Asylum

Is a legal figure used to protect people who are afraid to return to their country because they have been persecuted or believe they will be persecuted in the future.  Asylum is one of the most important and valuable figures that the United States has to offer.  Asylum is the request a person, who has left their country and is in the United States, makes to the government for protection because they have been or will be persecuted in their country of origin or residence because of their political opinion (or perceived political opinion), their religion, their gender, their national origin or because they belong to a particular social group.   Please note that persecution for asylum purposes is something serious that goes significantly beyond harassment.  To see if your case is one where filing an asylum is possible talk to an experienced attorney.

Just as asylum is an important figure IT IS ALSO ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT IMMIGRATION BENEFITS TO OBTAIN.  For this reason, before you file for asylum in the United States make sure to talk to an immigration lawyer that has handled asylum cases both before Immigration and the Immigration Courts.  IMPORTANT:  IF YOU FILE FOR ASYLUM AND YOU ARE NOT IN STATUS (YOUR STAY IN THE U.S. HAS EXPIRED) YOU WILL BE PLACED IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS AND YOU WILL HAVE TO PRESENT YOUR CASE BEFORE AN IMMIGRATION JUDGE.

TYPES OF ASYLUM

Asylum cases can be divided into proactive or defensive cases.  Proactive cases are those that are filed by a person directly with USCIS (Immigration).   These cases do not involve deportation and present USCIS with the persons case.  When filing a case THIS IS THE TIME YOU NEED TO BEST PRESENT YOUR CASE.  This means that you should review what you are presenting carefully and make sure that it a legally viable case – not something made up and facts under which an asylum would be granted.  Just because you are afraid to go back for any reason or you passed a credible fear interview it does not mean you will get asylum.

Defensive asylum cases are those that are presented by a person who is being deported from the United States in order to avoid being sent back to their country.   These cases are presented before the immigration judge and follow the same rules as those presented with USCIS.  The difference here is that your case will be heard by a Judge and a Trial Attorney representing ICE.  In other words, it will be different than a defensive case application that is only heard by an asylum officer.  Remember to always use lawyers who can represent you in court.  Notarios, “friends,” or paralegals cannot appear before a Court and may not represent you in your case.  This is a BIG problem.

Finally, remember that all asylum cases must be filed within one year of a person’s entry to the United States.  If you want to file beyond that period you must demonstrate that filing was almost impossible for you during the period between your arrival and the filing of your case.  Remember that you should always consult with a lawyer when dealing with an asylum case.