You may be eligible to apply for asylum if:
- You have a well-founded fear of being persecuted in your country by government agents, or by people whom the government cannot or will not control,
- The persecution is based on one or more of the following reasons:
- political opinion
- membership in a particular social group
You must apply for asylum within one year of your most recent entry to the United States, unless you have a good reason for applying after the one-year period.
Your application must be supported by documentary evidence and/or the testimony of other persons, unless you have a good reason why you do not have such documents or testimony.
If you are not required to appear in Immigration Court, you may submit an application for asylum to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This process is referred to as an affirmative asylum application. After you submit the application, you will be scheduled to appear for an asylum interview at the nearest USCIS Asylum Office. USCIS will then make a decision about your case. If your case is approved, then you will be an asylee. If USCIS does not approve your application, then you likely will be required to appear in Immigration Court, unless you have valid status in the United States.
If you are required to appear in Immigration Court, you may also apply for asylum in the court. This process is referred to as a defensive asylum application. If you apply for asylum in Immigration Court, then you will present evidence and testimony to the judge, and the judge will make a decision about your asylum application.
If you are granted asylum, you will have the status of asylee. After one year as an asylee, you may apply to become a permanent resident.
Asylum law is complex, and preparing and presenting an application for asylum requires significant amounts of time, legal research, and legal expertise. Michael Carlin has experience working with asylum applicants and preparing well-researched and thoroughly documented applications for asylum.
This page does not provide legal advice, and is intended only as a general introduction. Please contact us for more information.