Seeking asylum might sound daunting, but this post will provide you with an overview of the asylum process. There is no need to figure it all out on your own. Together, we will go through the eligibility, the application basics, and some pointers for a successful application.
For starters, you might be asking yourself…
What is asylum and its purpose?
To break it down for you, it is a process by which people seek refuge in the US because they have suffered persecution or have a reasonable fear of future persecution on account of the following 5 grounds: 1) race, 2) religion, 3) nationality, 4) membership in a particular social group or 5) political opinion. Each of these grounds is something that you cannot change about yourself, and we must emphasize, the persecution you faced or fear facing in the future, must be on account of one of these grounds. It is likely that you will fit into one of these grounds, and an asylum attorney can help you figure out which will build you the strongest case depending on the evidence you have.
As for eligibility, in order to qualify for asylum, the applicant must establish the following:
- There is nowhere in their home country where they can relocate;
- There is nowhere in the world where they can relocate, i.e., have another citizenship or permanent residence;
- They applied within one (1) year of entry (Note* – if you do not meet this requirement, you cannot obtain asylum even if you meet all other requirements). There are some exceptions: showing a change of circumstances and extraordinary circumstances. Some examples of exceptions include changes in the law, death of legal representation, ending of a relationship in a previous filing (divorce, etc), disability or extreme illness, maintained lawful status, and changes in country conditions; and
- They must be physically present in the US. In other words, you must enter the U.S. first and then apply for asylum.
Finally, for a successful application, it might be helpful for you to think about why you wish to live in the United States in the first place. That is the first step in building your case because chances are, you already have strong and legitimate reasons for wanting to be in the U.S. Think about what fear of persecution you have, and why you have those fears. Consider these questions:
- Have you, your family members, or friends been subjected to physical harm?
- Are you a member of an oppressed social group?
- Are you being forced to be quiet about your political opinions?
- Can you not safely practice your religion?
- Has your life ever been threatened? Or your family members or friends? And why?
Remember, for asylum you must establish with your testimony and evidence that either you suffered past persecution or have a reasonable fear of future persecution on account of one of the five (5) grounds mentioned above.
Applying for asylum in the United States does not need to be difficult or done on your own. If you meet the criteria listed above and would like to apply for asylum, please contact us or schedule an appointment so we can discuss the application together and help you have a successful application.
We are here to support you!