Under U.S. law, asylum may be granted to foreign nationals who are unable or unwilling to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
Facts Behind Asylum
The burden of proving past persecution or well-founded fear of future persecution is completely on the alien seeking asylum. An individual who fears torture may also qualify for relief. There are no quotas assigned to the number of refugees who can be accepted each year.
Who Is Eligible
Aliens who are currently in the U.S. for less than one year (with some exceptions)
Aliens who are currently in their home country
In both situations, the alien must be part of an eligible Asylum class (i.e. persecuted due to political affiliation, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social group affiliation etc.). If you are arriving in the U.S., you may ask for asylum at the port of entry (i.e. airport, seaport, border crossing, etc.). If you are already in the U.S. you or your attorney must prepare and file an application for Asylum and/or Withholding of Removal within a year of your arrival, whether you are residing in the country legally or undocumented. Some exceptions that allow you to file for asylum more than one year after arrival in U.S.
Visa Duration & Renewability
The asylum status can be held indefinitely. However, the work authorization must be renewed on a yearly basis.
Immediate family members may be eligible for asylum status with all its benefits such as work authorization, as long as they have been named in the alien’s asylum application; even if any family members are not present in the U.S. at the time the application is filed. This includes your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
Do I Need An Attorney?
It can be very difficult to prove that you experienced persecution since much of the evidence remains in your home country. However, an experienced asylum attorney can assist you in collecting the evidence and presenting your case to either the asylum officer or immigration judge reviewing your case, thus greatly increasing your chances of obtaining asylum in the U.S. Many areas of asylum law are very technical and can be difficult to understand and address properly in your application without the assistance of an asylum lawyer.
At Law Offices of Shilpa Malik, we have successfully helped many clients obtain asylum in the U.S. at all stages of the asylum process. Our attorneys can explain the definition of a refugee and the qualifications you need to meet in order to be granted asylum. We have successfully obtained asylum for people from many countries, allowing them to legally reside in the United States. We are dedicated to both helping people escape persecution in their home countries, and securing them a safe haven here in the U.S.