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Will they stop me at departure in Malaysia, or at the US airport? I'm seeking asylum.

closed as off-topic by drat, Gagravarr, Vince, Kris, Kate Gregory May 14 '14 at 23:18

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    Welcome to travel.SE. More then likely you won't even be allowed on the plane without a visa. – Karlson May 14 '14 at 19:29
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    Relevant meta-question: "Are questions about seeking asylum allowed?" Also, a similar question on Expatriates: "Trying to Seek Asylum". – Nick Stauner May 14 '14 at 20:17
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    There is nothing about this 3-hour rule in the official description from travel.gov and I have never heard of it. It also seems difficult to reconcile with the way US airports are organized (usually no transit area). Importantly, there is nothing about it in the Timatic info that @Karlson quoted and your airline is going to rely on that when making the decision to allow boarding or not. – Relaxed May 14 '14 at 20:47
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about applying for Asylum, which is OT here – Gagravarr May 14 '14 at 20:48
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    @Sedihpilu The probably of being stopped when boarding is AFAIK very high. I can attest that airlines do check your visa status (and can be obnoxious about anything unusual). Furthermore, they risk a fine and have to carry you back if you are denied entry, so they have strong incentives not to let people through without checking. – Relaxed May 14 '14 at 21:46
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You will almost definitely be asked to demonstrate your right to enter your final destination before boarding at the departure airport. Your right to transit at any layover point should also be checked. All this because international agreements force airlines to carry people who are denied entry back to their origin point at their own cost. Additionally, in some countries, the airline can also be fined (I have heard about EUR 2000 per person or so) for failing to check visas properly. All this is designed precisely to minimize the number of people showing up at the destination airport and trying to apply for asylum, at which point they should at least be detained and given an opportunity to argue their case.

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In order to apply for asylum you need to be present in the United States but in order to enter you will need a visa. From outside the US the only thing that you can do is to apply for a Refugee Status and if you qualify you will be granted a visa and allowed to enter the US.

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    If he already has the I-589 filled out, he might be able to talk the airline into letting him board. Applications for asylum can be presented at ports of entry. – Michael Hampton May 14 '14 at 21:14
  • Anywhere can I find more information on this? I was told that airlines, immigration officers, etc. are trained precisely to weed out asylum seekers and put them back in place. – Sedih pilu May 14 '14 at 21:29
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    I'd say there's a very high likelyhood of them not letting you in at the TJ/SD border, which is notoriously tough as they have so many people trying to get in illegally around there, and telling you to claim asylum in Mexico instead – Gagravarr May 14 '14 at 21:55
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    @Sedihpilu: Seems like it would be a good idea to contact a lawyer before trying any of these schemes. They would probably have a better idea of what might actually work. – Nate Eldredge May 15 '14 at 0:34
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    @NateEldredge Given the advice he received from a lawyer already I suggest switching them – Karlson May 15 '14 at 1:01
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The airline will not let you check in and/or board the plane without necessary documents to enter the destination country and to transit any transit countries. This is because if an airline takes you there, and the country denies you entry, the airline is liable for the cost of carrying you back. So to protect themselves they make doubly sure that you have a visa or other suitable document if required in your situation (to the point that they sometimes wrongly deny boarding to people who have acceptable but obscure documentation).

Also, some countries prevent you from leaving in exit checks if you don't have a visa to the destination country. Not all countries do this; I am not sure about Malaysia.

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