At Moffitt Law, LLC, an immigration lawyer in Georgia can explain the complex process of obtaining asylum and will do what it takes to help make the asylum process as smooth and successful as possible for you and your family.
Grounds for Asylum in the U.S.
To be eligible for asylum in the U.S., a person must meet certain criteria. The asylum seeker must demonstrate that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. They must also demonstrate that this persecution is either due to government action or inaction or the fear of it.
Applicants can apply for asylum on their behalf or with the help of a lawyer for an asylum seeker. The application process requires a detailed explanation of why you are seeking asylum and why you believe you qualify for it.
What Is a Well-Founded Fear of Persecution?
A well-founded fear of persecution means that an individual has a reasonable, objective fear of persecution in their home country based on one or more of the qualifications listed above. This fear must be both subjectively felt by the applicant and objectively reasonable, according to U.S. immigration authorities.
Generally, an Asylum Officer will want to see extensive documentation that establishes that your persecution results directly from the following grounds.
Being a member of a particular group
In this case, your membership has to be on the basis of such immutable characteristics as race, sexual orientation, or sex. To prove that this fear is well-founded, you’ll need to present documents that show your group’s identity is discernable and that you’re a member. It should also be clear that your group faces persecution due to its unique defining features.
Persons seeking asylum due to their political opinion need to show that they openly and actively hold an opinion that opposes people in positions of political authority. If they’ve previously faced persecution due to imputed opinions, they must provide proof.
However, if circumstances in your country have changed for the better and there isn’t a threat of being persecuted in the future, proof of past persecution may not be grounds for seeking asylum.
In many cases, persecution is in the form of physical torture or abuse. However, it’s important to know that these aren’t the only factors that are considered.
If you or your loved ones are denied education or employment opportunities, it also constitutes persecution.
In addition, immigrants whose family members face arbitrary inferences from those in positions of authority may also be eligible for asylum.
Who Cannot Seek Asylum?
While the U.S. offers asylum to those who qualify, there are individuals who may not be eligible.
For example, if you have been convicted of a serious crime, even if it was outside the U.S., you may not qualify. Additionally, if you’ve been involved in terrorist activities or have assisted terrorists, these actions could make you ineligible for asylum as well. Persons who’ve also been involved in persecuting others may also not be eligible.
In addition, the law requires that one must submit your application within one year of arriving in the U.S. That said, there are exceptions to this rule, so it’s important to speak with a lawyer for refugees and asylum seekers to determine if you can still qualify.
How to Apply for Asylum
To apply for asylum, one must fill out form I-589 and submit it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form will require information about your background, such as your nationality, date of birth, and country of origin. You will also need to provide details about any persecution you may have faced in the past, such as physical attacks or threats. Be sure to file your application within the required time frame and include all the necessary documentation.
Once you have filed your application, USCIS will review your case and determine whether or not you qualify for asylum status. This can take several months, so it’s important to be patient and work closely with a lawyer.
How We Can Help
At Moffitt Law, LLC, an immigration attorney can help you properly prepare an asylum application that satisfies U.S. immigration standards. We are passionate about helping people find safety and refuge in the U.S., and we will work diligently to help ensure the best possible outcome.
If you are seeking asylum in the U.S., contact our Georgia immigration attorney today. We will review your case, provide advice on the way forward, and help you determine if you qualify for asylum status.
Asylum Status FAQs
Can I qualify for asylum if I have received permanent resident status in another country other than the U.S.?
No. Persons who’ve received the offer of permanent resident status in another country are already considered to be “safe” and may not qualify for asylum in the U.S.
What happens if my application for asylum is denied?
If your application for asylum is denied, you may be subject to removal proceedings. Depending on the circumstances, you may have an opportunity to appeal the decision or submit a Motion to Reopen/Reconsider.