Individuals who have experienced harm or persecution in the past or may experience future persecution in their home countries, may be eligible to seek protection in the United States. In certain cases, they may apply for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which has been incorporated into U.S. domestic law.
Although many people refer to asylum as "Political Asylum," foreign nationals can qualify for asylum status if they fear persecution for various other reasons as well, including their religion, nationality, race, or membership in a particular social group. An asylum applicant's fear of persecution must be both objectively and subjectively reasonable, and the persecution must either be by the government itself, or a group of persons that the government is unable or unwilling to control.
Applicants may apply for asylum "affirmatively," or while they are not in removal proceedings, by submitting an application to their local USCIS asylum office. Alternatively, once an individual has been issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) and is in removal proceedings, they may submit an asylum application to the immigration judge in what is known as a "defensive" application. Subject to a few exceptions, applicants should apply for asylum within one year of their last entry to the United States.
How we help: Our attorneys have successfully assisted clients from across the world in a broad variety of asylum claims both before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and before the Immigration Courts.
To speak with an immigration attorney about U.S. asylum contact Grossman Young & Hammond.