USAAsylum in the USA

While most people think of Asylum as Political Asylum, the United States grants asylum to thousands of people from all over the world for reasons more varied than just political asylum. A favorable grant of asylum allows the beneficiary to live and work in the United States and is a path to legal permanent residency and citizenship.

To qualify for a grant of asylum in the United States, you must be: 1) a person  2) who has a well-founded fear 3) of persecution 4) on account of 5) race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Each of the above grounds must be proven.

Notably absent from this group is persecution based on gender. Although it is well documented that women all over the world, and especially in repressed societies, are victims of persecution because of their gender, this category is still not a protected ground in the United States. Women who are fleeing from persecution based on their gender are forced to apply under one of the other protected grounds, usually social group or political opinion. (For an in depth look at women and asylum and how the rules are applied see Protected Ground.)

If you are in the United States, you must apply for asylum within one year of arrival. This requirement cannot be waived by an administrator but it can be waived by an immigration judge.

Not everyone can apply for asylum. Congress has barred certain individuals from getting asylum relief including: persons who have persecuted others, persons who have committed a particularly serious crime, terrorists and those who pose a threat to the United States, and  those who have resettled in another country prior to entering the United States.

Sometimes people file asylum claims because they believe it is the only chance they have to stay in the United States. But Be Warned: If it is determined that you have filed a frivolous asylum claim, you will be permanently barred from receiving any immigration benefit.

It is always wise to consult with an immigration attorney to see what your options are and see if you have a claim to asylum. An experienced immigration attorney can review your situation and may discover other options you may not have considered. If you are a good candidate for asylum, an experienced immigration attorney can best help you prepare your case. Call to see how we can help you.
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