Asylum protects immigrants who would be seriously harmed if they were deported or removed to their home countries. Many individuals throughout the world are at risk of harm because of their political views, religious beliefs, gender, and other reasons. Asylum grants asylum legal status to these immigrants so that they can live safely in the U.S.
What Kind of People Get Asylum?
Asylum has been granted to victims who have been tortured for their political beliefs, to religious leaders who have been imprisoned for their religion, and to victims of gang violence who were targeted because they were ethnic minorities. Women who are victims of domestic violence also have been protected with asylum status.
Facts About Asylum Cases
Asylum cases are complicated and can take many years to complete. More than 80 percent of asylum cases are denied every year. It is difficult to get the right evidence and to give good testimony. Asylum cases are often extremely emotional for the immigrant because of the harm they have experienced. For all these reasons, it is usually best to hire a lawyer.
Any foreigner can apply for asylum. You can apply in your home country at the U.S. consulate or embassy, at a port of entry to the U.S., and also once you have entered the U.S. Even undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S. can be eligible for asylum. However, those individuals who have lived in the U.S. for more than one year are only eligible for Withholding of Removal, which is very similar to asylum, except that it does not put the immigrant on the path to a green card.
The Asylum Process
You apply by submitting the Form I-589 to the U.S. government.
If you are in your home country, you submit the form at the U.S. embassy or consulate
If you have just arrived in the U.S., you submit the form at the port of entry to the U.S.
If you already live in the U.S. you submit the form to the Department of Homeland Security, and often to the immigration court as well.
If your immigration case is in immigration court, your asylum case will be considered by the U.S. immigration judge. You will have to put on evidence and have witnesses to prove your case.
If your case is not in immigration court, your asylum case will be heard first by a U.S. Asylum Officer.
You are permitted to live in the U.S.
You can include your spouse and your children who are under the age of 21 on your application
You can get an employment card 6 months after submitting your asylum application
Immigrants can apply for a permanent residence visa (green card) one year after being approved for asylum.
What Must You Prove?
You must prove that you are at risk of great harm if you are removed to your home country
Your must prove that you will be targeted because of who you are.
You must prove that the probability of harm is high
Examples of Useful Evidence
Political paperwork and registrations
Medical documents showing harm that you have already suffered
Newspaper reports demonstrating that other people like you are also being harmed
Photographs of harm
Letters and statements from friends and family
Government reports by your home country and by the U.S.
Contact MIRA Legal at 615-307-6472 or by email at for help with your asylum case today.
*This webpage is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and does not create an Attorney-Client relationship.
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