In general, a foreign national is eligible to apply for asylum in the U.S. if s/he is living in the U.S. and apply within one year of arrival. The relief will only be granted if the applicant can prove by a preponderance of evidence that s/he is unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of origin because of:
- Political opinion
- Nationality and
- Particular Social Group (commonly referred to as PSG)
A PSG is a group that is identifiable by fundamental characteristics and defined with particularity. The said beliefs or characteristics must be so ingrained in them that it cannot be changed or should not be expected to change because it is so fundamental to their identity.
Legal Bars For Getting Asylum?
To qualify for an asylum grant in the U.S., you must provide proof of refugee status and prove that you have not be barred for getting the said asylum by any other provision of the U.S. immigration laws. Among the things that may bar you from getting asylum in the U.S. include the following:
- You have been accused (convicted) of persecuting others
- You have been convicted of having committed certain crimes in the U.S.
- You have committed some grave non-political crimes anywhere outside the US jurisdiction
- The Department of Homeland Security deems you a threat to national security
- You have been involved in terrorist activity
- You have firmly indicated that you will be settling in another country other than your home country.
- Having another country other than your home country and the US where you could settle down
- Having been denied asylum before
- Late filing of the asylum application i.e. more than 1 year after entry into the United States.
Types of Asylum Applications
Affirmative Asylum – If someone has not been placed into the removal proceedings, then they are at liberty to apply for asylum with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regardless of their legal standing in the country.
Defensive Asylum – A defensive asylum seeker is someone who has already been placed in in removal or deportation proceedings in Immigration Court. The said person can file for asylum during a hearing in front of the immigration judge in which case the asylum seeker will be heard by the immigration judge.
What Happens To Your Family As You Seek Asylum?
Only those who have been granted asylum in the U.S. can apply to bring over qualifying children and spouse into the United States.
With the Konare Immigration Lawyers, you have the expertise that you will need to navigate the complex asylum application process and help you know your rights as an asylum seeker.