What happens if my asylum case gets granted by the USCIS asylum officer? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration and asylum attorney practicing law here in St. Louis, Missouri. Asylum cases are very interesting, and once they’re approved it’s a great thing. Having received asylum status in the United States protects someone from being sent back to their home country.
As we explained on other videos asylum is that part of the immigration law that allows someone who can demonstrate to an asylum officer that they will face certain persecution if they return home to stay in the United States and to not get sent back home. So this is a nice form of relief for people who are in the United States who might not necessarily have another way of staying. An asylum grants them that protected status.
So typically asylum cases are taking a long time to process these days. Once you get it approved you’re going to want to do everything you can to maintain that status and to not get into any trouble. So the first thing to keep in mind is if you’ve been granted asylum status you need to stay out of any kind of criminal trouble. The next thing you need to keep in mind is that after one year you can apply for a Green Card.
Now, some people ask, “Why should I apply for a Green Card when I already have asylum status?” And the fact of the matter is that people on asylum are barely here. They are here, they have protected status, and they’re not be sent back home. But you can lose your asylum status if commit certain crimes. And you don’t want to do that. And that’s one of the reasons why you want to move towards getting your Green Card.
We have a rule around there that you always take an immigration benefit as soon as it becomes available to you. So with our asylum clients, as soon as they get asylum, we urge them to get their Green Card as soon as possible. That’s important for two other reasons outside of the whole criminal context.
One is that there could be a change in country conditions. Let’s say that you received asylum because you were going to be oppressed by the ruling government. Let’s say that for whatever reason that ruling government is no longer in power. USCIS does have the authority under the law to revisit your asylum and to reconsider whether or not you should be continuing to receive asylum status. So think of it as a temporary protection that could be lost. It doesn’t happen all that often, but there’s really no reason to not get your Green Card and to get into that next run on the immigration ladder.
The other thing it can happen is that your own current conditions can change. Not only do we have to be worried about what happens with the country, but let’s say that you were being granted asylum because you are a member of a particular religious group and then you decide that you’re no longer member of that religious group. Now I realize that this is pretty rare and that it would be foolish to do this but you could lose your asylee status based on that as well. So if you’re no longer in that protected class there’s a way that the government could take away your asylum status and send you back home unless you have some other way to stay here.
So those are the two main things you need to keep in mind after getting asylum, is you need to make sure to get that Green Card. The other thing to keep in mind is that if you come by yourself on asylum status you can apply for your spouse or children to come after you’ve been granted asylum. So there is a mechanism under the law that allows you to file a form and to sponsor your spouse and children to come as asylees. Then they too would be eligible for Green Cards later on.
If you have any questions about an asylum case, if you’re case has been pending for a while, that’s not particularly unusual. These cases are taking a long time to adjudicate these days. We’ll talk in other videos about what happens if your asylum case is denied. Right now we’re just focused on the asylum case with the asylum officer and what happens after it’s granted. So if you have any questions give us a call 314-961-8200 or you can email me [email protected]. Thanks.