Find Safety For You And Your Family In The US
Protecting your loved ones and yourself is of the utmost importance. When you face persecution from your home country, you only want to keep yourself and the people you care about out of harm’s way.
Whether you plan on seeking short-term or long-term political asylum in the United States, Arias Villa Law can help you navigate the complex and often stress-inducing process of navigating America’s messy immigration system. That way, you can focus on your family and adapt to life in a new country.
What Does It Mean To ‘Seek Political Asylum’?
The United States Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) contains provisions allowing immigrants in the U.S. to apply for asylum and obtain certain immigration benefits. First, an asylum applicant must show that they qualify for refugee status. INA defines a refugee as any person who:
- Is outside any country of such a person’s nationality
- Resided in their home country but is unwilling/unable to return
- Can’t or won’t avail themselves of the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution
In other words, the immigrant must prove that they are facing persecution in their country because of any of the five protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.
How Do Asylum Seekers Prove Persecution?
Proving persecution is not easy. The immigrant must show sufficient evidence proving that they got singled out as the subject of that persecution. In addition to documentary evidence, the immigrant must be credible when proving their status as a refugee. Credibility is a significant factor in any asylum case. The asylum officer or immigration judge will assess the documentary evidence the immigrant presents in light of the immigrant’s credibility.
The Petitioning Process For Seeking Political Asylum
Here’s a breakdown of how it all works:
- Part 1: The immigrant files an application for asylum in a designated form and attaches the evidence to prove that they qualify as a refugee. This petition must get filed within one year after the immigrant arrives in the U.S. applications for asylum are filed after the first year of the immigrant’s arrival. Typically, the applications are automatically referred to an immigration judge to determine if there are extraordinary circumstances that preclude the immigrant from filing on time.
- Part 2: The Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) asylum office will call the immigrant for an asylum interview. During this interview, the asylum officer will ask about the persecution the immigrant suffered in their country and the evidence submitted. The asylum officer may grant, deny or refer the petition to an immigration judge.
- Part 3: If the petition is referred to an immigration judge, removal proceedings against that immigrant commence. This means if the immigration judge denies the asylum application, the immigration judge will issue a removal order (deportation order as it is popularly known). The immigrant is entitled to a work authorization document 180 days after filing their asylum application. However, this does not mean that the immigrant’s application for asylum will get approved. Still, the immigrant may be removed if the immigration judge denies the asylum application.
- Part 4: If the immigration judge denies the immigrant’s application for asylum and orders the immigrant removed, the immigrant may appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) within 30 days after the judge’s decision.
An immigration attorney can help assess the odds of your case. I have represented asylum applicants for years, even those who’ve obtained their lawful permanent resident status (green card).