Every year, thousands of persecuted individuals request protection in the United States. A person located in the United States is eligible for a grant of asylum if he or she qualifies as a refugee.
A refugee is a person who is persecuted on the basis of:
- political opinion;
- membership in a particular social group (e.g. sex minority) or
Or a person who has a well-founded fear of persecution on same accounts. The persecution can be carried out by the government of his country, or by those whom the government cannot or does not want to stop, keep under control.
It should be noted that in recent years the US asylum system has reached a critical point when many applicants have been waiting for a decision in their cases for years, and the general disposition of immigration officers and judges cannot be called favorable to a positive verdict.
Since 2018, the new Administration has taken sequential actions towards the narrowing of the grounds for asylum. If earlier the applicant was able to seek asylum on the basis of domestic violence, proving that the country’s civil authorities did not want to intervene in life-threatening situations, leaving him (her) on his (her) own with no other choice, but to flee the country saving live, now referring to the precedent from June 2018, the Attorney General made it clear that domestic violence and gang violence will not be considered as grounds for protection. However, due to the incredible efforts of dedicated lawyers, precedents for the issuance of political asylum on this basis are created again and again. Moreover, a new precedent was created in 2020: based on the lack of medical treatment for the applicant. All these categories fall under the basis of “membership in a particular social group.”
However, the grounds of politics-religion-nationality remain a more reliable basis and despite all the procedural difficulties, people continue to apply for asylum daily and assert their rights with a less favorable immigration policy in the country. That is why now, more than ever, it is important to contact a qualified immigration lawyer, who will help you at any stage of the case.
Having many years of experience with asylum cases, we can confidently say that the time of the so-called “skeletal petitions”, when many cammed applicants filed only a briefly completed form, hoping to get legal stay and permission to work while their case was pending for years in USCIS or Immigration Court, has passed.
In order to combat such fraud and abuse, on January 29, 2018, USCIS announced that will follow these priorities when scheduling affirmative asylum interviews:
- Applications that were scheduled for an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the applicant’s request or the needs of USCIS;
- Applications pending 21 days or less since filing; and
- All other pending applications, starting with newer filings and working back toward older filings.
Taking this under account, we recommend submitting the most complete, analytically thought out and well-founded case assembled correctly. It is not just facts stated by the applicant make the asylum case strong, but also correct petition preparation with attachment of all accompanying documents in the proper order, the presence of links and headings referring to the necessary information, in other words, you should do your best to make the immigration officer or judge initially to pay attention to the circumstances in favor of the applicant.
But the content of the petition is still the main priority. And here, our specialists carry out colossal work on analyzing circumstances provided by the client, studying the current conditions of the country the person fled from, evaluating the annual reports of US government organizations and international organizations that give an overview of human rights and freedoms violations in that country, and so on.
Unfortunately, every year we get cases NOT on the initial filing stage, which is extremely difficult to fix and improve. But we are very proud that we have positive outcomes in such cases too! Most often, such cases are prepared by unprofessional consultants, who offer their services for less and literally “stamp” twin cases. Usually, such consultants refuse to put their names on a prepared petition, as a result, a fooled client is forced to pay much more later to rectify the situation when deportation to the country he experienced persecution or has a well-founded fear of it becomes the main issue.
After preparing and filing the petition, the next important step to which our lawyer devotes separate time and attention is to prepare the applicant for an interview or court hearing. In the current realities, when you have to literally fight for every positive decision, we consider important to take into account every detail, calculate every next move, predict all possible questions and prepare answers to them, help the client to easily navigate the process and support him emotionally.
We deeply appreciate your time and resources, so in order to save time on the initial consultation we have prepared answers to basic questions regarding asylum, please read below. If after this you feel ready to discuss your particular situation, give us a call or fill out an application online and we will do our best to help.
What is the difference between a Refugee and an Asylee?
Refugees and Asylees are people seeking protection in the U.S. on the ground that they fear persecution in their homeland. A refugee applies for protection while outside the United States. An asylee first comes to the United States and, once here, applies for protection. Refugees generally apply in refugee camps or at designated processing sites outside their home countries. In some instances, refugees may apply for protection within their home countries, such as in Cuba, and Vietnam. If accepted as a refugee, the person is sent to the U.S. and receives assistance through the “refugee resettlement program”.
What is a Well-Founded Fear of Persecution?
An asylum applicant must establish that he (she) was persecuted or that he (she) actually fears persecution (subjective belief) on account of one of the five grounds, and that a reasonable person in the applicant’s position would also fear persecution (objective standard) on account of one of the five grounds. “Persecution” means “a threat to the life or freedom or the infliction of suffering or harm in offensive way.”
Past Persecution and Well-Founded Fear of Persecution.
A person can qualify for asylum either on the basis of past persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution or a combination of both. Generally, a finding of past persecution results in a presumption of a well-founded fear of persecution.