Among various other means of entering the United States legally, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services allows people to apply for legal residence if they reasonably fear persecution in their country of origin. However, there are numerous requirements individuals must fulfill before USCIS can accept an application for asylum. Additionally, recent changes in federal law have limited the number of people per year who can successfully achieve this status.

If you want to seek this immigration status for yourself or help a family member do so, you should work with an experienced San Diego asylum lawyer. Once retained, a qualified immigration attorney at Hacking Immigration Law LLC could explain in further detail how this process works and help you effectively pursue a positive resolution to your application.

Eligibility to Seek Asylum in San Diego

Seeking asylum in the United States is a bit different from pursuing refuge or temporary protected status. Asylum is reserved for people who are already present in the United States at the time of their application, whereas refugee status is meant for people currently outside U.S. borders who wish to enter the country legally. Temporary protected status is a mix of both, as it is meant to allow foreign nationals living in the U.S. legally to temporarily overstay their visa to avoid unsafe conditions in their country of origin.

Regardless of which process a foreign national pursues, they must reasonably fear they would suffer persecution in their country of origin based on their religion, race or nationality, political views, or social group membership to receive approval on their application. It is important to note that as of 2018, domestic and gang violence are generally no longer considered valid grounds on which to apply for this immigration status, except in situations where an applicant’s country of origin cannot or refuses to provide protection from these kinds of persecution. A local asylum attorney could offer up-to-date clarification about any other similar changes or updates to U.S. foreign policy.

The Asylum Application Process

A person seeking asylum in the U.S. must submit Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, within a year of the date they first arrived in the United States. There is no fee associated with this form, and the applicant must file it with the immigration court overseeing the case.

If the USCIS accepts an application, an asylee will immediately receive employment authorization in the United States. However, applicants may not pursue a separate employment authorization unless 150 days have passed since they filed their complete Form I-589 with no final verdict having been made.

One year after being granted asylum, an asylee may apply for legal permanent residence, or a green card, by filing Form I-485. A lawyer in San Diego could go over application options with an individual seeking asylum, as well as how they could apply through Form I-730 to bring certain family members to the United States as asylees.

Talk to a San Diego Asylum Attorney Today

Asylum can be a crucial means of securing your and your family’s safety from threats of harm or persecution in your country of origin. Unfortunately, this is not an easy method for pursuing legal residency. Without help from a legal professional who has successfully handled these kinds of cases, you may have trouble providing the required paperwork to USCIS and avoiding rejection of your application.

Therefore, seeking assistance from a San Diego asylum lawyer could be in your best interests. To schedule a consultation and discuss your unique circumstances, call today.