Asylum or Refugee status may be granted to people who are arriving in or already physically present in the United States. Your presence in the United States does not have to be legal, but such presence must be for no more than one year prior to the application for refugee status. To apply for asylum in the United States, you may ask for asylum at a port-of-entry within the United States, or file Form I-589, Application for Asylum. Within the form I-589 is an additional application to avoid removal.
If you fail to apply for asylum within one year of your last arrival in the United States, you may only be eligible for doing so if you can demonstrate to the Immigration Judge a material change in circumstances that directly effects your eligibility or some set of extraordinary facts and circumstances causing your failure to apply within one year of your arrival to the United States. An example of an extraordinary circumstance or material change of conditions, among others, certain changes in your home country that require the applicant to seek refugee status. In the event the applicant can show a material change of circumstances said applicant must also show that the application was made within a reasonable time after the change of circumstances occurred.
A bar to the grant of asylum will be found to exist if the applicant has previously applied to the United States and said application was denied. However the bar is removed if the applicant can prove to the Immigration Judge that a change of circumstances exists since the prior application was made and denied by an Immigration Judge or Board of Immigration Appeals.