How to apply for political asylum in the United States?

Once the application for political asylum in the United States has been submitted, the process to obtain it can be long. The US government determines whether an individual is entitled to political asylum based on their personal and ethically reasonable circumstances. To apply for asylum, the specific steps vary depending on the type of situation behind the case. However, the following are general instructions for anyone who wants to apply for political asylum.

Difference between political asylum and refuge

To receive political asylum status in the United States, the applicant must meet the definition of a refugee established in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA qualifies as a refugee any person who meets any of the following conditions:

  1. She fears being persecuted in her country for reasons of race, religion, nationality, ethnic social or political groups.
  2. You have an informed and justifiable opinion about some important change for human rights in your country of origin. This includes changes such as the establishment of the totalitarian state or other powerful actors within the government that are significantly against all democratically accepted principles of change.
  3. It is subject to persecution for political or religious reasons.

Political asylum can be denied if the applicant has committed a crime against humanity, a terrorist act or other serious crimes prior to applying for asylum. With every situation, there are many things and elements to consider as the months go by until you finally receive this status. However, no matter how long the final process takes, anyone who meets any of these conditions is entitled to political asylum in the United States.

However, the applicant seeking refugee status must apply from outside the United States, while the person seeking political asylum status may apply within US territory or arrive at any border city, airport, or country. sea ​​port.

Difference between affirmative and defensive asylum

Affirmative asylum is for those who request asylum and who do not face any type of expulsion from the country. If the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not grant political asylum in the United States, the applicant will enter an expulsion process but he / she may make a new application for asylum under the defensive asylum process, during which assigns an attorney to assist.

political asylum in the united states

How to apply for political asylum in the United States?

The application for political asylum in the United States can be applied for from abroad or within the United States. Before starting the political asylum process, one must comply with the definition of a refugee established by the Immigration and Nationality Law (INA). Asylum is a constitutional right; Regardless of the length of the final process, if you meet certain conditions, you are entitled to this status.

The political asylum process in the United States is as follows:

  1. The application is made using form I-589.
  2. Fingerprinting and background checks are done.
  3. An email is sent to the applicant with the date of the interview.
  4. The applicant must appear for the interview and, if they do not know English, they must hire an interpreter.
  5. The asylum officer will determine your eligibility and the supervising officer will review the decision.
  6. In two (2) weeks, the applicant must return to the asylum office to know the decision of his application.

According to the USCIS, the assistance of an attorney constitutes defensive asylum. Applications that are eligible for affirmative asylum do not enter the defensive asylum process and therefore interested persons must hire a private attorney, regardless of the type of asylum to which they are granted, and submit the application.

Deadline to apply for political asylum in the United States

The applicant must file Form I-589 with the USCIS within one year of arrival in the United States. An exception is made for applicants who could show that the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances or because there was a change in Immigration Law that affected their political asylum process in the United States. The INA defines extraordinary circumstances within one year, including:

Aggression or extreme cruelty towards the applicant, his spouse, children, father or mother.
Your spouse, children, father or mother are seriously ill.
The death of your spouse, children, father or mother.

Applying for political asylum is free, so applicants do not have to bear any cost. The applicant should hire an expert asylum lawyer if he wants assistance during the process, in addition to guiding him to make the best decisions according to his specific case.

Decisions after applying for political asylum in the United States

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will make one of the following decisions:

Asylum Grant: When the USCIS determines that the applicant is eligible for political asylum in the United States, the applicant found a letter and an I-94 form. The granting of asylum includes the spouse and children who have been present in the United States, have been included in the asylum application and attended the interview. Asylees have the right to medical and material assistance, as well as a social worker, translator and interpreter for bilingual services.

Referral to immigration court: If the USCIS does not approve the asylum application and the applicant is in the United States illegally, the case is referred to the immigration court. This is not a denial but an additional assessment, so it is possible to apply for political asylum and continue as an illegal immigrant.

Notification of Intent to Deny – Applicant received an email of intent to deny (NOID) if determined not to be eligible for political asylum. After receiving the mail, the applicant will have a maximum of sixteen (16) days to send in writing why it should be granted, and if possible, send evidence that justifies their request.

Final Denial – The applicant received a NOID and a final denial letter if they did not respond to the NOID within the next sixteen (16) days, or if they responded with the additional information requested but it was rejected. The denial applies to asylees and their families, so if political asylum in the United States is denied, the application must be entered to remain legally.

If the request is denied, it is possible to resubmit the evidence within six (6) months. If you wish, you will then accept a petition for defensive asylum and the request will be made by the court in your specific case to determine if you can obtain affirmative asylum.

Benefits of obtaining political asylum in the United States

Asylees will be able to obtain a series of benefits when their application for political asylum in the United States is approved, these can be:

  1. Apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  2. Apply for a Social Security card.
  3. Apply for a permit to travel abroad.
  4. Request that certain family members obtain refugee or asylee status, regardless of whether they are outside the United States.
  5. Access to government programs such as: Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) and Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)

After one (1) year of the approval of the application for political asylum, the asylee may request their status as a lawful permanent resident and once they become a lawful permanent resident, they must wait four (4) years to apply for US citizenship. Any spouse or child (under the age of 21) included in the approved asylum application will remain in the United States with permission to work and apply for lawful permanent residence.

political asylum in the united states

Cancellation of asylee status

If the asylee becomes an illegal immigrant or left the United States without permission and did not return for two (2) consecutive years, his political asylum will be canceled.

The USCIS may terminate your status if you are deported due to a serious violation; If the asylee has committed a national or international crime, his status will be canceled automatically and without the need to evaluate the matters in detail. Similarly, your status may be canceled if you obtained the grant of political asylum fraudulently or if you committed serious crimes that make you ineligible to retain asylum.

If you need legal advice or assistance during your political asylum application process, do not hesitate to contact us by clicking here to provide further advice on your case.

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