Navigating the legal waters of immigration is complicated, and the circumstances surrounding asylum make this particular immigration process quite complex. There’s a lot that you need to know about the asylum process to obtain the safety and security that you desire.
That’s why it is important to have qualified, knowledgeable immigration lawyers at the Moore Law Firm working on your behalf. We specialize in helping clients navigate the complicated and often confusing immigration process so that they can obtain the safety and security that a granted asylum status provides. We put together this guide to help you learn everything you need to know about the asylum process so that you can get the proper legal representation and support that you deserve.
Our Asylum Lawyer can help you live your own American dream.
What is Asylum?
If you are granted asylum in a foreign nation, such as the United States, you will be permitted to remain in the United States.
Asylum is a protection that is offered by a country to an individual who has left their native home country due to persecution or fear of persecution due to:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
Asylum is granted to individuals who are either already in the United States or those who have arrived at the United States borders.
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Requirements for Seeking Asylum
In order to seek asylum in the United States, there are specific requirements. These requirements include:
- Currently residing in the United States or traveling to the United States for safety
- The ability to provide proof of persecution or fear of persecution in your native country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, and/or political opinion.
The Asylum Application Process
Initially, all asylum applicants must file a Form I-589, Application for Asylum for Withholding of Removal to begin the asylum process. This form must be filed within one year of your arrival in the United States. Form I-589 can also be used to request asylum for a spouse and children who are under the age of 21 and unmarried.
Affirmative asylum is the traditional asylum process that requires:
- The arrival in the United States within one year of applying for asylum
- Completion of background and security check which includes fingerprinting
- Completion of an interview with an asylum officer
- Receipt of an eligibility determination from your asylum officer (This takes about two weeks after the interview with your asylum officer minus any processing delays)
Defensive asylum is for those who are defending themselves against removal from the United States because they have already been deemed ineligible for asylum through the affirmation process. Under defensive asylum, you are referred to an immigration judge because you’re either in violation of your immigration status or you were apprehended without legal documentation to be in the United States.
The defensive asylum process includes:
- The appearance before an immigration judge for a proceeding
- Granting of an asylum determination at the proceeding
The proceeding allows you to defend your case by offering evidence and testimony to remain in the United States under asylum status.
While waiting for the processing of an affirmative asylum application, you may continue to live in the United States. If are seeking asylum through the defensive process because it has been determined that you are not eligible for asylum, you can remain in the United States while your application is pending review and proceeding to the immigration judge.
There are certain circumstances where you may not be eligible for asylum. They include:
- Failure to file for asylum within one year of entry into the United States
- You were previously denied asylum
- You are eligible to travel to a third country of safety
How Long Does the Asylum Process Take?
Typically, the asylum process can take years to complete with many people receiving an actual hearing/interview date with their asylum officer years after filing the initial asylum application.
It is possible to apply for work authorization in the United States after your asylum case has been pending for at least 150 days. Due to the extended application time for asylum processing, it is important to have quality legal representation for assistance.
After Asylum is Granted
After being granted asylum, you are eligible to apply for a green card for permanent residence status after waiting at least one year from the date you were granted asylum by completing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status.
The granting of asylum also allows you to work immediately, and you are also eligible to apply for an unrestricted Social Security card.
You may petition to bring your spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 from your home country to the United States after two years from the date of your asylum of being granted asylum. Your asylum status does not expire, but it can be revoked under certain circumstances.
If you are currently seeking asylum for yourself and your loved ones, let us help you navigate this complicated immigration process. We understand the various parts of the immigration process as it relates to asylum, and we can help you navigate this process so that you can focus on obtaining the security and safety you desire.
When you call the immigration professionals at Moore Law Firm, we help you build a solid asylum case.