News & Articles

How to Seek Asylum in USA

seek asylum in usa

U.S. immigration law is designed with faculties in place to protect families of all nationalities inside and even outside our borders. So much so that there are measures in place to harbor individuals suffering persecution in their home country by offering asylum. While it may be challenging to seek asylum in the USA with the right legal counsel on your side, it’s entirely possible.

 Asylum Versus Refugee Status

While some people use these terms interchangeably it’s necessary to point out that there are in fact distinct differences. First of all, they are both considered protections to foreign individuals who feel their safety is in jeopardy if they return to their home country.

For those who are currently outside the United States, they should apply for refugee status whereas those who are already in the United States either through a visa or illegal methods, should seek asylum status. Both of these options, if approved by the government, would permit an individual to stay in the country indefinitely.

Employment Options for Refugees or Asylum Recipients

If you’ve been granted asylum or refugee status you will simultaneously be granted permission to work and then apply for a green card within a year.

How To Qualify for Status

If you want to seek asylum in the USA you’ll need to clearly understand the eligibility criteria. You can apply for asylum regardless of your immigration status within a year of coming to the United States. You can also apply for asylum at the port of entry in the U.S.

Who cannot apply for asylum?

You might not be eligible if you filed your application after being in the country for more than a year. There are exceptions to the rule, however. For instance, if there was a delay due to extraordinary circumstances or another legitimate reason, you may still be able to apply.

What are some examples of a change in circumstance? 

These might include any changes in the conditions of your home country which affected you materially. Changes which caused you to fear persecution should you return, and if you noted as a dependent on someone else’s pending asylum application and that situation changed either through death, marriage or divorce.

Other extraordinary circumstances may also be used as an exception. These include a severe illness and/or disability, the effects of persecution experienced in the past or during the one-year period after arriving in the United States.

If you are unsure whether your current scenario qualifies under these exceptions, it’s best to speak to one of our Fort Lauderdale Immigration Lawyers. 

Understanding What Persecution Means

When actively seeking out information regarding asylum in the U.S. you’ll likely see the topic of persecution come up often. The word itself, to persecute, is the act of harming, harassing, oppressing or causing psychological pain to another.

From a legal standpoint, this includes threats of violence, the denial of human freedoms, unjust imprisonment, etc. A file under persecution should be related to one of five grounds:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Social Group
  • Political Opinion

The most effective way to seek asylum in the USA based on persecution is under one of these five grounds.

Seek Asylum in USA Today

The best way to seek asylum in the USA is to enlist the help of a professional and qualified immigration lawyer. Begin the process of receiving your initial consultation by filling out this contact form.

Be aware that you retain the right to bring an attorney with you to your asylum interview and also proceedings brought before the court. For that reason, it’s even more important to have a skilled and knowledgeable professional on your side!