The right to asylum allows people to flee their home country when they face extreme persecution. During these difficult times, those seeking refuge could use a companion in the person of an asylum lawyer.
When challenges arise, some people say that it is best to face them. But it is a reasonable option to run away when the challenge is persecution that causes you extreme fear and anxiety.
If you are contemplating applying for asylum, it is essential to learn more about its type and process, which you can discuss with an asylum attorney.
Types Of Asylum
According to UN Refugee Agency, asylum is a form of protection that enables a person to remain in the country instead of being sent back to one where they fear persecution. It is now included in the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Meanwhile, there are two types of asylum. They are as follows.
Affirmative asylum is a type of asylum that is requested by anyone not subject to removal proceedings in the United States. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS should receive the application. The asylee must be in the United States when they request affirmative asylum.
Applying for asylum may seem daunting but with the help of your asylum attorney, you can increase your chances of getting through it successfully. Here are the following steps to process your affirmative asylum application.
Step 1: You Must Arrive In The United States
It is a requirement to be physically in the country when you apply for affirmative asylum. It is because asylum is only for those who are already in the United States.
Step 2: Fill Up The Necessary Forms
You must fill up Form I-589 or the Application For Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. Note that you have one year to file this form from your last arrival in the United States.
You may add in your application your spouse and/or your children under the age of 21 who are not married and present in the country of the USA physically. As these instructions demand, you should also submit documentation for your spouse and children. Children who are older or married must submit separate applications.
Suppose you are granted asylum, together with your partner or spouse and children under the age of 21. In that case, you may submit Form I-730 or Refugee and Asylee Relative Request so they can receive comparable benefits.
Step 3: Undergo Security Checks
The applicant will receive a confirmation of receipt and a notice to visit the Application Support Center for fingerprint collection after the USCIS has received the completed application form. For the appointment for fingerprinting, you must show the ASC Appointment Notification. The applicant’s spouse and children should attend their security check appointment if they ask for asylum.
Step 4: Prepare For Your Interview
After you finish your biometrics, you will receive an Interview Notification containing the details on the time and location of the asylum interview. The USCIS arranges interviews beginning with the most recently filed applications and backward.
Rescheduling an interview appointment is only permitted with good reason or under unusual circumstances such as medical or family emergencies. While there is no set list of reasons that the USCIS accommodates, they examine individuals who could not attend the interview on their own merits because the reasonable cause relies on the person’s circumstances.
Rescheduling requests that are made repeatedly, however, could make it more difficult to find a legitimate reason. Without evidence of sound reason, the interview will take place at the initially arranged time and day. The interview will be recorded as missed if the applicant does not show up.
Step 5: The Actual Interview
You are allowed to attend the interview with an asylum lawyer or authorized representative. You must attend the interview with your spouse and any minor children requesting derivative asylum benefits. You must bring an interpreter if you cannot continue the interview in English.
The interview will typically be one hour, though it may change depending on the circumstances. Also, the witnesses you bring may testify to your statements.
As mentioned above, the USCIS determines the valid excuse of applicants who could not make it to their scheduled interview. They consider exceptional circumstances and they are as follows:
- They experienced extreme cruelty.
- Their child or spouse was diagnosed with a serious illness.
- The applicant’s spouse or child died.
The applicant must present a request to determine exceptional circumstances to the asylum office. Also, any supporting documentation, such as medical records, death certificates, and police reports must be provided.
Step 6: Review Of Your Application
At this point, you need to be patient in waiting for the decision of the asylum officers on whether or not they would approve you eligible for asylum.
A supervising asylum officer reviews the decision of the asylum officer to make sure it complies with the law. Depending on the circumstances, the supervisory asylum officer may forward the choice for further evaluation to the asylum division personnel at USCIS headquarters.
Step 7: You Will Receive The Decision
It usually takes two weeks after your interview to know the decision. However, the process can extend further if you were interviewed at the field office of USCIS, if you have pending security checks, or if there is a case that the USCIS asylum staff is still reviewing. It means you have to wait for a couple of days.
The process for affirmative asylum can go more smoothly with the help of an asylum attorney. However, there are instances when an applicant is barred from applying for it.
Ineligibility For Affirmative Asylum
The USCIS determines if the applicant is eligible for asylum. However, if you are in the following situation, the USCIS may bar you from applying.
- Removal into another safe nation with which the United States has a two-party or multi-party agreement is an option.
- You failed to meet the one-year filing deadline.
- Your prior application for asylum was turned down by an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Seek help from an asylum lawyer to know which type of asylum you must apply for. In some instances, affirmative asylum is no longer possible and a need to apply for defensive asylum arises.
A person subject to removal proceedings must apply for defensive asylum. An immigration judge will hear the application, which is submitted to the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
You qualify to apply for defensive asylum if you are ineligible for affirmative asylum and have been referred by USCIS to the immigration court.
You can also fall under defensive asylum if you have a case of violating immigration law and were detained by US Customs and Border Protection while attempting to enter the country illegally. An asylum officer determined that you had a valid fear of being persecuted in your native country.
Officers examine an asylum seeker who has been placed in removal proceedings as part of what is known as the “credible fear” process. At this point, you need to establish solid statements that you were under persecution or you have well-founded reasons to fear harm from your country.
Immigration court hears a defensive asylum case. A lawyer will be with you as you face your asylum case with the Department of Justice, which will represent the United States government. If you have an asylum attorney, you can have more confidence in every action you take in this situation.
How Can An Asylum Attorney Help?
Extreme persecution may cause you anxiety or fear; sometimes, it can make you feel alone in a daunting battle. However, you do not need to face this unaccompanied. You do not have to run away scared because, with the help of an asylum attorney, you can see how you can defend yourself, whether through an affirmative asylum or defensive asylum. They will help you know your rights and take action to help you protect them.
You have learned the process of applying for asylum, and it can be challenging, especially when you are dwelling in distress. An asylum attorney can help you in every step of the process to apply for asylum and seek refuge. It is never easy to start a new life away from your homeland but you can always use the help of an immigration attorney to know what steps you should take next.
The Lincoln-Goldfinch Law has a team of reputable asylum attorneys that can be your dependable companion in times of persecution. They can guide you through the documentation of your eligibility, the crucial stage of the interview, and even up to the moment that you need to face the court. Let an experienced asylum attorney from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law assist you as you protect your rights and your future.