Are asylum status and refugee status similar? If not, how do they differ?
A refugee applies for protection while outside of the United States; before he or she departs for the United States. An applicant for asylum is a foreign national already physically in the United States, even surreptitiously, or at its borders, when he or she seeks protection. These terms are often used interchangeably to refer to foreign nationals who fear political, race, nationality, religious, or social persecution in their home country.