Helping You Seek Refuge in The U.S.
In some cases, a person may quality for refugee or asylum status if they are fleeing from persecution in their own country. Someone who is going to file for asylum status would need to enter the country and file within a read of when they arrived, or later if the situation in their home country that is preventing them from returning safely began after they arrived in the U.S. Someone who wants to apply for refugee status can do so from outside of the United States. Other than that, you will find that they are quite similar.
One of the important things to note about these statuses is that there needs to be proof that there is reasonable fear of persecution from the applicant’s home country. This could be due to their race, religion, membership in a social group, their political believes, and similar factors.
If you are seeking refuge in the U.S., our immigration lawyers can help you seek asylum. Contact us today.
What Are The Benefits of Asylum?
After you are granted asylee status, you will receive certain documents and have certain rights in the United States.
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD) - authorization to work in the U.S.
- Social Security card
- Refugee Travel Documents (requires approval)
- Ability to request asylum status for spouse or children listed in your asylum application
- After 1 year, you may apply for permanent residence or a green card via
You may also be eligible for these programs following through your local Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). These are only available for a limited time, so be sure to ask about them if you need them.
- English language training
- Financial assistance
- Medical assistance
- Employment assistance - preparation and job placement
In addition, male asylees between the ages of 18 and 26 must register for Selective Service -- failure to do so may negatively affect their ability to become U.S. citizens in the future and the ability to obtain other benefits.
What is asylum?
Formally known, an 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 country. Asylum is a chance to start anew in a different country than your own without fear of persecution.
Who can file?
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 fit into your personal situation, the smartest thing is to consult with a highly experienced immigration attorney for legal advice. Ultimately, anyone that meets the criteria and files within 1 year of entering the United States can file for asylum.
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 the nature of 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 asylum 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 and more. For information on the processing times for an asylum application, there is a “Processing Times” tab on the USCIS website that you may conveniently check for frequent updates. And remember - asylum can be granted to those that submit a fulfilling, truthful, and complete application with correctly filled out documentation and sufficient evidence in the allotted time period.
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