The Difference Between Asylum and Withholding of Removal
For generations, the United States has adhered to a basic promise that no person may be deported to a country where they will face persecution. Under laws passed to fulfill this promise, every year tens of thousands of people ask the United States for protection. Most of those people apply for asylum. Those that win asylum can apply to live in the United States permanently and gain a path to citizenship. They can also apply for their spouse and children to join them in the United States.
But not everyone can apply for asylum. For individuals who are afraid of persecution in their home country but ineligible for asylum, an alternate path to protection exists, one that is harder to win and offers fewer benefits: withholding of removal. This fact sheet provides an overview of withholding of removal, including the basics of seeking protection in the United States, eligibility requirements, the application process, and data on applicants.
American Immigration Council (2020, November). The Difference Between Asylum and Withholding of Removal. https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/sites/default/files/research/the_difference_between_asylum_and_withholding_of_removal.pdf