Maryland Asylum Lawyer

In order to apply for asylum in the United States, an individual must prove that he or she has a well-founded fear of being persecuted in his or her home country. Moreover, the persecution that the individual fears must be inflicted by the government of his or her home country, or by an entity that his or her government cannot or will not control. Such persecution must also occur on account of the individual’s membership in an identifiable group, such as one based on race, religion, or nationality, or membership in a particular social group. When seeking asylum in Maryland, it is important to contact an immigration lawyer to help assist in the complex process and meeting all requirements to be granted asylum.

Applying for Asylum

There are two different types of asylum applications: affirmative and defensive. Affirmative applications are for people who are not in removal proceedings in the United States. Individuals may submit an affirmative asylum application directly to the USCIS office in the region in which they are located.

The second type of asylum application is a defensive application. This form of application is intended for individuals who are involved in removal proceedings in front of the immigration court. Individuals who are eligible to submit a defensive application present their case in front of the judge. Those who are already in removal proceedings may also have the option of having their removal withholded by a judge.

In both application processes, the applicant must show that he or she is eligible for asylum by proving the following through interviews with the USCIS: (1) membership in a social group experiencing persecution in the individual’s home country, (2) that such persecution is enacted at the hands of the government or an entity that the government cannot or will not control, (3) that there is a reasonable likelihood that he or she will be persecuted upon return.

Rate of Acceptance in Maryland

In Maryland, people seeking asylum are generally sent to the Baltimore Immigration Court or Baltimore’s USCIS office. The rates of acceptance at these locations depend heavily on whether the individual is submitting an affirmative or defensive application. If the individual is submitting a defensive asylum application, the rate of acceptance is very much dependent upon the assigned judge. There is a wide variation in approval rates between different courts throughout the country and between judges and individual courts. Because of this, acceptance rates also vary widely across states and between judges. There is no maximum quota for individuals being granted asylum.

If the individual is submitting an affirmative asylum application, the rate of acceptance will depend upon the individual’s adjudicator. More importantly, rates of acceptance among affirmative applications are almost entirely contingent upon the applicant’s fear of persecution, the applicant’s history, and the applicant’s home country. Because of this, it is difficult to ascertain a percentage likelihood that an individual will be approved as the process is entirely case-specific.

Important Details

Primarily, an individual seeking asylum in Maryland must be cognizant of the one-year deadline to apply. If an individual misses that deadline, he or she will be required to meet a much higher standard in order to qualify for asylum because he or she will have to deal with a waiver of the one-year filing requirements.

Additionally, an individual seeking asylum should be aware that these are very legally-complex cases. He or she will be required to fit his or her story in the context of what is required by the law. Individuals should also be cognizant of what disqualifying factors might lead to deportation during the asylum process. Because of this, the manner in which the applicant tells his or her story is very important; it is therefore advisable that any individual seeking asylum contact a Maryland asylum attorney for guidance assistance in this process. 

Benefit of a Maryland Asylum Attorney

A lawyer can help elucidate an applicant’s claim to the government. In this way, the lawyer will be able to help narrow the relevant issues and to help the applicant focus his or her story in such a way that it is digestible and easy for the asylum office in Maryland to identify the likelihood of the applicant’s persecution and the reasons for such persecution.

Someone who is not eligible for asylum may still have other options, like using the Convention Against Torture. There are fewer benefits through this method than asylum, but it is helpful for those who may be running out of other options.