Seeking Asylum in the U.S.
The Refugee Act of 1980 places U.S. immigration law into conformity with United Nations and international agreements on the protection of refugees and asylum seekers. A person reaching the United States, who is unable or unwilling to return to his/her home country, may be granted asylum by a showing of past persecution or a “well-founded fear” of future persecution. Persecution must be based on one of five statutory grounds: Race, Religion, Nationality, Political Opinion, or Membership in a Particular Social Group. In defining eligibility for asylum, it is important to note that in 1995, the United States became the second country after Canada, to recognize gender-based violence as a form of persecution.
The “ONE YEAR BAR” is a major impediment to asylum. The 1996 law states that: all asylum applicants must apply within one year of their last entry into the United States. An applicant for asylum must demonstrate, by “clear and convincing evidence” that the application has been filed, within one year of arrival in the United States. There are exceptions to a late filing if an applicant can show that, there are changed or extraordinary circumstances for the delay in filing.However, it is important to remember that grants of asylum are discretionary.
Even if you can establish real or likely persecution, the judge can take into account a number of negative factors, including past violations of immigration or criminal laws and the failure to file, within one year.
Our lawyers at Teplen Law Group, PLLC have the experience and expert knowledge required to prove the changed or extraordinary circumstances, necessary, to satisfy successful late filings, as well as to build a successful core of well-founded fears, essential to winning an asylum application.
In addition to the development of winning arguments, we at Teplen Law Group, PLLC, will evaluate your chances for asylum and provide all of the advice, planning and services you need to develop supporting materials and prepare an application that has a strong chance of success. To learn more, call our New York City offices at 212-401-4040 or contact us online.
Basic Requirements, Benefits and Other Options
To ask for asylum, you must be physically present in the United States or at a land border or port of entry to the United States. This is an affirmative application. You may also petition for asylum during removal proceedings. This is a defensive application. Employment authorization may be applied for after passage of 150 days from the initial asylum filing.
There are many benefits to winning asylum. For example:
- You cannot be removed unless the U.S. government can show a fundamental change in circumstances in your home country which would allow you to safely return.
- You may apply to adjust your status to lawful permanent resident one year after the grant of asylum.
- Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of twenty-one can obtain asylee status regardless of their own individual national origin.
Alternatives to asylum include withholding of removal and a claim under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (of which the United States is a signatory). In addition, USCIS offers temporary visas for persons who have been victims of human trafficking, victims of criminal abuse, and for informants who successfully assist a United States law enforcement authority in gaining a conviction.
Guiding the Way to America Since 1983
Talk to an experienced immigration attorney today. Call our New York City offices at 212-401-4040 or reach us Toll-Free in the U.S. at 800-244-5266. You can also contact us online.
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