APPLY FOR ASYLUM

If you meet the eligibility requirements, within 1 year of your arrival to the U.S.  (legally or illegallyyou may apply for asylum for yourself, your spouse, and your unmarried children under 21-years of age. Read more

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Each year, people come to the U.S. looking for protection from the persecution they have suffered, or are fearful they will suffer, because of their race, nationality, religious beliefs, political opinions, or affiliations with certain social organizations. If you are eligible to file for asylum, you may include your spouse and your children who are in the U.S. on your application when you file, or any time up until a final decision has been made in regards to your case. Children must be unmarried and under the age of 21 to be included.

There are two ways to Apply for Asylum: Affirmative processing and Defensive processing.

Related form: I-589, APPLICATION FOR ASYLUM AND FOR WITHHOLDING OF REMOVAL

Who is Eligible?

You need to be physically present in the U.S. to apply for asylum via the Affirmative process. No matter how you arrived in the U.S., you can apply for asylum status. You must, however, apply within 1 year of your most recent arrival in the U.S. unless you can demonstrate:

  • Altered circumstances that directly affect your being eligible for asylum or that the delay was caused by unusual circumstances, and
  • That you filed in a reasonable time considering those unusual circumstances.

Due to recent changes in the USCIS policies, Affirmative Asylum Applications are being processed in a different way than previously. Unfortunately, this change in policy may directly and adversely affect your rights as an asylum-seeker. As of January 29th, 2018, the USCIS Asylum Division is giving priority to Affirmative Asylum Applications filed the most recently in time. What this means, is that if you file your application tomorrow for example, USCIS intends, within 21 days of receiving your application (or within 21 days of tomorrow in our example), to assign you an Asylum Interview Date in the not too distant future. That interview, as was the case previously, will then be used to decide if you’re potentially eligible for asylum or not.

USCIS has a huge backlog of Asylum cases, and they used to process the oldest ones first. Thus, there was a policy where you could seek employment authorization to work after 150 days of USCIS receiving your application, while you waited for them to process your application. Thus, previously people could file asylum applications as a way to extend their stay in the United States, and typically became eligible to work for many months and sometimes years, while they waited for USCIS to process their asylum applications.

Now, because USCIS policy has changed and because they are making it a priority to assigning interview dates to applications filed within the last 21 days; instead of the oldest pending asylum applications in their backlog, this means new asylum applicants typically won’t get the chance to work and stay in the United States unless their asylum claim is granted. Now, new applicants will quickly be given their asylum interviews, and if the interview goes well, you will be scheduled for an Asylum Hearing before an Immigration Judge to decide ultimately whether you will be granted asylum or not. If the Asylum Interview with USCIS does not go well however, and the USCIS decides your case is non-meritorious, frivolous, or fraudulent, you will be immediately placed in Removal Proceedings.

Thus, if you don’t have the strongest case for asylum based on your facts, now you may really want to think twice before applying for asylum. The aim of this policy change is to reduce the percentage of applicants that file asylum applications solely to extend their time in the United States and to obtain employment authorization. In contrast, if you have a good and legitimate claim to asylum, the length of time for you to be officially granted asylee status should be greatly reduced.

The Defensive process for applying for asylum is used as a defensive strategy against removal from the U.S. This process has not changed as a result of the changes in USCIS policy listed above. If you have been placed in Removal Proceedings in Immigration Court with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), either because:

  • you were determined by USCIS to be ineligible for asylum as a result of your rejected Affirmative Asylum Application, and thus you were referred to an Immigration Judge; or,
  • you were caught at a U.S. port of entry without proper documentation, or were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection attempting to enter the U.S. without the proper documentation; or,
  • you were otherwise placed in Removal Proceedings by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for an Immigration Violation;

your case for asylum can still be heard in the courtroom before an Immigration Judge during the Removal Proceedings against you, as a defense to your attempted removal. The United States is against all forms of persecution, and thus even if they are seeking your removal from the United States, asylum arguments will still be entertained by the Immigration Judge during removal proceedings, and valid asylum eligibility even at this late stage, will prevent you from being deported from the United States.

Advance Parole. If you are an asylum applicant and you intend to travel outside the United States and return, you must apply for and receive advance parole. If you leave the United States without first obtaining advance parole, we will assume that you have abandoned your asylum application.

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING CHANGES IN U.S. DEPORTATION POLICIES

What Happens If USCIS Denies My Asylum Application After The Interview?

Can I ask for political asylum from outside the US?
NO. To apply for political asylum, you must be in the United States (embassies or diplomatic missions outside the US will not help you in this matter). Being outside the US, you can only apply for refugee status and this procedure is also a complicated procedure.
Can I apply for asylum when crossing the border?
This is possible, and such cases often occur at the border crossing with Mexico. The application directly on the border is an extreme measure. A very important point is that when you cross the border without the necessary permission (US visa) and asylum application, you are most likely to be detained and placed in an immigration prison where you will conduct initial inquiries and check all the facts you previously stated . The decisions of the border service can be delayed for weeks or even months.
Can I apply for political asylum if I am illegally in the US?
You have the right to defend and examine your application, even if you are in an illegal status. It is very important that this happens in the first year of your stay in the country. Otherwise, you have to argue, there are compelling reasons why you did not do this before.
How long does it take to get an interview for asylum?
Beginning on January 29, 2018, the Immigration Department for Asylum (USCIS Citizenship and Immigration Service Group) will give priority to the newest applications when assigning interviews. Such a change in the schedule of interviews will make it possible to weed out those applicants who use groundless statements and try to use this process solely to obtain a work permit and will enable the USCIS to immediately identify such persons and begin the process of their deportation. In reality, the new Priority will allow the USCIS to make decisions on qualified asylum seekers more quickly and efficiently.
Can I apply for asylum with a minimum of materials, and send documents and evidence after I apply?
It is possible, but we do not recommend it. In cases where you sent an off-the-shelf petition, the fact of not being prepared may negatively affect your interview and raise suspicions about the reliability of the information provided earlier.
Is it possible to apply for political asylum without a lawyer?
Some apply for political asylum on their own, filling out Form I-589 and attaching a declaration.

Applicants, who apply for political asylum in the US do not need to hire a lawyer and an interpreter to apply for political asylum in the United States.
But you need to consider important points:
1. Immigration Attorneys analyze the facts of persecution, apply immigration laws to the facts.
2. Attorneys help applicants to fillout the necessary immigration forms and not make any mistakes in their filing.
3. Attorneys help Applicants prepare for the interview, correctly write a declaration, collect documents.
4. Attorneys have the right to intervene in the process by using immigration law at all stages of the proceedings.
5. Attorneys can help find an interpreter and represent refugees in interviews and in the process of deportation to the immigration court.

When your future is at stake, you need to weigh everything for and against the participation of a Attorneys in your process.

Consult the Immigration Attorneys – Here

Contact Attorney J.Greenberg ⚖️

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☎ Call today for a free asylum consultation

The U.S. asylum process is very complicated, so the best chance of success comes by working with an experienced asylum attorney.  We are highly experienced in US asylum law.  We have helped people from all over the world fleeing persecution to gain asylum in the US. Our attorneys, translators and support staff will work with you individually to give you the best chance of success possible.  We know how difficult and heart wrenching the asylum process can be, and we will be with you every step of the way.

Your citizenship and your residency status is something you should entrust to a professional. Call the top New York Immigration Attorneys at toll free at  (888) ZONTLAW / (888) 9668529

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CUSTOMER REVIEWS

She was perfect! It was such a luck to have Julia Greenberg referred to me by my acquaintance. She is the most caring and helpful attorney I have ever worked with. She is very professional and knowledgeable in the immigration law, and she gave me great advice! I appreciate most that she is always available by phone or returns missed calls shortly – this is something that many attorneys in NYC do not do or have their assistants do who never give the correct answer. I approached Julia to help me prepare for my citizenship interview since I had, frankly speaking, not an easy case, and she did the best  job I could expect. I could not imagine how my interview would have gone without her; her support was significant! If I ever have a question about any immigration matter I would definitely ask Julia for help again. Awesome

Anya Shapkina  on July 6, 2017

Julia Greenberg helps me during the interview process and advises me on the process followed. She is very supportive and handles. She impressed me not only with the professionalism, but also with the art of communication as an outstanding attorney.She is quick to respond to any question that I have. Julia has helped me every step of the way with my case. Thank you!!

Alie Keshfedinova

Julia is very professional, competent and knows how to get the best deal for her clients. What we appreciated about her service was that she always answered our calls or got back to us in a very short amount of time. We had a very stressful issue with the officer but Julia was able resolve it and have our case successfully processed the same day. We could have not done it without her. She is a smart lawyer and a great negotiator with a wonderful personality. Hire Julia Greenberg if you want to get a real result!

Alesya

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