The standard for St Louis asylum eligibility is the same as it is throughout the United States. Asylum law is federal, so the requirements do not vary from state to state or city to city.

To be eligible for asylum, a person must have a credible fear of persecution. This has to be a fear of imminent harm, and many applicants find it difficult to prove this standard to an immigration officer. If you are seeking asylum in St Louis, you should reach out to a determined immigration lawyer to help you. At the Hacking Law Practice, LLC, we have the knowledge and experience needed to help you build an asylum application with the best chance of success.

Necessary Factors to be Granted Asylum

The best way to show a chance of future persecution is by demonstrating past persecution. If a person can demonstrate in the past that they have been tortured, jailed, or had other bad things happen to them physically or mentally, then they might be able to make an asylum claim. Asylum eligibility in St Louis is based on five factors: race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Membership in a particular social group is sort of a catchall when USCI wants to classify someone in some other protected group that does not have a recognized definition.

It is possible to make an asylum claim without demonstrating past persecutions, but that can be very difficult because the standard is high. An immigration officer is probably not going to believe them unless things have changed in their home country.

How to Prove Persecution

The chances of persecution are generally proven by the person’s testimony and any kind of documentation or corroborating evidence that the lawyer can submit. Sometimes the lawyer will get an expert on country conditions. They may find people in the community who have been back to their home country or know what is going on there. The lawyer can submit news reports, academic papers, or State Department or human rights reports to demonstrate that the claim that they are making is real.

Steps in the Asylum Process

The first step in St Louis asylum eligibility is for an individual to be in the United States physically. They also have to submit a form and supporting evidence that demonstrates that they have a real, credible fear. They will get fingerprinted, have a background check, and get interviewed. At that interview, they will basically tell their life story and explain to the officer why they cannot go back to their home country. They must explain why their home country would not be safe for them and what would happen to them if they did go back. Then, they have to demonstrate that those bad things are tied to one of the five protected classes: race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or their membership in a social group.

That interview can take anywhere from one to four hours. When it is over, the officer will make a decision. If they are out of status at the time that the decision is issued, then they will be referred to the immigration court, where they can then apply for asylum the second time.

Immigration Court in St Louis

The second time someone applies for asylum, in immigration court, they are going to be in front of an administrative law judge, who is an expert in immigration law. There will also be a prosecutor there who is trying to get them deported. At that point, it is much more like an adversarial trial situation where the lawyer is trying to protect them and keep them here and the government is trying to kick them out.

How Long Does the Process Take?

The asylum application process can take a long time. There is a huge backlog in the asylum courts right now, and some cases have been pending for three or four years. One of the changes that President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions made is to have the applications that were filed most recently get decided on earlier. That is because they believe there is a lot of fraud going on in the asylum context, and they want to get the new cases out as fast as they can. There are cases that were filed in 2016 that have not even gone to the interview stage yet, so it can be a long wait.

Reaching Out to a Sympathetic Immigration Attorney for Help

At the Hacking Law Practice, LLC, we understand how important an asylum application is to you and your family. St Louis asylum eligibility can be difficult to prove, but we have extensive experience guiding applicants through the entire process. Call our firm today to schedule a consultation.