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What should you know about asylum in the U.S.?

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2024 | Immigration Law

The United States offers asylum as a form of protection for those who meet specific criteria. Comprehending the process, requirements and implications is essential for those seeking asylum.

Asylum is a protection granted to foreign nationals in the U.S. or at the border. It is available to those who have suffered persecution or fear they will suffer persecution in their home country due to very specific reasons. Understanding the eligibility criteria and the process for asylum application is the first step in seeking safety and security in the United States.

Eligibility for asylum

To be eligible for asylum, an individual must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country. This fear must be based on one of the five grounds mentioned: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. Documentation and credible testimony are vital in proving these claims.

The application process

The process begins with filing Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, within one year of arriving in the U.S. This timeline is strict, and failure to apply within this period may result in the denial of the application. The detailed form requires comprehensive information about the applicant’s background, family and reasons for seeking asylum.

Interview and decision

After applying, the applicant will be called for an interview with an asylum officer. This interview is a critical part of the process, where the applicant presents their case and answers questions about their application. The asylum officer typically decides on the application based on the interview and the submitted evidence.

Benefits of being granted asylum

Being granted asylum offers several benefits. Asylees can stay in the U.S. indefinitely and apply for a green card one year after receiving asylum. Asylees can also obtain work authorization, travel outside the U.S. and petition to bring family members to the United States.

Considerations for denial and appeal

If asylum is denied, applicants have the right to appeal. An immigration judge will review the case in a hearing, and if denied again, further appeals can be made to the Board of Immigration Appeals and, in some cases, to federal courts. It’s important to understand that a denial can result in deportation or removal from the U.S.

With so much at stake, those pursuing asylum can generally benefit from seeking legal guidance and support along the way.