What Is Asylum?

Download a copy of our "What is Asylum?" informational poster, translated to French, Spanish and English, to learn more about the current process guidelines to make a case for asylum.

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Who We Treat


We accept individuals who have been tortured or persecuted by the government and its affiliated actors, as well as those tortured or persecuted by family or other individuals (including those who have endured domestic and gender-based violence such as excision or forced marriage).

Common forms of torture include:

  • Beatings

  • Rape and sexual torture

  • Forced postures

  • Threats and psychological torture (including death threats)

  • Witnessing torture of others

  • Severe humiliation

  • Kidnapping and disappearances

We primarily serve people who have already applied for asylum in the United States or who plan to apply for asylum.

At this time, we do not work with people who have already been granted asylum.

Service Overview

Bellevue PSOT provides medical, psychological, social, and legal services to survivors of torture. 


Intake meetings with new clients enable us to assess individual needs and connect you with the appropriate specialists and services.


If you are looking for only one or two of our services, you may well be advised to seek services from an affiliated community-based organization. 

Asylum / Immigration Services


We do not retain attorneys on staff - our expertise is limited to providing expert documentation and working in conjunction with an individual's legal representative.


Applicants are not required to have a lawyer before joining PSOT. We will provide referrals.


For those who have already applied for asylum, the date of Final Individual Merits Hearing should be at least 6 months away in order for us to provide adequate expert documentation.

Billing & Insurance

Visits with clinicians are subject to billing as a part of the Bellevue Hospital and are compatible with insurance plans. There are no separate consultation fees for our program.

Billable clinical visits include group therapy, individual therapy, clinical assessments (i.e. intake interview), medical services (primary care and sub-specialties), and psychiatric consultations.


Visits with no associated fees include Consultations, Legal Services, and Social Services.

Through Bellevue, we have resources to help our clients apply for Medicaid and there are reasonable options for those who are unemployed and/or ineligible for insurance coverage due to their immigration status. 

For more information on Bellevue's medical billing policy and a list of accepted insurance plans, please click here

If you or someone you know is a torture survivor who has urgent medical or psychological needs, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

If you are interested in becoming or referring a client, please contact us at

We do our best to respond to inquiries within 2 weeks.