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Basic Facts To Know About Asylum In The United States

Basic Facts To Know About Asylum In The United States

Asylum is a type of protection in the US from persecution in your home country. The US receives hundreds of thousands of applications for asylum every year from people at the US borders or already in the US. Asylum seekers must undergo a long and complicated process involving multiple government departments.

Upon the approval of their asylum, they can live in the US for the rest of their lives and later get a green card. They can also ask their spouse and kids to move in with them. The right to asylum has been a big part of US immigration law for years.

But with more asylum seekers applying and a huge backlog in the system, the US government has had to make tough decisions to stiffen the process. This is why it is wise to talk with an asylum attorney in NYC before starting the application process.

Having some vital information to get the best out of the asylum process is good. You do not need to look far for the info. Here is some of the vital info you need to succeed in an asylum process in the US.

What Does Asylum Mean?

An asylum is a form of protection available to people in the US or crossing the border and meets the international definition of a “refugee.” The UN 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol define refugees as people who cannot return to their home countries because of past persecution or fear of future persecution.

This definition became part of US immigration law in 1980 with the Refugee Act. The US is legally obligated to protect people who qualify as “refugees” under the 1967 Protocol and US immigration laws. However, it is important to note that asylum is a “discretionary” status, which means that even if someone meets the definition, they may still be denied asylum.

If you get approval for your asylum application, you will be protected from the US government asking you to return to your home country. You can work in the US, get a Social Security number, travel abroad, and petition family members to visit the US.

You can also qualify for government benefits like Medicaid and Refugee Medical Assistance. Interestingly, you can apply for a green card after a year. Once you have a green card, you must wait four years before applying for citizenship.

You can talk with an asylum attorney in NYC to learn how to navigate the asylum process to become a US citizen.

Who Can Apply for Asylum In The United States?

No matter what your immigration status is, you can apply for asylum at any port of entry in the US. But if you have lived in the US for over a year, you cannot apply for asylum. If there is a change in the circumstances of your home country or last place of residence, or if you have been slow in filing your asylum application, you will not be able to apply.

Except if you have a serious illness, a disability, a legal disability, do not have access to a lawyer, have TPS, file an asylum application early, or if someone close to you passes away. If there is a denial of your earlier asylum application, the USCIS may not consider your application unless circumstances change.

You cannot file for asylum if the US can move you to another safe third country through a bilateral or multilateral agreement. The US has a Safe Third Country Agreement with Canada, but it does not apply to people applying for asylum for the first time with USCIS.

Also, if you want the USCIS to consider your asylum application, you must prove that you have been a victim of persecution or have a credible fear of persecution in the future. You must show that you were a victim of past persecution based on one of the following five reasons: your race, your religion, your nationality, your political views, or if you belong to a certain social group.

It can be tough to prove that your persecution is because of one of these reasons. Gender can also be a factor in getting asylum. However, hiring an asylum attorney in NYC can make it much easier.

Ways to Apply

There are only three ways to apply for asylum in the US. Here are some insights into these three ways.

1. Affirmative Process

This is the way to go for those seeking asylum in the US and are not facing any removal proceedings. But to apply this way, you must either be in the US or at the US border. No matter how you got to the US or what your immigration status is, you can still apply for asylum.

You can file an affirmative asylum application by filling out form I-589. After filling out the form, you will need to send this form to the USCIS. Upon receiving your application, you will get a notice of receipt. Soon after that, you will get an invitation for your biometrics.

The USCIS uses the information from the biometrics to conduct background checks on you before asking you to come for an interview. During the interview, you will need to show that you have credible fear for your safety if the US government asks you to leave the US. The entire process can roughly take six months.

If the USCIS denies your application after your interview, you can still re-apply using the defensive process.

2. The Defensive Process

You can apply through this method if the USCIS denies your asylum application or you are in detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for possible removal from the US. This happens in immigration courts, where a judge hears the asylum seeker’s side of the story and the US government’s side.

If the seeker is eligible, they get asylum; if they are not, the court can grant other relief from the removal they are eligible for. This process takes more time than the affirmative process, an average of almost two years. An appeal of the court’s decision is possible.

3. The Expedited Process

Beginning in 2022, USCIS asylum officers can now review and decide on asylum claims before they go through the formal removal process. Those denied asylum are sent to immigration court for a faster hearing. In any of these ways to get asylum, you will need the help of an asylum attorney in NYC.

Get Help

If you are considering applying for asylum in the US, the best thing to do is contact us at Gehi and Associates. Our NYC asylum attorney knows the process inside and out, and you need to do it fast.

You have one year after entering the US to apply, and we can answer any vital questions you may have, such as possible reasons the USCIS may deny your asylum application, such as a criminal record, whether in the US or abroad.

We can also help you with the paperwork, like the application form, and support your application with the needed evidence. You will surely get great representation with us before the asylum office or in immigration court. Connect with us today!

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