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Understanding immigration law and the asylum process

On Behalf of | May 10, 2021 | Immigration Law

Seeking asylum in Kentucky or another U.S. state is a complicated process, but it’s an important one. The dream to make a new life in the United States can come crashing down if the right to stay in the country gets taken away.

Who is the asylum process for?

People who cannot go back to their homelands because of their political opinion, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation may seek asylum in the United States. The program is designed to offer assistance to those who fear their home government can’t or won’t protect them.

Many individuals seeking asylum are still getting a grasp of the English language, so finding their way through the asylum system won’t be easy. Immigration law can be complicated, so it helps to have an advocate familiar with the legalities.

The seven steps to asylum

There are seven basic steps to the asylum process. These include the following:

  • Arrive in the U.S.
  • Apply for asylum.
  • Go through security checks, including fingerprinting.
  • Get your interview notice.
  • Attend an interview.
  • Undergo review of eligibility.
  • Receive a decision.

It’s also important to note that there are two ways to obtain asylum. These are:

  • Affirmative Asylum Process: For affirmative asylum, you have to be present in the country. You must put in the request within 12 months of arrival.
  • Defensive Asylum Process: You use the defensive process to stop potential deportation. To be eligible, you need to be in immigration court fighting removal.

Why legal representation matters

Immigration law for the asylum process is complex enough, and these laws are constantly under scrutiny, so they can change at a moment’s notice. Some people push to transform criteria for asylum seekers, making it harder to get approval. An immigration attorney understands the implications that these changes will have on their clients.