If applying from out of the USA, you are applying for a Refugee status

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in its overseas offices reviews applications for refugee status considering special circumstances on each individual case. If the INS decides that a person meets the refugee criteria, the refugee is subjected to an additional medical examination and security check to determine any reasons the applicant could be denied entry in the United States.

To qualify for refugee resettlement in the U.S., a person must come from a country designated by the U.S. Department of State and meet the definition of a refugee by proving that he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, membership in a social group, political opinion, or national origin. In addition, a refugee must fit into one of a set of “priority” categories, which factor in degree of risk to the refugee’s life, membership in certain groups of special concern to the U.S., and existence of family members in the U.S.