Alexandria Asylum Lawyer

While there are many ways to become eligible for asylum in the United States, seeking asylum can be a complicated process and subject to various limitations depending on someone’s personal situation, their home country, and their home country’s relationship with the United States

Anyone seeking asylum in the United States should contact an experienced attorney to determine their eligibility for asylum. An Alexandria asylum lawyer can help with determining whether you may face legal obstacles along the way and how to best go about the process.

How to Become Eligible for Asylum

In order to be eligible for asylum in the United States, applicants must generally do the following:

  • Express a desire to seek asylum. This can happen at any port-of-entry, including a border crossings, airports, and seaports
  • Submit an application for asylum. An application must be submitted to either the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) if in removal (deportation) proceedings, or to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) within one year of arriving in the United States
  • Affirmative vs. Defensive Asylum Applications. Applying for asylum to the U.S. can happen through an affirmative or defensive application

An affirmative application is generally submitted directly to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by those who are not subject to removal proceedings. Hence, they are seeking asylum affirmatively. In most cases, applicants will interview directly with the USCIS Asylum Office.

A defensive application applies to those who are currently subject to removal proceedings. These applications go directly to an immigration court judge based on their urgency. If granted, applicants will attend a hearing and must defend their asylum claim.

  • Demonstrate they meet the definition of a refugee. This must be done according to United States immigration law by showing that the applicant has suffered past persecution or has a well-founded fear of future persecution by their government, or by someone else the government cannot, or will not, control on account of their race, ethnicity/nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group

There may be other ways in which someone can seek asylum in the United States. In fact, under certain circumstances, those who have been in the country for over a year may seek asylum if the conditions in their home country have materially changed since they have been in the United States. An experienced Alexandria asylum lawyer can explain how the exceptions to the one-year filing deadline.

Other Protection Options

In addition to the above, there may be other asylum options available to immigrants, including Withholding of Removal and protection under the Convention against Torture (CAT):

  • Withholding of Removal. Non-citizens who have been threatened with removal from the United States may be able to seek asylum through “Withholding of Removal.” This allows immigrants to stay in the United States if it is more likely than not that their life or freedom would be threatened based on their religion, race, nationality, political opinion, or being part of a particular social group.
  • Convention Against Torture. The Convention Against Torture (CAT) is a United Nations program that prohibits countries from deporting individuals to countries where they might be tortured. In most cases, this is a last resort and generally available to those who are otherwise ineligible for a withholding of removal.

Turn to an Alexandria Asylum Attorney Today

A skilled Alexandria asylum lawyer can provide assistance in proving that the applicant applied before the one-year deadline, that they fear to return to their country of origin or country where they may be returned, that the applicant has suffered past persecution or has a well-founded fear of future persecution, that the persecution is a serious harm that is more than mere harassment and that the persecution was motivated at least in part by the applicant’s race, ethnic group, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

The lawyer of the applicant can also assist in proving that the country of origin or country where they may be returned is not willing or able to protect them, and the applicant is not able to internally relocate. If you need legal assistance in receiving asylum in the United States, reach out to a dedicated an Alexandria immigration attorney today for your initial consultation.