Are you in removal proceedings? Removal proceedings are a scary thing for anyone! If you believe that you have a claim to asylum based on past harm you faced in your home country, because of something you cannot or should not have to change about yourself; or, if you have a good reason to fear harm if you are deported back to your home country, because of something you cannot or should not have to change about yourself; then you might have a great defense against deportation! This defense would be in the form of an Asylum claim brought in front of an Immigration Judge during your removal proceedings. Also, you are even able to bring this defensive asylum claim to the Immigration Judge, even if you have previously had your affirmative asylum application rejected!

Professional Security

Using our cutting-edge online platform, you will be able to access, check the status of, and edit your case information from anywhere. Need to submit documents to your attorney? Login when it’s convenient and even from your mobile device.

Comfortably Access Your Case

Rest easy with us in charge of your personal information. We use highly advanced security measures to protect your personal data and documents. We will never release your information without your consent, to anyone.

Client Support

Reach someone from our team of experienced Attorneys and Paralegal staff from anywhere. Our team members speak English, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese. If we can’t speak your language, we will find someone who can, and at no cost.

Excellent Services for Your $

We appreciate that you worked hard for your money. Your satisfaction is extremely important to us, and through our highly innovative online case management software, we have been able to cut costs and pass our savings on to our clients.

How does the Defensive Asylum Process Work? Basically, there are two ways that a person can find it necessary to present a defensive asylum claim. One way is if you have been placed in Removal Proceedings. Typically, this will arise in one of the following instances:

  • If you were caught and apprehended in the United States or at a port of entry, while in violation of your immigration status; or,
  • If you were caught by US customs and CBP trying to enter the United States while undocumented
  • If you were otherwise placed in Removal Proceedings by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for an Immigration Violation or a violation of law;

If you find yourself in Removal Proceedings, then a valid asylum claim is always a defense against deportation. The other way you could find yourself having to present a Defensive Asylum Claim is if you are illegally in the United States, and USCIS decides they cannot approve your Affirmative Asylum application. This does not mean that your application was denied, it just means that they find it necessary to refer it to an Immigration Attorney. Unfortunately, if you find yourself in this situation, it means that you will also be in removal proceedings as a result of you having been illegally in the country. However, you don’t need to be legally in the United States to apply for asylum. If this is the case, then the Immigration Judge will independently determine your eligibility for asylum, during your scheduled removal proceeding. This means that it is irrelevant what USCI thought regarding your application, and you get a fresh, new, and stressful opportunity to present your asylum case to a judge. Regardless of how you apply for Asylum (Affirmatively or Defensively), the criteria for getting asylum granted to you is the same. You will typically have to initiate the asylum process within a year of entering the United States unless you have extraordinary reasons for not doing so, or changed circumstances that adequately justify your delay in applying. Also, you will have to prove to the immigration authorities that you qualify as a refugee. This means you will have to show the authorities that, you suffered past persecution (harm) in your home country, because of your: race, nationality, religious beliefs, political opinions, or affiliations with certain recognizable social groups (which the applicant can define); OR that, such persecution/harm is likely to happen to you if you’re deported, because of your: race, nationality, religious beliefs, political opinions, or affiliations with certain recognizable social groups (which again the applicant can define). Asylum is an extremely tricky area of U.S. Immigration Law. The authorities are very used to dealing with and rejecting, fraudulent, frivolous, or poorly argued/articulated claims to asylum. This means that, if you have a good case and claim for asylum based on your factual circumstances, you really need to argue your position effectively. Enlisting the help of an experienced Immigration Attorney (such as Zontlaw’s Attorneys) can give you the best shot at having your claim to asylum granted, and not being deported. Your future in the United States is on the line, particularly when arguing for Asylum in Removal Proceedings. Don’t hesitate to contact us today toll-free at 1-888-ZONTLAW / 1-888-966-8529.

Frequently Asked Questions

Requesting an Interpreter

The Immigration Judge will also ask the attorney what the respondent’s best language is. Unlike at the asylum interview, in Immigration Court, a professional interpreter is supplied by the Court for the Individual Hearing. Even if a respondent wants to supply her own interpreter, she cannot. The attorney should assure the client that interpreters are bound by rules of confidentiality and would lose their jobs if they discussed asylum cases outside of court. Nevertheless, if the applicant can testify in English, you may choose to do so. The attorney can ask the Judge at the Master Calendar whether the Judge will allow the interpreter to be there as backup on the Individual date in case the applicant doesn’t understand a question, or whether the Judge’s policy is to require the entire hearing to be conducted either in English or in the applicant’s native language.

What will happen at the hearing?

If you are applying for one of the defenses to deportation, the Immigration Judge will give you time to fill out the application. Then the judge will give you another hearing date where you will have several hours to explain your case.

What questions will Immigration ask?

The Immigration Judge may ask you many questions. You must tell the truth and answer the question asked. It is important to accept responsibility for your mistakes and show that you have changed. If you do not understand a question, tell the Immigration Judge. If the Judge does not ask you these questions, be prepared to tell the Judge the following information anyway

 Call today for a free asylum consultation

The U.S. asylum process is very complicated, so the best chance of success comes from 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 or your residency status is something you should entrust to a professional. Call the top New York Immigration Attorneys toll-free at 1-888-ZONTLAW / 1-888-966-8529.

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.

Contact Attorney Igor Litvak


    100% Secure

    We use the most advanced security measures to protect your personal data and documents. We never release your information to anyone.

    Where and what

    Personalized Guidance and USCIS Fees and Instructions on where to file, free shipping label to USCIS

    Up-to-date Forms

    Our experienced immigration professionals check the website content daily to keep up with changes in laws or forms required.

    Comprehensive forms

    Answer a few simple questions and our innovative system will generate a complete form and ready to be presented

    Error Checking

    Our team of professionals will check all your answers to make sure that they are accurate, complete, and ready to be submitted

    Evidence Checklist

    Once you assemble and upload all required documents, we will check if the evidence is correct and will provide a cover letter.


    With more than a decade in the field, Igor Litvak has earned a reputation as a highly successful immigration attorney. Since 2012, he has represented countless corporate and individual clients in complex matters ranging from removal (deportation) to asylum, family, business, and investor petitions, and employment-based cases.

    Authorized to practice in immigrant courts throughout the United States, Mr. Litvak is licensed in the state of New York and New Jersey and may also appear before the 2nd, 3rd, and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Northern, and Eastern districts of New York, and the New York Supreme Court. Mr. Litvak takes pride in helping clients who have been unable to get satisfactory results elsewhere. His honesty and compassion, combined with his expertise and vast knowledge of immigration law make him a formidable opponent in court – resulting in a long list of satisfied clients and positive referrals.

    Outside of court, Mr. Litvak often devotes his spare time to participation in local events and to his family. Mr. Litvak lives in Brooklyn, New York. He was born in Vorkuta, Russian Federation, a small city located north of the Arctic Circle, and lived there until he came to the United States at the age of 14 – he speaks fluent Russian. Since he was quite young, he had a strong sense of justice and a desire to advocate for others, so becoming an attorney was a natural, lifelong dream.

    Our online software makes it so easy to complete your immigration paperwork


    So how is it possible that you could be a citizen, and not even know it? Well, one way to…
    Read more
    The process of Naturalization basically requires, meeting one of the various requirements for obtaining Citizenship, and then filing an application…
    Read more
    Official reasons for denial of the N-400 or application for citizenshipBut before we do, let’s summarize the legal or “official”…
    Read more
    Write a review
    Джума Мыратгелдиев
    Джума Мыратгелдиев
    Great attorney, easy to work with, highly recommend, my case was dismissed Thank you so much Igor LITVAK
    Really helpful good lawyer
    Nida Kumar
    Nida Kumar
    Mr. Igor is one of the best lawyer, I have ever met. He had been so kind and full of understanding. Had a privilege to hire him to represent us in federal court. And he did everything possible, to get us out of the trouble. A true man of words. Highly recommended.
    Alexandra Dordzhieva
    Alexandra Dordzhieva
    Good lawyer, helped us in a case
    Karl Mukaz
    Karl Mukaz
    Had the best experience with Igor! Fast, reliable and professional! Highly recommend!
    Jekaterina Shapovalova
    Jekaterina Shapovalova
    Igor Litvak is an outstanding lawyer in New York, and I am beyond impressed with his level of professionalism and expertise. I recently had the privilege of working with him on a complex legal matter, and his knowledge, dedication, and attention to detail were simply unparalleled. From our initial consultation to the resolution of my case, Mr. Litvak went above and beyond to ensure that I understood all aspects of the legal process and was always kept up to date on the status of my case. He provided sound advice, was always available to answer any questions, and took a personalized approach to my legal needs. Mr. Litvak is not only a brilliant attorney, but he is also an exceptional communicator and an empathetic advocate. He is a true professional who genuinely cares about his clients and their well-being, and I would highly recommend him to anyone in need of legal services. If you want an attorney who is not only knowledgeable, but also compassionate, diligent, and committed to achieving the best possible outcome for his clients, then look no further than Mr. Litvak. He is simply the best.
    renier valle
    renier valle
    A very good attorney, I highly recommand him, i had a major criminal case which he resolved with no record. Just a great attorney.
    The best attorney you can get, he will fight for you like he did for me, he was also very detailed on the case and always answering his call, you actually get to have his cell phone. Highly recommended.
    lady jackey
    lady jackey
    Very reliable, and friendly staff, they were very patient with me throughout my vwa case It was a pleasure working with them
    Scroll to top