United Nations Convention Against Torture and Prince William County Asylum

The United Nations convention against torture, otherwise known as CAT, is another type of protection that a person can apply for in Prince William County and throughout the United States if the individual believes that they will be in danger if they return to their home country. The bar for being granted CAT protection is higher than that of an asylum applicant because the individual needs to prove that it is more likely than not that they will be persecuted or tortured if they return to their home country.

Anyone fearing to return to their home country should speak with a distinguished asylum lawyer about how to qualify for CAT protection in Prince William County.

CAT vs. Withholding of Removal

United Nations Convention Against Torture is not the same as withholding of removal but it is similar. Withholding of removal provides a narrower scope of release than asylum just like CAT does but it allows protection from being removed to a particular country where the individual is more likely than not to be persecuted. With CAT protection and withholding of removal, they do not automatically allow green card applications like asylum does. If the individual is granted asylum, one year later they can apply for a green card.

Unlike asylum, United Nations Convention Against Torture is not a permanent status in Prince William County because the government is allowed to terminate a grant of withholding of removal if they believe that conditions in a person’s home country have changed and the individual is no longer at risk of being tortured. CAT is not good as asylum but it is available to people who are not eligible for asylum because the one-year bar does not apply to either the form of release and it is easier to qualify if a person has a criminal conviction that bars him or her from receiving asylum.

Defining Fear of Torture

The convention against torture is an international treaty that basically defines what torture is and a person needs to prove that the harm that the individual fears in their home country qualifies under the definition of torture set forth under the convention against torture, which is basically any intentional, unlawful infliction of severe suffering or pain with the consent of a public official.

It is important to understand that in order to be granted protection under CAT, the harm that a person is going to suffer has to qualify as torture is either with the acquiescence of the government in their home country or by an agent of the home country’s government.

Fear of torture and fear of government, such as a dictatorship, are the most directly applicable cases in the convention against torture. It is if a person actually fears persecution by their government. That is the most straightforward type of convention against torture type.


The acquiescence of a person’s home government means that there is an entity in their home country that the government knows is committing torture against people and is not doing anything—they are aware of the torture that is going to happen or is happening and they do not know anything to stop it or they encourage it. It does not have to be officially state sanctioned and that is something that a person needs to argue, that is what is litigated in CAT cases and whether or not the government has actually acquiesced to this torture.

It is an argument that a person needs to present, that their home country government is not meant to help them with it, they are not going to acknowledge that. It is not something that they are to help a person with, it is something that the individual needs to prove, it is not going to be an official document that allows people to be tortured.

It is something a person proves by the totality of the circumstances, they need to show that the reality in their home country is that the government is not going to do anything to protect the individual and they are aware of the torture that is going to occur because it is litigated.

United Nations Convention Against Torture and Prince William County Asylum

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