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Asylum in the United States

Asylum Asylum in the United States

Asylum is a protection grante to a foreign national already in the United States or arriving at the border. Who is unable or unwilling to return to their home country due to past persecution or a well-found fear of being persecut in the future. “On account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

There are three ways of obtaining asylum in the United States:
— Asylum Through Affirmative Process,
Asylum Through Expedited Removal Proceedings, or
— Asylum Through Defensive Process.

Asylum Through Affirmative Process

A person who is not in removal proceedings may affirmatively apply for asylum through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the USCIS asylum officer does not grant the asylum application and the applicant does not have a lawful immigration status. They are refer to the immigration court for removal proceedings. Where they may renew their request for asylum through the defensive process and appear before an immigration judge. To obtain asylum through the affirmative asylum process you must be physically present in the United States. Generally, with some exceptions, you must apply for asylum within one year of the date of your last arrival in the United States.

Asylum Asylum Through Expedited Removal Proceedings

“Expedited removal” refers to the legal authority given to immigration officers to order the deportation of some non-U.S. Citizens without any of the due process protections granted to most citizens. Such as the right to an attorney and to a hearing before a judge. To protect asylum seekers from summary removal before their asylum claim is hear. Those placed in expedited removal proceedings who express a fear of returning to their country are afford a “reasonable fear” interview with an asylum officer for a credible fear screening.

A USCIS asylum officer will conduct a credible fear screening interview to determine whether the individual has a credible fear of persecution or torture. If an asylum officer finds a credible fear of persecution or torture, USCIS may either retain and consider the application for asylum or issue a Notice to Appear and refer the matter to an immigration judge for consideration of the asylum.

Asylum Through Defensive Process

A person who is already in removal proceedings may apply for asylum defensively by filing the application with an immigration judge as a defense against removal from the U.S.

It is important to note, applicants who are found to have knowingly made a frivolous application for asylum. Will be permanently ineligible for any benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Talk to an immigration attorney or contact us for a free consultation if you plan to file an asylum application.


Additional resources: Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications  (Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 243 / Thursday, December 17, 2020 / Rules and Regulations)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival