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Asylum Services

How to Get Asylum in the United States

If you are eligible for asylum, you may be able to live and work in the United States. But applying for asylum in the United States can be a complex and daunting process. 

There are many requirements and deadlines that must be met. 

However, it is possible to get asylum in the United States if you meet all the requirements and follow the proper procedures.

Here’s a brief overview of the asylum process in the United States and what you need to do in order to apply.

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What is Asylum?

Asylum is a form of protection that allows people who fear persecution, violence, or natural disasters in their home countries to seek safety in another country. 

Once your asylum application has been granted, you can live and work anywhere in the U.S. and even potentially gain U.S citizenship.

What’s the difference between Asylum and Refugee Status?

When it comes to immigration and seeking refuge from persecution, there are two distinct terms that often get confused: asylum and refugee. While both asylum seekers and refugees are fleeing persecution and looking for a safer home, there is an important distinction between the two groups.

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A key difference is where the person applies for protection. Asylum seekers apply for protection from within the country they are seeking asylum in, while refugees apply for protection from outside of the country they are seeking refuge in.

This means that refugees may still be in their home country or a neighboring country, while asylum seekers have often had to leave their home countries completely and have already arrived in the U.S.

Both asylum seekers and refugees are considered to be displaced persons and are eligible for protection under international law. Regardless of the specific labels applied to them, both asylum seekers and refugees deserve compassion and support as they search for safety and freedom.

Secure Your Future With Expert Asylum Assistance.

Who is Eligible for Asylum?

In order to be eligible for asylum, you must meet certain criteria set forth by the U.S. government. You must prove that you have a well-founded fear of persecution in your home country based on your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. 

You must also prove that you are unable or unwilling to return to your home country because of this fear of persecution.

If you are granted asylum, you will be allowed to live and work in the United States and eventually become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). 

You may also be eligible to bring your spouse and minor children with you to the United States if they were included on your application at the time it was filed.

Asylum Eligibility

The Asylum Application Process

There are two ways to apply for asylum in the United States: through the affirmative asylum process or through the defensive asylum process.

The affirmative asylum process is for people who are not currently in removal proceedings. To apply for asylum through the affirmative process, you must complete an application and submit it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You may also be interviewed by an USCIS officer before a decision is made on your application.

The defensive asylum process is for people who are already in removal proceedings. If you are applying for asylum through the defensive process, your application will be reviewed by an immigration judge during your removal proceedings.

In order to apply for asylum, you must complete and submit Form I-589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal. You will also need to submit evidence demonstrating that you meet the eligibility requirements. This evidence can include documents such as police reports or news articles as well as testimony from yourself or witnesses who can attest to the events that occurred.

After your application has been reviewed, you may be called in for an interview with an USCIS officer. During this interview, you will need to provide evidence to support your claim for asylum. If your application is approved, you will be granted asylum and will be able to live and work in the United States indefinitely.

An experienced immigration attorney can help you navigate the asylum application process and increase your chances of success.

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What Are the Deadlines for Applying for Asylum?

If you are applying affirmatively, you must file your application within one year of your last arrival in the United States. If you are applying defensively, there is no deadline for filing your application; however, it is generally best to file as soon as possible after you receive notice to appear in immigration court.

What to Expect from the Asylum Interview

The asylum interview is a crucial part of the application process as it allows the immigration officer to gather more information about your case and determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria for asylum. It is important to prepare for this interview by having all relevant documentation and evidence ready, practicing your story and possible questions, and bringing an interpreter if necessary.

During the interview, you will be asked about your background and how you were persecuted in your home country. It is important to be honest and provide specific details and examples. The officer may also ask about any gaps in your story or inconsistencies in your documentation. It is important to answer these questions thoroughly and accurately, as misrepresentation could result in denial of your asylum claim.

While the interview can be intimidating, remember that the officer’s goal is simply to gather enough information to make a fair determination on your case. Stay calm and have confidence in your story, and you will increase your chances of success at this important stage of the asylum process.

It is also important to remember that while some emotions may be hard to talk about, it is important to be honest and open during the interview in order to accurately convey the fear or persecution that prompted you to seek asylum. Overall, the asylum interview can be nerve-wracking but with preparation and honesty, you can demonstrate your need for protection as an asylum seeker.

What If Your Asylum Petition Is Denied?

The process of being granted asylum can be long and daunting, with many challenging obstacles along the way. One of these obstacles is the possibility that your asylum petition may be denied.

This can feel like the end of the road, but it is important to remember that a denial does not mean that all hope is lost. There are several options for moving forward, such as appealing the decision or applying for another form of protection.

The first step is to understand the specific reason for the denial. In some cases, the denial may simply come down to an error or missing information in your application. If this is the case, you may have grounds to file an appeal or motion to reopen. Another option could be to apply for alternative forms of immigration relief, such as with a U-visa or special immigrant juvenile status.

It is important to seek guidance from a qualified immigration attorney who can guide you through these potential options and advocate on your behalf.  Seeking advice from legal professionals can help make navigating this difficult process a little easier. Despite receiving a denial, know that you do not have to give up hope for finding a pathway towards safety and security in the United States.

Speak To An Asylum Immigration Attorney

Applying for asylum in the United States is a complex process with many requirements and deadlines that must be met in order to be eligible for protection. If you are considering applying for asylum, it is best to seek professional legal assistance to ensure that your application is properly filed and that you have strong evidence to support your claim.

The lawyers at Jorge Munoz Law Firm have many years of experience in obtaining both affirmative and defensive asylum from those seeking refuge in the U.S. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and we’ll let you know if you are eligible and answer any of your questions.

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