If you have a well-founded fear of returning to your home country, you may want to speak to a Neahusan Law asylum lawyer to see if you are eligible for legal status based on this fear. Refugee protection is an important pillar of U.S. immigration law.
There are three ways an individual can apply for immigration status based on a fear of returning to their home country:
Neahusan Law immigration attorneys have extensive experience applying for all three forms of relief.
An annual cap for the number of people who can be granted asylum or refugee status does not exist. Nevertheless, only 10,000 individuals can apply for legal permanent residence (LPR) status based on their already-approved asylum application in a given year. People granted asylum must reside in the US in asylum status for at least one year before they may apply for their green cards.
To be eligible for asylum in the United States, you must:
In some special circumstances, you may apply for asylum even if you have been in the United States for more than one year. This might be possible if the conditions in your home country have materially changed since you entered the United States or if your circumstances have changed such that the threat you will face if you are forced to return to your home country is materially affected.
For the above, a Neahusan Law asylum lawyer can help explain how this immigration application works and whether you are eligible.
In addition, you may be able to successfully apply for asylum past the one-year deadline if you can prove that extraordinary circumstances prevented you from applying within one year of your arrival. In these cases, the application must be submitted within a “reasonable time,” considering the circumstances.
If you are in the United States illegally when USCIS denies your case, they will refer you to the immigration court and you will be subject to removal proceedings. At this point, you will re-submit your asylum application and begin a defensive application process in front of a judge.
Do not forget that your criminal record in the United States will be considered when you apply for asylum. Individuals convicted of an aggravated felony or other serious crimes are not eligible for asylum. Determining whether an offense is an aggravated felony or a particularly serious crime may involve a complicated legal analysis and the assistance of an experienced Neahusan Law asylum lawyer.
On the other hand, Withholding of Removal, or “withholding,” is an immigration benefit that prohibits the United States government from returning an immigrant to their home country if their life or freedom would be threatened due to their religion, race, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. The benefits granted to a withholding applicant are inferior to those granted to an asylum applicant because withholding applicants are not eligible to become legal permanent residents, and their status can more easily be revoked.
Nonetheless, withholding is an important option for individuals who are prohibited from receiving asylum status for reasons such as conviction of an aggravated felony, missing the one-year filing deadline for asylum applications, or not being eligible for many other reasons.
Unlike asylum, withholding of removal can only be granted by an immigration judge, so it is only available as a defensive application in immigration court. Withholding also differs from asylum in that the legal standard is more difficult to satisfy. While asylum requires the applicant to prove that they have a “well-founded fear of persecution,” withholding of removal requires the individual to demonstrate that it would be “more likely than not” that they will face persecution if returned to their home country.
Once granted, withholding can only be terminated if an individual’s case is reopened, and government attorneys can establish to an immigration judge that they are no longer likely to be tortured if returned to their home country.
Furthermore, Protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) is a benefit that arises from the United Nations that both prohibits governments from torturing their citizens and prohibits governments from deporting individuals to countries where the deportee would more likely than not be subject to torture.
CAT is used as a last resort for individuals who would likely be subject to torture but who are ineligible for withholding of removal because they have been involved in the persecution of others in the past or have other serious criminal convictions that bar them from asylum or withholding.
CAT is a more tenuous immigration status because it is easier to terminate than withhold or asylum.
Due to the current global political chaos, asylum and refugee law are among the most rapidly evolving and nuanced areas of immigration law. A Neahusan Law asylum lawyer knows the most up-to-date view of the United States regarding the conditions in your home country, which can be used to bolster your application.
In many cases, collecting evidence of past persecution or fear of future persecution to submit to the immigration court is the most challenging part of the process – an experienced Neahusan Law asylum attorney can assist you in collecting this evidence and help you determine the best sources for this evidence.
If you fear returning to your home country because you fear persecution, our experienced Neahusan Law asylum lawyers can help. We will fight your legal battles and handle your case with the attention it deserves. Contact Neahusan Law today at 775-420-5142 or on the contact form on our website. We are your legal lifeline in Reno, Sparks, Fallon, Carson City, Fernley, and the surrounding communities of Nevada.