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Seeking Asylum in USA

US asylum law is very complex, and the best way to go about it is to have an experienced asylum attorney working with you every step of the way.

If you are interested in seeking asylum in the USA, there are some things to consider.

Asylum Seekers in the US-

First, an asylum seeker must be in the United States (or trying to enter the United States) in order to apply for asylum.If you are outside the United States, you can apply to be a refugee with the U.S. Department of State or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Second, an asylum seeker must apply for asylum within one year of the last entry in the United States.

There are a two exceptions –

–changed circumstances (in the individual asylum seeker’s situation or the home country’s situation) or

–Extraordinary circumstances that prevent someone from filing within one year.

This rule is enforced strictly, and exceptions are handed out rarely, so if you have been in the United States less than a year, do not count on getting an exception; file before one year is up.

Third, consider the requirements for asylum.In order to claim asylum in the US, a person must have a reasonable fear of future persecution on account of one’s race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or membership in a social group.A social group is a group of people that is socially visible with a common, immutable trait.A few examples of social groups are ethnic or tribal groups, women who suffer from domestic violence, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals.

If an asylum seeker can prove that he or she suffered persecution in the past on account of his or her race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or membership in a social group, then asylum will be granted unless the government can prove that either there is another place in the country that is safe or that the situation in the country has changed enough that it is now safe.

If a person is granted asylum, then the asylum seeker’s spouse and young children will also be granted asylum.  An asylee can live and work in the United States for life, and apply for a Green Card one year later.


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