Categories: Asylum

Can my asylum case ever be cancelled?

Yes.  Unless you have obtained a “green card” or lawful permanent resident status, you could lose your asylum status as well as the derivative asylum status given to your spouse and children if:

  1. The U.S. government has evidence that there was fraud in your asylum application.
  2. There has been a “fundamental change” in your country so that the reason you were afraid to return is no longer present.
  3. You have been convicted of a crime that meets the definition of “aggravated felony.”
  4. There exists another country which will accept you for asylum or you have obtained a new nationality.
  5. You have returned to your home country or you have used your country’s protection. For example, traveling on your home country’s passport or renewing it.

Asylum is not a right to remain permanently in the U.S. and for this reason it is important to apply for a “green card” or lawful permanent resident status as soon as you are eligible.  If you are facing termination of your asylum status, is important to consult with an immigration attorney.

What is a “frivolous” asylum application?

People often want to know “what does it mean when USCIS says an asylum application was frivolous?”

Under the federal regulations, asylum seekers can get in trouble if they file a “knowingly frivolous” application.  Knowingly frivolous means that one or more important claim in the application is false.  It could also mean claims of asylum where there was positively no credible fear of persecution back home.

The bar on frivolous applications was put into place because people had been submitting completely false asylum applications.  There are many reported cases of people claiming to have done heroic things in their home country in the hopes of never being sent back and, upon investigation, the claims were found to be false.

One such case involved a man named Biao Yang in China. Mr. Yang arrived in Chicago one day and immediately told officials that he had fled China because “family planning authorities” were out to kill him because he had (1) impregnated his girlfriend, (2) scuffled with an abortionist sent to kill his unborn child and (3) escaped China.  The immigration judge, after several hours of testimony and cross-examination, decided that Mr. Yang had lied.  His asylum case was denied.

In situations like this, if the immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals concludes that you had fabricated portions of your asylum claim, very serious consequences then occur.  Specifically, you can be barred from ever seeking any immigration benefit in any form in the U.S.  A very serious consequence indeed.

This is another reason why you must be thorough, complete and totally honest when filing for asylum.  Having your case denied would not be the worst outcome if you are found to have filed a frivolous application.

Hope this helps you understand this important concept.

What are the classifications protected by US asylum law?

Many people think they can seek asylum in the U.S. for any reason.  However, the categories of activities or characteristics which are protected by federal asylum law are actually rather narrow.

In order to qualify for asylum, the alien must show that he or she is unable to return to their home because of past persecution or a “well-founded” fear of future persecution.  The persecution must be based upon the alien’s:

  • race;
  • religion;
  • nationality;
  • membership in a particular social group; and/or,
  • political opinion.

A person may submit an asylum application based upon more than one reasons for persecution.  The person seeking asylum bears the burden of proof and has to show a “reasonable possibility” that persecution will occur.

One benefit of asylum (besides being able to stay in the U.S.) is that the asylee can seek lawful permanent resident status after being in the United States for one year.

 

Is it important to have corroborating evidence in an asylum case?

Asylum cases are very difficult to win.  There are a lot of ways to make asylum cases even harder to win.  For instance, there are basically two types of asylum claims.  The first type of asylum claim is when a person is in the United States and makes an affirmative application for asylum.  This type of person would argue that if they were forced to return to their home country, they would face persecution based on their religion, their ethnicity or some other recognized distinction.  An asylum application would be decided at the closest asylum office.

For St. Louis asylum cases, the closest asylum office is in Chicago, Illinois.  The way it works here in Missouri and Southern Illinois is that the asylum office waits until it has a sufficient number of applications and then schedules all of the St. Louis asylum cases for the same week.  The interviews occur at the local USCIS office at 1222 Spruce Street.  The asylum officer interviews the applicant, inquires into the basis for the asylum claim and often spends a lot of time inquiring into past persecution.

If the asylum case is granted, the person is on a path to lawful permanent resident status.  But if asylum is denied, that is not necessarily the end of the case.  If someone has no basis other than the requested asylum to remain in the US, after the denial of the request, the person is placed in deportation/removal proceedings.  During these proceedings, the alien can request asylum as a defense to deportation.  That is, the person can ask an immigration judge to grant them asylum and to allow them to remain in the U.S.

Asylum as a defensive measure is also very difficult to achieve.  The DHS attorneys who are prosecuting the deportation case are very good at inquiring into the appropriateness of asylum.  One of their favorite arguments is that the asylum seeker lacks corroborating (supporting) evidence.  DHS argues that the immigration judge can’t simply rely upon the word of the asylum seeker.

This is where working with an immigration lawyer who is experienced in asylum cases can make the difference between success and failure.  A good immigration attorney knows how to prepare a strong asylum case.  It is also very important to present the corroborating evidence early – like in the initial request for asylum – because if it is not submitted at the outset, the government sometimes argues that the new evidence conflicts somehow with the old evidence.  Getting evidence from independent 3rd party sources like the Red Cross, country reports and expert witnesses is crucial.  But even sworn testimony from family members or acquaintances can help boost the chances of success tremendously.

Like stated above, asyum cases are difficult to win.  Don’t do anything early on to screw up your case. Make sure that you submit the strongest case possible at the earliest possible opportunity.

To contact our office to learn more about asylum, please call (314) 961-8200 or visit or our contact page.

Is it important to have corroborating evidence in an asylum case?

Asylum cases are very difficult to win.  There are a lot of ways to make asylum cases even harder to win.  For instance, there are basically two types of asylum claims.  The first type of asylum claim is when a person is in the United States and makes an affirmative application for asylum.  This type of person would argue that if they were forced to return to their home country, they would face persecution based on their religion, their ethnicity or some other recognized distinction.  An asylum application would be decided at the closest asylum office.

For St. Louis asylum cases, the closest asylum office is in Chicago, Illinois.  The way it works here in Missouri and Southern Illinois is that the asylum office waits until it has a sufficient number of applications and then schedules all of the St. Louis asylum cases for the same week.  The interviews occur at the local USCIS office at 1222 Spruce Street.  The asylum officer interviews the applicant, inquires into the basis for the asylum claim and often spends a lot of time inquiring into past persecution.

If the asylum case is granted, the person is on a path to lawful permanent resident status.  But if asylum is denied, that is not necessarily the end of the case.  If someone has no basis other than the requested asylum to remain in the US, after the denial of the request, the person is placed in deportation/removal proceedings.  During these proceedings, the alien can request asylum as a defense to deportation.  That is, the person can ask an immigration judge to grant them asylum and to allow them to remain in the U.S.

Asylum as a defensive measure is also very difficult to achieve.  The DHS attorneys who are prosecuting the deportation case are very good at inquiring into the appropriateness of asylum.  One of their favorite arguments is that the asylum seeker lacks corroborating (supporting) evidence.  DHS argues that the immigration judge can’t simply rely upon the word of the asylum seeker.

This is where working with an immigration lawyer who is experienced in asylum cases can make the difference between success and failure.  A good immigration attorney knows how to prepare a strong asylum case.  It is also very important to present the corroborating evidence early – like in the initial request for asylum – because if it is not submitted at the outset, the government sometimes argues that the new evidence conflicts somehow with the old evidence.  Getting evidence from independent 3rd party sources like the Red Cross, country reports and expert witnesses is crucial.  But even sworn testimony from family members or acquaintances can help boost the chances of success tremendously.

Like stated above, asyum cases are difficult to win.  Don’t do anything early on to screw up your case. Make sure that you submit the strongest case possible at the earliest possible opportunity.

To contact our office to learn more about asylum, please call (314) 961-8200 or visit or our contact page.

What are the classifications protected by US asylum law?

Many people think they can seek asylum in the U.S. for any reason.  However, the categories of activities or characteristics which are protected by federal asylum law are actually rather narrow.

In order to qualify for asylum, the alien must show that he or she is unable to return to their home because of past persecution or a “well-founded” fear of future persecution.  The persecution must be based upon the alien’s:

  • race;
  • religion;
  • nationality;
  • membership in a particular social group; and/or,
  • political opinion.

A person may submit an asylum application based upon more than one reasons for persecution.  The person seeking asylum bears the burden of proof and has to show a “reasonable possibility” that persecution will occur.

One benefit of asylum (besides being able to stay in the U.S.) is that the asylee can seek lawful permanent resident status after being in the United States for one year.

 

What is a “frivolous” asylum application?

People often want to know “what does it mean when USCIS says an asylum application was frivolous?”

Under the federal regulations, asylum seekers can get in trouble if they file a “knowingly frivolous” application.  Knowingly frivolous means that one or more important claim in the application is false.  It could also mean claims of asylum where there was positively no credible fear of persecution back home.

The bar on frivolous applications was put into place because people had been submitting completely false asylum applications.  There are many reported cases of people claiming to have done heroic things in their home country in the hopes of never being sent back and, upon investigation, the claims were found to be false.

One such case involved a man named Biao Yang in China. Mr. Yang arrived in Chicago one day and immediately told officials that he had fled China because “family planning authorities” were out to kill him because he had (1) impregnated his girlfriend, (2) scuffled with an abortionist sent to kill his unborn child and (3) escaped China.  The immigration judge, after several hours of testimony and cross-examination, decided that Mr. Yang had lied.  His asylum case was denied.

In situations like this, if the immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals concludes that you had fabricated portions of your asylum claim, very serious consequences then occur.  Specifically, you can be barred from ever seeking any immigration benefit in any form in the U.S.  A very serious consequence indeed.

This is another reason why you must be thorough, complete and totally honest when filing for asylum.  Having your case denied would not be the worst outcome if you are found to have filed a frivolous application.

Hope this helps you understand this important concept.

Can my asylum case ever be cancelled?

Yes.  Unless you have obtained a “green card” or lawful permanent resident status, you could lose your asylum status as well as the derivative asylum status given to your spouse and children if:

  1. The U.S. government has evidence that there was fraud in your asylum application.
  2. There has been a “fundamental change” in your country so that the reason you were afraid to return is no longer present.
  3. You have been convicted of a crime that meets the definition of “aggravated felony.”
  4. There exists another country which will accept you for asylum or you have obtained a new nationality.
  5. You have returned to your home country or you have used your country’s protection. For example, traveling on your home country’s passport or renewing it.

Asylum is not a right to remain permanently in the U.S. and for this reason it is important to apply for a “green card” or lawful permanent resident status as soon as you are eligible.  If you are facing termination of your asylum status, is important to consult with an immigration attorney.