An Asylum Lawyer can help protect you from danger in the United States.
Asylum lawyer services are for people who have fled their home countries due to persecution and want to find refuge in another country. Those who qualify can apply for Asylum in the United States. Importantly, this is a form of protection that gives them the right to live anywhere they choose within a particular country.
Amazingly, the United States is one of the most open countries in the world. It offers a multitude of opportunities for those seeking new beginnings. However, people sometimes find themselves outside their home country and they need to apply for Asylum.
An Asylum lawyer can help protect you from danger by helping you receive legal status. They can also help with processing paperwork, providing guidance on how to become self-sufficient, and much more!
A person who is seeking Asylum needs an Asylum lawyer to help them with this process. These lawyers have extensive knowledge about immigration law. Further, they can provide advice on how you can protect yourself from danger while moving forward with your application.
What is Asylum?
Under U.S. law, Asylum is a lawful immigration status for someone who has experienced – or likely will experience – persecution in their home country. Importantly, the persecution must be on account of one of five very specific reasons:
- Political opinion; or
- Particular social group.
Each element of this definition has its own legal definition and requirements. As a result, winning Asylum in the U.S. requires much more than telling an Immigration Judge that you are afraid of returning to your home country. Instead, your Asylum lawyer will help you show that:
- The harm that you suffered or will suffer meets the legal definition of “persecution”
- That the persecution happened or will happen because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or particular social group; and
- Your alleged “race,” “religion,” “nationality,” “political opinion,” or “particular social group” actually meets the definition of those terms under U.S. law.
Therefore, Asylum is not easy to obtain. While you may have a legitimate fear of returning to your home country, you still may not legally qualify for Asylum. You may not meet one of the protected grounds. Or, your fear may be unrelated to your particular protected ground. Therefore, contact an experienced United States Asylum lawyer for help.
What are the benefits of applying for Asylum?
Both an application for and a grant of Asylum come with significant benefits. First, some Asylum applicants may apply for work permits one year after submitting their Asylum application. However, not everyone who applies for Asylum qualifies for a work permit. Further, the laws surrounding these types of work permits are changing rapidly. So, it is important to speak with an experienced Asylum lawyer in the USA to determine your eligibility.
A grant of Asylum also comes with benefits unique from many other immigrant categories. For example:
- You are permitted to live and work in the United States without having to apply for a work permit.
- You may also apply for certain limited government benefits without the fear that using these benefits would disqualify you from applying for a green card in the future.
Finally, you may apply for a green card one year after your approval. This is as opposed to 3 or 5 years for other categories of immigrants.
Can I apply for Asylum?
To apply for Asylum, you must:
- Be in the United States;
- Not already have a green card or US Citizenship; and
- Have a legitimate fear of returning to your home country.
Remember, it does not matter whether you entered legally or illegally. In addition, it does not matter if your lawful immigration status has expired. To see if you may quality, contact an Asylum lawyer today!
When should an Asylum lawyer help me apply?
The deadline to apply for Asylum in the United States is very strict. Your application MUST be submitted within one year of your entry to the United States.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Simultaneously, these exceptions are very limited. If you miss the 1-year deadline, you may still qualify if you can show that:
- You were prevented from submitting your application due to circumstances outside your control;
- There are new circumstances which cause you to fear return to your home country; or
- You were under the age of 18 when you entered the U.S.
In addition to your Asylum application, you must also submit evidence that one of these exceptions applies to your situation. As a result, it is crucial that you have an experienced Asylum lawyer guide you through each step of the process.
Different types of Asylum applications
There are two types of Asylum applications: Affirmative and Defensive. In both cases, you must submit evidence to show that you meet each of the Asylum requirements discussed above. Because each Asylum case is so particular, the evidence required will vary depending on your specific circumstances. Generally, the evidence will include:
- Identity documents;
- Affidavits from witnesses;
- Police reports;
- Medical reports; and
- Documentation of the dangerous conditions in your home country.
Affirmative Asylum Applications
Your Affirmative Asylum application is submitted directly to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). USICS also decides these applications. Here, the immigrant is coming to the USCIS on their own and asking the U.S. government for Asylum.
Defensive Asylum Applications
Defensive Asylum applications go to the Immigration Court. This occurs after an immigrant is already in removal proceedings. Therefore, an Immigration Judge decides.
Can an Asylum lawyer help if my application is denied?
An Asylum lawyer can absolutely help if your application has already been denied! Your lawyer’s course of action will depend on whether your application was affirmative or defensive.
Let’s assume your affirmative application through USCIS is denied. Here, your case is referred to the Immigration Court. Therefore, you will have a second opportunity to argue your case – this time before the Immigration Judge. You will also have the opportunity to ask the Judge for other forms of relief which were not available to you when your case was before USCIS.
On the other hand, you may have applied defensively before the Immigration Court. If denied, you may appeal the Judge’s decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”). The BIA will review all the evidence already presented and will make their decision based on the existing record. Alternatively, you may be granted one of the other forms of relief that protect you from deportation from the United States.
What can I do if my Asylum application is completely denied?
If Asylum is denied, you may still have other options. An experienced United States Asylum lawyer can also help obtain relief under two other programs:
- Withholding of Removal (“Withholding”); or
- The Convention Against Torture (“CAT”).
A grant of relief under either program prevents the U.S. government from deporting you to a country that is not safe. However, both of these forms of relief are still very difficult to get. Importantly, they do not come with the same benefits as Asylum. Most notably, if you are granted either Withholding or CAT relief, you will be ordered deported from the U.S., but you will not actually be required to leave. You will be allowed to live and work in the United States until the government determines that circumstances in your home country are no longer dangerous for you, but you will not be able to apply for a green card unless you have another route to get one, such as through a family member.
Can an Asylum lawyer explain Withholding of Removal?
The requirements for Withholding of Removal are very similar to Asylum. However, there are two important differences. First, your application does NOT have to be submitted within one year of entering the U.S. Second, the standard of proof for Withholding of Removal is much higher than for Asylum. Therefore, instead of just showing that you have a reasonable fear of persecution upon return to your home country, you must also prove to the Judge that the persecution you fear is likely to happen.
How do I obtain relief under the Convention Against Torture?
The requirements for relief under the Convention Against Torture are somewhat different than the requirements for Asylum and Withholding of Removal. Here, you must specifically prove to the Judge that you are likely to be tortured and/or killed if you are forced to return to your home country.
Do I have any other options?
Remember, you may also apply for any other forms of relief for which you qualify. At the time of your final hearing regarding Asylum, you may choose the form of relief that your attorney feels gives you the best chance of success. Also, you can ask the Judge to decide on each one.
How much does an Asylum lawyer cost?
When safety is a concern, it can be difficult to work with the immigration system on your own. An asylum lawyer will help you apply for asylum in a safe and efficient manner. The cost varies depending on what type of service is required for your specific case. Typically, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars per hour. On the other hand, sometimes your lawyer may be able to charge a flat fee. That flat fee may cover the entire case or a certain portion of the whole process.
How can I find the best Asylum lawyer for me?
Are you searching for an experienced Asylum lawyer in the United States of America? We can help you!
Feel free to consult our guide to finding the best lawyer for you. While this guide was written specifically with personal injury cases in mind, many of the same principles apply when looking for the best Asylum lawyer for you.
Finally, we can help regardless of where you are located. For our more local clients, our offices are conveniently located in and around the greater Philadelphia area. However, we can help even if you are located in another state or country!