Asylum Law in the United States:

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, §101, individuals may qualify and be granted asylum in the US if they can prove:

1. a well-founded fear
2. of persecution
3. perpetuated by the government or an entity the government cannot or will not control
4. on account of
5. one of the five protected grounds

These five protected grounds are:

1. Race
2. Religion
3. Nationality
4. Political Opinion
5. Social Group

There are many cases that deal with each category and have established what may or may not be acceptable grounds for asylum, what “well founded fear”, “persecution” and by whom mean. However, cases will be reviewed and determined on a case by case basis. We will review the individual client’s facts with him/her in a safe and secure setting and will help tell the individual’s story in a clear and concise manner.
It must be noted that an asylum application can be filed at the US border or when the individual is in the US, and must generally be filed within One Year of entry into the US. The individual cannot apply for asylum if he/she is not present in the US. Refugee status applications through the United Nations can be made for individuals if they are outside the US.

Below are the general steps in the asylum process:

1. With the help and expertise of our asylum lawyers and support staff, the client’s case will be reviewed and client will prepare a declaration supported by as much evidence as can be provided. We will prepare the remainder of the application and after client’s review and approval, we will submit it to the US government.
2. Within 2-3 weeks, client will receive a Notice of Receipt letter from the USCIS and a fingerprint appointment notice. Client will need to go to the address given in the notice to have his/her fingerprints taken.
3. USCIS will then schedule the individual’s asylum interview.
4. We will review the file with the client and go over what generally happens at the asylum interview.
5. About one week after the asylum interview is complete, client will receive a determination from the asylum office.
6. If the asylum application is approved, asylee can receive work authorization along with other benefits. Please see our information guide regarding Benefits to Asylees.
7. The asylee can be eligible to apply for a green card after 12 months of continuous stay in the United States after asylum is granted.
8. Denials: If in valid status (I-94 has not expired), a notice will be sent by mail, called a Notice of Intent to Deny. The individual will then have an opportunity to respond and resolve the objections to the asylum application.
9. If the I-94 has expired and asylum case is denied, the case will be referred to an Immigration Judge. The individual’s asylum application will be reviewed again by an immigration judge.

It is important to have good, competent legal representation at all stages of the process.

Benefits of Receiving Asylum in the US:

1. Work authorization without any limitation
2. Social security card and driver’s license
3. Green Card after 12 months
4. Travel with US documentation
5. Help through Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) such as: Financial aid, job placement, Medical help, English language help, etc.

Withholding of Removal

Withholding of removal is an alternative to the asylum status and can be granted if for certain reasons asylum cannot be granted but the person can show that he/she will be persecuted if returned to their home country. An individual who is granted withholding of removal cannot be removed from the United States to the country from which she was fleeing persecution, but can be removed to a safe third country if one is available. Work authorization can be obtained under this status, however the individual cannot travel outside the US or apply for permanent residence.

This is just a short explanation of the asylum application process. If you have any specific questions, please call our office at 949-667-0976 or email us at :