Asylum & Withholding of Removal
San Diego Asylum Lawyer
How Asylum Can Prevent Deportation
Immigrants can seek asylum when they are afraid to return to their own country because of past persecution or if they demonstrate a well-founded fear of future persecution. An individual can ask for asylum at the point of entry to the United States or anywhere within the United States, but they must request it within the first year of entering the U.S. A person on asylum can apply to become a permanent resident after one year of being on asylum status and then apply for U.S. citizenship four years later.
To be eligible and receive asylum the person will need to show that the persecution they suffered in the past or will most likely suffer in the future is based on one or more of the five grounds shown below:
- Nationality or ethnicity
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
The Asylum Application Process
There are two application processes available for the asylum applicant.
- If the applicant is not in removal proceedings, they will file what is referred to as an Affirmative Asylum application with the appropriate USCIS office.
- If the person is in removal proceedings and asks for asylum relief, they will file what is referred to as a Defensive Asylum application.
Whichever process is taken, the person will need to file the I-589 application and supporting documentation. The applicant can include their spouse and children under 21 years of age on their application, called derivatives.
Under the Child Status Protection Act, your child will remain eligible for asylum, as a derivative family member, even if they turned 21. Your child must have been unmarried and under 21 years of age on the date that you filed your I-589 application. The “filing date” is the date your application was received by USCIS or filed with the court.
When am I Not Eligible for Asylum?
A person is not eligible for asylum if any of the following circumstances apply:
- The asylum applicant ordered, assisted, incited, or participated in the persecution of another on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion
- They were convicted for an aggravated felony
- Reasons exist to believe that the applicant committed a serious nonpolitical crime outside the U.S.
- The applicant may be a threat to national security
- The applicant was firmly resettled in another country prior to arriving in the U.S.
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