Process for Seeking Asylum in Maryland

Being granted legal passage is never an easy task. Lengthy paperwork, knowledge of immigration law, and evidence may be required to enter the United States legally. However, for those who are escaping less than favorable conditions in which their lives may be at risk, other options may be available in the form of asylum. To learn more about the process for seeking asylum in Maryland, be sure to schedule a consultation with a well-versed immigration attorney as soon as possible.

Application for Asylum Withholding of Removal

The affirmative asylum applicant begins the process by submitting their asylum application Form I-589, Application for Asylum Withholding of Removal, along with supporting evidence to the Texas Service Center. A few weeks after their asylum application has been received, the applicant would receive a biometrics appointment at which they would be fingerprinted.

The applicant would then wait to be scheduled for their asylum interview.  While the applicant waits for the interview to be held, the applicant is eligible to apply for work authorization by filing Form I-765, 150 days after the pendency of the I-589. After 180 days, the work authorization is granted and shortly thereafter mailed to the applicant.

Once the applicant is interviewed at their local asylum office, it should take a few weeks to receive a decision on the application. If the applicant is granted asylum, their status becomes asylee. After being an asylee for a year, the applicant may then apply to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR or Green Card holder) by submitting Form I-485.

What Happens When a Person is Not Granted Asylum?

If the judge does not grant asylum, but the respondent is at risk for suffering harm should they return to their home country, they may receive either a withholding of removal or a protection under the Convention Against Torture. This kind of relief allows for employment authorization and the ability to remain in the US. Despite these protections, the respondent would not be able to apply to become a lawful permanent resident.

If the immigration judge denies the asylum application, the applicant can appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA or Board) if the immigration judge has made some error in following the law or there has been some error in the facts as understood by the judge. The Board can affirm the judge’s decision or remand the judge’s decision and send the case back to the court with specific instructions on how to correct the errors that the BIA found. It is important to note that the respondent and the government have the ability to appeal an immigration judge’s decision.

Length of Time it Takes for Asylum to be Granted

The time varies, but as of early 2019, the processed affirmative applications that were quickly reviewed were the ones recently submitted. This is often referred to as “Last In, First Out.” However, processing delays do occur, in which case an applicant may have to wait for a longer period of time. In order to avoid any delays in the process for seeking asylum in Maryland, it is important to retain the services of a knowledgeable attorney.

Getting in Touch with an Attorney

If you or a loved one is currently seeking asylum, it is imperative that you retain the services of an experienced attorney. A lawyer could not only help you fill out the necessary documentation required for obtaining asylum, but also provide you with information regarding what is expected of you throughout the process for seeking asylum in Maryland. To learn more or to get started on your case today, be sure to get in touch with an attorney today.