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Immigration and Asylum

The immigration process in our country has a long history; in fact, America was founded on the process of immigration. We have always been a nation where settlers, colonists, and immigrants have been able to find a new way of life and new levels of prosperity.

The immigration system in this country recognizes that some individuals face additional challenges when rebuilding their life in America, and often these difficulties arise because of the political climate in their home country. For this reason, there is a refugee and asylum system in place, to help those who face persecution at home.

Both refugee status and asylum status can be granted to a person who cannot or does not want to return to their home country because they face persecution or have faced persecution because of their religion, race, nationality, social group. The main difference between asylum status and refugee status is that someone applies for refugee status before entering the United States and will generally apply for asylum once in the United States. To be eligible for asylum status, you must usually apply at a port of entry into the United States or within one year of your last entry into the country.

What Asylum Status Means

If your application for asylum is successful, you will become an Asylee. Your will be able to work and live in the United States and if your application included unmarried children under the age of 21 or your spouse, your family may also be granted asylum status if they were also in the United States when you made your application for asylum. One year after becoming an Asylee, you may be able to apply for permanent residency status to stay in the United States and to continue working and living here.

The Asylum Process

The process of applying for asylum is quite challenging, especially for applicants who are still learning English. There are also strict measures in place to ensure only qualified candidates are granted asylum or refugee status.

The asylum process starts with an application, and as part of that application you will be asked to submit written and documented evidence about the prosecution you have faced or may face back home. Once you have submitted your application, an Asylum Officer will review the information you have submitted and will interview you to get more information about your situation. The Asylum Officer will decide whether to reject or approve your application. He or she can also choose to refer your application to an Immigration Judge. If that’s the case, the Judge will make a decision in your case.

Asylum Challenges

Unfortunately, the language differences common in these situations combined with changing laws and the sometimes-challenging application status can create significant confusion. In many cases, asylum seekers arrive in the United States without the documentation they need to prove torture or persecution, and it can be a challenge to get this evidence for an application. Candidates for asylum status can benefit from speaking with a qualified immigration attorney to get legal support and advice as they apply.

An immigration attorney with experience in asylum cases can help guide an applicant through the process. For example, if you are frightened by the possibility of prosecution back home but do not qualify for asylum for some reason, an immigration attorney may try to plead your case, especially if your eligibility has been affected by political changes in your home country, serious illness, or other extenuating circumstances. If asylum is not an option, your attorney may be able to help you apply for assistance through Withholding of Removal or the United Nations Convention Against Torture. If you are not sure how to prove prosecution in your home country, an attorney may be able to help you develop an application showing why your request for asylum is legitimate.

Seeking a Fresh Start in Life

The attorneys at Flaxman Law Group have dedicated their lives to advocating on behalf of injured parties and immigrants. If you are in the United States and are interested in applying for asylum, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. Your free consultation is protected by client-attorney privilege and is completely confidential. We have helped many documented and undocumented residents in the United States apply for asylum status and we’d be pleased to discuss your situation with you. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more.