RIF Is a welcoming platform for asylum-seekers in NYC

Rapid-response Legal Consultations

Finding a free or low-cost attorney in NYC can take months. Until then asylum seekers are desperate for accurate & accessible information about the asylum process for both practical and psychological reasons. During sessions led by a volunteer attorney, clients learn about the requirements of the asylum application and how to make the best use of their time while searching for an attorney (e.g. gathering evidence and documentation to support their case). Clients are also cautioned against fraudulent immigration services in the city and referred to trusted legal providers for further legal support. Each asylum seeker is given a private 20 to 60-minute consultation.

Click here to make a reservation for a legal consultation

Asylum Community Meetings


As there is no government support for social services and survival resources, asylum seekers are often destitute and isolated. RIF holds bimonthly community meetings where asylum seekers are offered education guidance, mental health support, job search navigation, and information about English-language classes and health insurance enrollment. We also provide food packages to attendees thanks to the generous support of Congregation Beth Elohim.

Click here for a schedule of our upcoming asylum community meetings


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Our individual asylum orientation consultations will provide you with general information on the asylum process (not legal advice). These are private and confidential where you can share your concerns and situation as a newcomer in New York City. The consultations are conducted by experienced immigration social workers. 

Please sign up here for making an appointment.

Community Education Series


RIF conducts an annual series of educational presentations for asylum seekers by experienced attorneys and former asylum officers. The events are open to all asylum seekers and advocates.

  • Mock asylum interview training with Caitlin Steinke

  • Preparing for the asylum interview with Ethan Taubes

  • Applying for employment authorization with Angela Torregoza

AIRBNB Mentorship Program

Asylum seekers and asylees are taking note of New York City’s rapidly growing tech sector. In conjunction with the staff of Aribnb, RIF offers a mentorship program that gives clients an insider’s perspective on getting a job in tech. Mentees are paired with Airbnb staff members and receive ongoing guidance about steps they can take to further their education and employability for the broad array of job opportunities in tech.


Urban Farm Recovery project

In partnership with Brooklyn Grange, RIF offers a therapeutic experience for asylum seekers. Through exposure to New York City rooftop farms, asylum seekers find a safe space to begin healing, English immersion, and opportunities to grow a local community.