Houston Asylum Attorney: Your Ultimate Guide on Seeking Asylum in America

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Asylum Lawyers in Houston

Every year, individuals of different nationalities come to the United States (U.S.) seeking asylum. Those who qualify are provided protection and allowed to remain in the country legally. They may get work authorization, apply for a green card, and eventually U.S. citizenship. The asylum process can be overwhelming and may involve a wide range of legal challenges. If you are considering applying for asylum, you must meet certain conditions set out by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

top-rated asylum lawyer from Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, can provide you with the guidance and support you need to complete the asylum process. We can help you understand your rights and navigate the immigration system.

Understanding the Asylum Process

Eligibility for Asylum

When considering whether to grant asylum, the USCIS takes a strict approach. You must show that you have suffered persecution in your home country or fear that you will suffer persecution as a result of one of the following:

  • Membership in a particular social group

  • Nationality

  • Political opinion

  • Race

  • Religion

Unlike most immigration applications, you must be a noncitizen present in the U.S. to qualify for asylum. It is not enough just to have a fear of persecution; your fears of facing persecution on your return to your home country must be well-founded. Additionally, you must be unable to return because of that fear.

Asylum Application Process

Affirmative Asylum

You may apply for asylum status without being in removal proceedings through the affirmative asylum process. You must be present in the U.S. to apply through this route and may apply irrespective of your current immigration status. To begin your application, you must file Form I-589 (Application for asylum and withholding of removal).

There is a one-year filing deadline for affirmative asylum applications, which is calculated from the date of your last arrival in the U.S. unless you can show that:

  • Extraordinary or changed circumstances resulted in the delay

  • You filed within a reasonable time, considering your circumstances

After receiving your application, the USCIS will acknowledge receipt of the application and notify you to visit an application support center for fingerprinting. Additionally, you will receive an interview notice to attend an asylum interview at a USCIS asylum or field office.

If you are not fluent in English, you will need to attend the interview with an interpreter who is at least eighteen. Additionally, you will have to attend the interview with your spouse or child who is seeking derivative asylum benefits. If the USCIS approves your asylum application, you will be allowed to remain in the U.S. However, if the USCIS can’t approve your case and you are in the U.S. illegally, you will be issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) and will be referred to an immigration court. The USCIS may also directly forward your application to the immigration court in some cases. If you are found ineligible for asylum, you may be placed in removal proceedings.

Attending your asylum interview with an experienced immigration attorney from Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, may help your interview proceed smoothly. We can help you gather the necessary documents and ensure you are well-prepared to attend your interview.

Asylum Merits Interview

You may apply through this route if you are subject to expedited removal but expressed a credible fear of torture or persecution in your home country. A credible fear screening will be conducted by a USCIS asylum officer to determine if your fear is valid. If positive, they may schedule an asylum merits interview to assess your eligibility for withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) or request that you appear before an immigration judge.

While you can pursue your case independently, you will increase your chances of being granted asylum through this route by working with an experienced deportation defense lawyer like those at Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law.

Defensive Asylum

Defensive asylum applications may only be filed if you have been placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge or were issued an NTA after credible fear has been in established in expedited removal. You will be required to file Form I-589 with the immigration judge unless you have already filed such an application with the USCIS. If you are found eligible, you will be granted asylum. However, if you are ineligible for asylum or other forms of relief, you will be removed from the country.

How an Experienced Houston Asylum Lawyer Can Help

Every asylum case is different. Therefore, it is beneficial to have an asylum lawyer with a vast knowledge of immigration law handling your case. Our lawyers at Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, can analyze your case and build a legal strategy that can enhance your chances of a successful asylum application. Some other key ways in which our law firm can support your quest for asylum include:

  1. Offering legal support and guidance: You may be unfamiliar with the U.S. immigration system and, therefore, unaware of your rights or options. Our asylum attorneys can guide you through the asylum process, explain legal requirements, and help you understand your legal options.
  2. Building a solid asylum case: Providing evidence of persecution or fear of persecution is one of the most important parts of your asylum case. We can help gather the necessary evidence and present it in a clear and convincing manner.
  3. Representing you throughout the process: Our lawyers can represent you from the beginning of your case until a decision is made. Navigating the asylum process may be challenging, especially if you are new to the country. Additionally, your asylum case may require you to attend hearings in an immigration court. We can professionally represent you and make a compelling case before the immigration judge.
  4. Protecting your rights: We can help you understand your rights as an individual in the U.S. Our lawyers will also fight to protect those rights and ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the asylum process.

Need to Talk to a Houston Asylum Attorney? Contact Our Law Office Today

Asylum laws continue to tighten and evolve as new applications are filed yearly. Hiring an asylum attorney with knowledge of the most recent court decisions and political disputes in your home country can strengthen your case. Your asylum case is unique and requires a strategic approach.

If you intend to seek asylum but are unsure how to begin the process, you can trust your case to Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law. Our immigration lawyers can help you better prepare for any challenges ahead and increase your chances of obtaining a positive outcome. Do not hesitate to contact our law office today for experienced help.