What is asylum?
Officially known, political asylum is a petition, a type of application, and most importantly it is a possibility of starting a new life, free of any harm. Asylum is granted on very specific grounds from people seeking protection “because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, and political opinion,”* should they return to their home country. Asylum is a chance to start anew in a different country than your own without fear of persecution.
Who can file for an asylum?
Filing can be a bit of a tricky situation. While there is plenty of instructions and guidance on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website detailing the documentation that should be submitted, it can quickly become overwhelming. As seen on the USCIS website, the non-negotiable qualification for asylum include being “physically present in the United States, and you are not a U.S. citizen.”* If for any reason, you are unsure if filing for an asylum is something that would best apply to your personal situation, the smartest thing is to consult with a highly experienced immigration attorney for legal advice.
How do I submit the petition?
Our recommendation? Hire an experienced immigration attorney (or the very least consult with a practiced immigration lawyer)! Anytime you are submitting an application, a petition, documentation or paperwork of any kind into the immigration services, it is wise to ensure you are submitting everything correctly the first time. If USCIS is unable to process your paperwork for any reason at all, that could greatly impact and delay your case, and even your well-being especially if you are seeking asylum. The immigration services website has a thorough description of how to properly file, of course, if you have chosen to retain the legal services of an experienced immigration attorney, this will eliminate a lot of the stress surrounding it and the immigration lawyer will be able to handle all of the demanding requirements and paperwork on your behalf.
What happens next?
Once the asylum application has been submitted into the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, all you are left with is to wait for a decision. When the immigration services receive your asylum application you will receive a receipt to keep for your records. It is important to keep in mind the USCIS processing times vary greatly between each different petition, visa, application, sponsorship, etc. For information on the processing times for any immigration application, there is a “Processing Times” tab on the USCIS website that you may check for updates. And remember - asylum applications take an immense amount of time to prepare and review, once submitted. Ensure you are submitting a fulfilling, truthful, and complete application with correctly filled out documentation and sufficient evidence in the allotted time period for the best possible results.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with our outstanding immigration lawyers to discuss the opportunity of filing for an asylum you can contact our office online by submitting a Contact Form at Contact Us | The Law Offices of Eugene Mogilevsky (egmlegal.com) or by directly calling our office at (317) 743-7958.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational and informational purposes only and is not to be taken as legal advice in any capacity. Reading this blog does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship.
*Useful links and references:
“Asylum.” USCIS, 26 July 2023, https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-and-asylum/asylum