Asylum Lawyer

Every year thousands of refugees entering the United States border and apply for asylum to safeguard themselves from being persecuted in their country. However, only a few can navigate the complex legal procedures involving multiple government agencies and are granted asylum. Are you among the ones who fear being prosecuted in your native country? Are you scared you are at risk in your country due to your political views, race, religion, or color? Applying and receiving asylum in the US can help you restart your life and pave the way for getting citizenship in the great country. Having an asylum-immigration attorney will simplify the process for you and boost your chances of receiving asylum considerably.

What Is Asylum?

Refugee protection is an important aspect of the United States immigration law. Under the program, the United States government grants protection to the refugees at risk of being persecuted in their native land. As defined in the United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 protocol, a refugee is someone unable or unwilling to return to their native land due to persecution in the past or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future based due to their race, nationality, religion, political views, or being a member of a particular social group.

The Difference Between Asylee and Refugee Statuses

Both asylum and refugee statuses are special legal protection available to people who don’t want to or cannot return to their countries due to the fear of persecution. However, what status you can apply from depends on where you are geographically located. If you are outside the US border, you can only apply for refugee status to the UN High Commission for Refugees. However, in the application, you cannot demand the Commission to grant you refugee status for a specific country. If you have entered the US territory using a visa or illegally, you can, in theory, apply for asylum. Both refugee and asylee statuses grant a person the right to stay and work in the United States indefinitely. People with asylee and refugee statuses can also apply for a green card one year after being granted the status. However, not everyone can apply to get these legal protections. There are stringent qualifications and eligibility parameters that you must meet to apply for asylum or refugee status.

Who Can Apply for an Asylum?

To apply for asylum, you bear the burden of providing proof that you qualify to be a refugee provided by the United Nations. For this, you will be required to prove two things:

1.)  You cannot or do not want to go back to your country because you have been subjected to persecution in the past or have a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future if you go back

2.)  The persecution you are subjected to is connected to one of the following things:

  • Your race
  • Your religion
  • Your political opinion
  • Your Nationality
  • Your membership in a particular social group

Defining Persecution

Persecution is an act of oppressing, harassing, punishing, injuring or subjecting someone to any physical or mental harm. Although the US Immigration Law does not explicitly state the kind of persecution a person must be subjected to qualify for asylum or refugee status, the law developed through court cases provides an overview of the acts used in such instances. These include:

  • Threats
  • Torture
  • Violence
  • Denial of basic human rights
  • Imprisonment for inappropriate reasons

Typically, some of the widely documented instances where people are granted refugee or asylum statuses involve a foreign government:

  • Imprisoning and torturing political protestors
  • Firing weapon on protestors
  • Committing genocide against a certain race or ethnicity
  • Systematically eliminating people belonging to a particular religion from political processes

However, it is not necessary that a foreign government may only commit the persecution. Acts committed by other groups are also classified as persecution if a foreign government does not exercise control or cannot stop them. However, the persecution committed by such a group should be connected to political opinion, membership in a social group, race, religion, or nationality. If you feel you meet the eligibility criteria and are in the United States, you should apply for asylum.

Asylum Application Process

There are two ways for a person to apply for asylum:

Affirmative Asylum

You can apply for asylum affirmatively if you are in the United States legally and are not being deported. In the affirmative asylum process, you are eligible for applying for asylum irrespective of how you entered the country. The process takes place in a non-courtroom environment with a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer presiding over the proceedings. If the USCIS denies you an affirmative asylum process, you will be referred for deportation. However, you will still have the option to renew your application for asylum through the defensive asylum process.

Defensive Asylum

If you are in the midst of being deported from the US, you can apply for asylum defensively. In the process, you will be required to file an application with a judge at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) that falls under the Department of Justice. The process will allow you to use your application for asylum as a defense against being deported from the US. Unlike the affirmative asylum process, the defensive asylum process happens in a courtroom setting. For the process, you will require to hire an expert asylum attorney as the EOIR does not provide a lawyer to people who cannot afford one.

Benefits of Hiring an Asylum Attorney

Hiring an immigration attorney who specializes in asylum applications will benefit you in the following ways:

  • Immigration attorneys understand the intricacies of US law and procedures. Consulting asylum attorneys will help you understand the feasible options available at your disposal and the ones that will be in your best interest.
  • Committing any mistakes during the proceedings can lead to your deportation and complicate the process. However, immigration attorneys understand the permits and regulations and can maneuver them to ensure you are not deported and get additional time to build your case.
  • A seasoned immigration attorney will help you avoid making any mistakes when filing the asylum application. This will significantly boost your chances of being granted asylum.
  • National and international changes can lead to immigration and asylum laws changing quickly. An immigration attorney will keep you up to date with the changes and ensure you keep the best foot forward.
  • When going through an affirmative asylum process, the immigration attorney will help you prepare for your asylum interview, which becomes the basis of you being granted asylum.

Are you being deported and require an immigration attorney urgently? Or are you looking to apply for an affirmative asylum? In either case, we can help you find the best asylum attorney. Fill in the form alongside, and we will get back to you with the best immigration attorney for asylum.