Every year, the United States takes in about 25,000 people who are seeking asylum from persecution of one form or another in their country of origin. Declaring asylum is a complex process that involves multiple forms and extensive evidence that you meet the criteria for protection within U.S. borders.
If you would like to seek asylum yourself or have a family member who might benefit from this option, you should speak with a dedicated immigration attorney at Hacking Immigration Law, LLC. Based on our appraisal of your unique circumstances, a Washington DC asylum lawyer could provide tireless and tenacious support for you and your loved ones as you pursue safety from the harm you may be facing abroad.
Who Is Eligible to Seek Asylum?
Asylum is meant for foreign nationals who are experiencing persecution or have a reasonable fear of persecution in their home country based on their race, nationality, religious beliefs, political affiliation, or membership in a specific social group. Individuals who meet this requirement may formally begin the process of seeking asylum by filing Form I-589 upon their arrival at a U.S. port of entry or soon afterwards while they are currently residing in the United States.
Generally, USCIS does not allow foreign nationals who have been in the United States for longer than a year to apply for asylum. However, applicants who can prove that their circumstances have changed drastically enough to have a material impact on their asylum eligibility or that other extraordinary circumstances delayed them from filing their application on time may still be eligible, provided that they still begin the application process within a reasonable amount of time in light of those exceptional circumstances.
Individuals applying for asylum may include their spouse and/or unmarried children younger than 21 on their application. If this application is granted, those family members would have asylum status in the U.S. as well. A Washington, DC attorney could address any concerns that an asylum seeker may have about these qualifications and conditions.
Getting Work Authorization as an Asylee
Once someone is granted asylum in the United States, that asylee may also receive the right to legally hold employment in the U.S. the same way that any other green card holder could. However, these immigration applicants usually cannot apply for authorization to work in the United States at the same time they are applying for asylum.
Notably, a person seeking asylum could potentially apply for and be granted work authorization while their application is still pending if at least 365 days have passed since they submitted their application, and they meet certain additional criteria. A lawyer in Washington DC could explain all these requirements and help guide a prospective asylee through the process of seeking work authorization before receiving a final verdict on their asylum application.
Contact a Washington DC Asylum Attorney
Asylum is a critically important option for people who are not already U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to seek refuge from potentially dangerous conditions in their home countries. The procedures for declaring asylum are lengthy and complicated, and you may have low odds of success if you try to work through them alone.
A knowledgeable Washington DC asylum lawyer could be the resource you need to effectively pursue the outcome you want from this process. Call today for a consultation.