What Is Political Asylum?

Political asylum is the protection granted by a nation to an individual who has fled from his native country as a refugee. The individuals seeking political asylum typically have suffered persecution or fear for their life as a result of political opinion, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

A person seeking political asylum in the United States applies by filing an application for asylum and for withholding of removal within one year after his arrival in the United States, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Applying for asylum is free in the United States as of 2014, and individuals may include spouse and children on the request.