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Proudly Serving Dallas, FT.Worth, San Antonio, Houston.
An asylum is a form of protection a country grants to individuals who fear persecution in their home country. The asylum process in the United States allows immigrants who fear persecution to stay in the country legally and obtain permanent residency.
How can an immigration lawyer help with asylum and refugee applications? Attorneys at Andrew T. Thomas answer this and more.
Asylum seekers and refugees cannot or do not want to return to their home countries due to fears of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
However, the process for obtaining protection, the location where protection is sought, and the benefits provided to individuals can differ between the two forms of protection.
In short, the differences can be summarized as follows:
Conditions that may qualify an individual for asylum include evidence of persecution, including political persecution, torture, or inhumane treatment by the government or other individuals or groups that the government is unable or unwilling to control.
Other grounds for asylum may include persecution based on an individual’s gender, sexual orientation, or membership in a particular social group.
Any immigrant physically present in the United States can seek asylum regardless of their legal status. However, to qualify for asylum, the immigrant must meet the legal requirements for asylum eligibility and demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country.
To request asylum, an immigrant must apply with the USCIS within one year of their arrival in the United States.
To apply for asylum status as an immigrant in the United States, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
For help determining whether your situation constitutes a protected ground, speak to knowledgeable immigration lawyers at Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law.
Some of the successful asylum applications have been based on the following:
Obtaining asylum in the United States can be a complex and challenging process. The legal requirements for asylum are strict, and applicants must meet several criteria to be eligible. Additionally, the application process can be lengthy and require significant effort and resources.
The burden of proof is on the applicant to provide evidence that supports their asylum claim. This evidence may include personal testimony, medical reports, country reports, and other documentation establishing a persecution pattern in the applicant’s home country.
It may be necessary for an applicant to attend an interview with a USCIS officer after applying. An officer will review the application and ask questions about the applicant’s asylum claim. The officer will then make a final decision on whether the applicant is eligible for asylum.
If the USCIS officer denies the asylum application, the applicant may be eligible to appeal the decision to an immigration judge. However, the appeals process can be lengthy and require significant resources.
Processing times can vary widely depending on the case’s complexity, the backlog at the particular immigration office handling the case, and the level of resources and staffing available.
Asylum cases can take several months or years to process. After the Covid-19 pandemic, USCIS averaged 3.3 years to process asylum applications by the end of 2021.
It is worthwhile to note that while an asylum seeker’s case is pending, the applicant may be eligible to apply for work authorization and other benefits. However, these benefits may take some time to process and may not be granted immediately.
It is important for applicants to prepare for a long wait and to work closely with experienced immigration attorneys throughout the process.
The two types of asylum are affirmative asylum and defensive asylum.
Affirmative asylum is for individuals not currently in removal or other immigration proceedings.
A person who is facing deportation or is already in removal proceedings can apply for defensive asylum in immigration court as a defense against deportation.
The requirements for affirmative and defensive asylum are the same, and the burden of proof is on the applicant. The benefits of both types of asylum are the same, including the ability to work in the United States and obtain a green card after one year.
Immigrants granted asylum can seek protection from their home country. They may be eligible for certain benefits, including the ability to work, access to social services and medical care, and the ability to petition for family members.
Asylees who have been granted asylum may also be eligible to apply for a green card after one year. With a green card, asylees can permanently live and work in the United States and access certain government benefits.
There are several reasons why you may choose to work with an Experienced Immigration Lawyer when applying for asylum.
At Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, we understand the nuances of immigration law and the procedures involved in asylum cases.
Our team can guide and support you throughout the asylum process, from the application preparation to the interview and hearing.
We aim to formulate a strategy tailored to suit your needs and represent you as effectively as possible. You can count on us to help you gather and organize the documentation and evidence needed to support your asylum claims, such as country reports, witness statements, and other relevant material.
Call us today for a consultation on your immigration needs. We look forward to hearing from you.