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FAQs about Seeking Asylum In The US

Who Qualifies For Asylum?
The basic requirement for a person to qualify for asylum is that the person has to show a fear to return home based on either being persecuted there in the past or having a fear that they will be persecuted if they return. The reason for this fear would be based on the race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or a political opinion.

In addition to these requirements, a person must also keep in mind that in order to apply for asylum, they must do it within the first year of their last entry into the United States. If they pass that one-year deadline without a reason, that shows either extraordinary circumstances that prevented them filing within the first year or a change in their status to apply. Whatever the situation maybe, within that first year if they do not apply for asylum, they could be barred from filing for asylum in the future. Our Westchester asylum lawyers have extensive experience in preparing asylum applications.

How Does The Asylum Process Actually Work?
The asylum process differs on whether the person is applying for asylum in an affirmative application or a defense of the application. If the applicant is doing an affirmative application, meaning they are not in removal proceedings, that person will submit an application to a U.S.C.I.S service depending on where they live. They will then get scheduled to an interview in front of an asylum officer. The officer will give them questions to determine first eligibility for asylum, and if they are eligible, whether they will grant asylum at the asylum office at that time.

If they grant the asylum at the asylum office, they are given asylum status and in a year, they can apply for permanent resident status.

If the person is currently in removal proceedings, meaning that they were caught and they were either at the border because they have some type of criminal history or because they overstayed, then they will file their asylum application directly to the judge at immigration court. Once in immigration court, they will fight for a relief through the immigration court.

Can Someone File For Asylum If They Are Out Of Status?
Yes. Status in the U.S. does not determine eligibility for asylum. As long as you can show that you have a real fear to returning to your country because of a past or future threat of persecution. As long as you file the application within the first year in the country, can be an exception to that one-year deadline.

Can Someone File For Asylum if they are In Legal Status?
Yes. If you are in a legal status, meaning you are on a visa and you do have that fear of returning to that country, then you may file for asylum.

What Happens If The Asylum Case Is Denied?
If your asylum case is denied, it depends where the case is denied. If your asylum case is denied by an asylum officer, then your case will be referred to the immigration court. There you will be able to present a case to the judge. You will have an individual hearing where you can present witness testimony, experts and any kind of evidence of your past or future threat of persecution.

If you lose in the immigration court, and your case is denied in the court, you would be able to appeal to, first, the BIA, which is the Board of Immigration Appeals; second, to your circuit court. Then depending on the issue in your case, you can appeal all the way up to the Supreme Court.

If you need information about Seeking Asylum in the United States, call the law offices of Michael Joseph for a free initial consultation at 914-574-8330 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

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