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Asylum & Refugees

Have you faced persecution or fear future persecution due to your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group? If so, you might be eligible for asylum and/or withholding of removal.

To be granted asylum, a person must meet the definition of a “refugee:”
“Is any person who is outside his or her country of nationality (or, if stateless, outside the country of last habitual residence) and is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.” – Immigration and Nationality Act 101(a)(42)

In addition to demonstrating you are a refugee, you must file for asylum within one year of your last date of entry into the U.S. unless you meet an exception. Contact us to discuss your asylum claim.

Why an Asylum Lawyer

  • Detailed Declaration of the Applicant telling their story and how they meet the legal requirements for asylum.
  • Submission of a complete packet with supporting affidavits, evidence of past persecution and basis of claim, and country conditions.
  • Preparation for asylum interview and court proceedings. Representation at asylum interview and court proceedings.

Requirements for Asylum Application

You must apply for asylum within one year of entry unless you meet an exception. You must be afraid or unwilling to return to your country because of past harm you faced or fear of future harm that you will face because of what is happening in your country. You must fear persecution because of something about yourself that you cannot change. You will not be safe if you go to another part of your country.

Benefits of Asylum

  • Work permit while asylum case pending;
  • Can include spouses and children in application;
  • If asylum granted, you can apply for a Green Card one year after the approval;
  • You can apply for citizenship after 4 years of having the Green Card; and
  • You will be safe from the harm you fear in your country.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

You must fill out the Application For Asylum and for Withholding of Removal form,  there is no filing fee for this.

The form requires a variety of different information. You will need to clearly describe the experiences you’ve had that make you fear returning to your home country. It is important to present your asylum claim in accordance with the legal standards.

In addition to filling out the application form you will also need to provide additional materials to support your claim and attend a biometrics appointment.

If you do not submit a complete application, it will be returned within 30 days of submission. You can resubmit with the application properly filled out.

After you file your application, you will need to attend an interview (unless you are in Immigration Court Proceedings) before an USCIS officer, where you will get the opportunity to present your claim. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will let you know when the interview will be. At this interview you can provide witnesses and have your lawyer represent you. You will also need to have an interpreter if you do not speak fluent English.

Your asylum interview might be rescheduled if you do not have a qualified interpreter or if you arrive more than half an hour later than your appointment time.

Contact us to learn more about the asylum interview and the representation we provide at USCIS asylum interviews.

You can include your spouse and children under 21 in the same application if they are also in the United States. You will need to provide additional documents and information about them, such as birth and marriage certificates.

If you didn’t put your family members on the original application but it was approved within the last two years, you can also petition to have them join you later. Contact us to learn more.

If you want to travel outside the United States, you must apply for permission, even if you’ve already been granted with asylum. If you are still waiting for a decision on your asylum case, you will be given an ‘advanced parole’. If you’ve already been granted asylum, you will be given a Refugee Travel Document (RTD).

There are exceptions to the one year requirement. Your application for asylum will still be granted if you meet the exception as long as you meet the other requirements for asylum. Contact us to learn more about the different exceptions and whether you might meet an exception.

You can get a social security card and work authorization card, and be able to stay in the United States until a final decision is made on your case.

If you are granted asylum before USCIS, you can also apply for a green card, or lawful permanent resident status. You may also apply for green cards for your family members.

You can receive assistance from the Office of Refugee Resettlement to get financial or medical help, English language training, and job training and placement (you can also get help with the latter through One-Stop Career Centers).

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