Individuals and their dependents may only apply for asylum if they are currently in the United States, and have been here for less than one year. United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers a number of factors when reviewing an asylum case. Our immigration attorneys are local to Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia and can represent you in-person if needed. We specialize in motions to reopen or grant asylum cases. We can help you with:
You must first obtain refugee status to be considered for asylum. You may qualify for asylum if you can establish that you are a refugee, and if you do not satisfy any of the below bars to asylum:
The UN defines a refugee as someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because he or she has suffered harm and/or has a well-founded fear of future harm because of who they are. This may include harm that is based upon one’s race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or some other characteristic about oneself that cannot be changed, such as one’s sexuality. Asylum seekers have much higher rates of success when they are represented by an attorney. A well-thought-out case can make the difference in a successful asylum case, and an experienced immigration attorney can help increase your chances of receiving a favorable ruling.
There are two types of asylum applications in the United States: affirmative and defensive. Defensive cases:an asylum seeker is placed in removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review. They may apply for asylum at their removal hearing in front of an Immigration Judge. An asylum seeker in removal proceedings may have been referred to Immigration Court either upon applying for admission at a U.S. port of entry or at some time after the individual has entered the country. Affirmative cases:an asylum seeker is inside the United States and has not been placed in removal proceedings. He or she may then file an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, regardless of his or her legal status in the United States. If the asylum seeker does not have a valid immigration status, and USCIS does not grant the asylum application, USCIS will place the applicant in removal proceedings and an Immigration Judge will reconsider the application. The Immigration Judge may also consider the applicant for relief that the asylum office has no jurisdiction to grant.
Asylum seekers may not bring family members to the US until they have already received asylum. You may only petition to bring children and/or your spouse to the United States after receiving asylum. Our immigration attorneys know how to navigate the asylum process and are standing by to help you better understand your legal rights. If you think you may qualify, or have further questions, call the Federal Practice Group for a consultation today.
Our attorneys travel to San Diego and anywhere on the West Coast. We have experience with Cameroon and Eritrean asylum seekers to those coming from Central and South America and have been detained. Contact the Federal Practice Group today!
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