Obtaining Asylum in the United States
Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to:
If you are eligible for asylum you may be permitted to remain in the United States. There are two ways of obtaining asylum in the United States:
Affirmative Asylum Processing With USCIS
To obtain asylum through the affirmative asylum process you must be physically present in the United States. You may apply for asylum status regardless of how you arrived in the United States or your current immigration status.
Defensive Asylum Processing with EOIR
A defensive application for asylum occurs when you request asylum as a defense against removal from the U.S. For asylum processing to be defensive, you must be in removal proceedings in immigration court with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
Reference: USCIS Websiste, 17-Jan-2012