D) the alien has voluntarily availed himself or herself of
        the protection of the alien's country of nationality or, in the
        case of an alien having no nationality, the alien's country of
        last habitual residence, by returning to such country with
        permanent resident status or the reasonable possibility of
        obtaining such status with the same rights and obligations
        pertaining to other permanent residents of that country; or
          (E) the alien has acquired a new nationality and enjoys the
        protection of the country of his or her new nationality.
      (3) Removal when asylum is terminated
        An alien described in paragraph (2) is subject to any
      applicable grounds of inadmissibility or deportability under
      section (!1) 1182(a) and 1227(a) of this title, and the alien's
      removal or return shall be directed by the Attorney General in
      accordance with sections 1229a and 1231 of this title.

    (d) Asylum procedure
      (1) Applications
        The Attorney General shall establish a procedure for the
      consideration of asylum applications filed under subsection (a)
      of this section. The Attorney General may require applicants to
      submit fingerprints and a photograph at such time and in such
      manner to be determined by regulation by the Attorney General.
      (2) Employment
        An applicant for asylum is not entitled to employment
      authorization, but such authorization may be provided under
      regulation by the Attorney General. An applicant who is not
      otherwise eligible for employment authorization shall not be
      granted such authorization prior to 180 days after the date of
      filing of the application for asylum.
      (3) Fees
        The Attorney General may impose fees for the consideration of
      an application for asylum, for employment authorization under
      this section, and for adjustment of status under section 1159(b)
      of this title. Such fees shall not exceed the Attorney General's
      costs in adjudicating the applications. The Attorney General may
      provide for the assessment and payment of such fees over a period
      of time or by installments. Nothing in this paragraph shall be
      construed to require the Attorney General to charge fees for
      adjudication services provided to asylum applicants, or to limit
      the authority of the Attorney General to set adjudication and
      naturalization fees in accordance with section 1356(m) of this
      title.
      (4) Notice of privilege of counsel and consequences of frivolous
        application
        At the time of filing an application for asylum, the Attorney
      General shall - 
          (A) advise the alien of the privilege of being represented by
        counsel and of the consequences, under paragraph (6), of
        knowingly filing a frivolous application for asylum; and
          (B) provide the alien a list of persons (updated not less
        often than quarterly) who have indicated their availability to
        represent aliens in asylum proceedings on a pro bono basis.
      (5) Consideration of asylum applications
        (A) Procedures
          The procedure established under paragraph (1) shall provide
        that - 
            (i) asylum cannot be granted until the identity of the
          applicant has been checked against all appropriate records or
          databases maintained by the Attorney General and by the
          Secretary of State, including the Automated Visa Lookout
          System, to determine any grounds on which the alien may be
          inadmissible to or deportable from the United States, or
          ineligible to apply for or be granted asylum;
            (ii) in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the
          initial interview or hearing on the asylum application shall
          commence not later than 45 days after the date an application
          is filed;
            (iii) in the absence of exceptional circumstances, final
          administrative adjudication of the asylum application, not
          including administrative appeal, shall be completed within
          180 days after the date an application is filed;
            (iv) any administrative appeal shall be filed within 30
          days of a decision granting or denying asylum, or within 30
          days of the completion of removal proceedings before an
          immigration judge under section 1229a of this title,
          whichever is later; and
            (v) in the case of an applicant for asylum who fails
          without prior authorization or in the absence of exceptional
          circumstances to appear for an interview or hearing,
          including a hearing under section 1229a of this title, the
          application may be dismissed or the applicant may be
          otherwise sanctioned for such failure.
        (B) Additional regulatory conditions
          The Attorney General may provide by regulation for any other
        conditions or limitations on the consideration of an
        application for asylum not inconsistent with this chapter.
      (6) Frivolous applications
        If the Attorney General determines that an alien has knowingly
      made a frivolous application for asylum and the alien has
      received the notice under paragraph (4)(A), the alien shall be
      permanently ineligible for any benefits under this chapter,
      effective as of the date of a final determination on such
      application.
      (7) No private right of action
        Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to create any
      substantive or procedural right or benefit that is legally
      enforceable by any party against the United States or its
      agencies or officers or any other person.
    (e) Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
      The provisions of this section and section 1159(b) of this title
    shall apply to persons physically present in the Commonwealth of
    the Northern Mariana Islands or arriving in the Commonwealth
    (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including
    persons who are brought to the Commonwealth after having been
    interdicted in international or United States waters) only on or
    after January 1, 2014.