Many people enter the United States to live or work via immigration visas based on family ties or employment. However, some foreign nationals come to the United States to petition for asylum status that offers legal protection to those unwilling or unable to return to their country of origin due to fear of physical or other harm on the basis of religion, race, nationality or membership in a specific group. Approved asylum seekers may remain in the US indefinitely and pursue a green card, but qualifying for the status requires meeting stringent requirements.
Eligibility For Asylum In The United States
In order to be eligible for asylum status, the primary piece of proof you must provide is that you have a well-founded fear of returning to your home country due to persecution. The term “persecution” can mean many things, including expecting to experience (or had previously experienced) harassment, oppression or physical or psychological harm. This may be a result of things like inappropriate imprisonment, threats, torture or denial of basic human rights, among many other possible outcomes.
Proof Of Fear Of Persecution
Proving that the fear of persecution is well-founded is critical to the application and can be demonstrated by offering evidence that the fear is both objective and subjective; in other words, the fear must not only exist with you (such as fear of an angry neighbor, where moving would solve the issue). Well-founded fear may come from threats provable to be nationwide or consistent—even if the situation in the country has improved, a strong history of danger may qualify you for asylum.
Ability To Avoid Persecution
If an asylum applicant can avoid the issue, such as by moving to a different part of the country or distancing themselves from a particular person, the petition is unlikely to be approved. These situations do not qualify as well-founded fears.
The United States offers two methods by which to apply for asylum. The first, affirmative asylum processing, is filed with USCIS and requires a foreign national to be physically present in the US. The second, defensive asylum processing, is filed with EOIR (Executive Office for Immigration Review) and requires the foreign national to be in removal proceedings.
An experienced immigration attorney can review your situation and help you to plan which method will be most effective in your situation.
Speak To A Removal & Deportation Defense Attorney
Filing for asylum can be a nerve-wracking and complex undertaking with high stakes for the potential asylum seeker. Because a real and well-founded threat of persecution is a required part of an application, ensuring that the petition is as comprehensive and effective as possible is crucial in acquiring the asylum seeker’s status and receiving indefinite protection in the United States.
Reach out to the Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge to discuss the situation you are seeking asylum from so that you can begin to compile your petition. An experienced attorney will give you the best chance of successfully finding asylum in the United States and removing you from the dangers you may face in your home country. For more information give us a call at 703.273.5500 or request a consultation online.