Political asylum is available to foreigners who cannot return to their home countries due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. If granted asylum you can live and work in the U.S. and can seek permanent residency. In most cases you must apply for asylum within one year of arriving in the U.S. To learn more about political asylum and whether it is an option for you, please talk to the Chávez Firm, L.L.C., right away.
Basis for Political Asylum
In order to be granted asylum you must prove that you have already suffered persecution in your home country or have a well-founded fear that you will suffer persecution in your home country due to one of the following:
- Political opinion
- Membership in a particular social group
You can ask for asylum at the port of entry when you come to the U.S., or you can apply for it after you are here. In most cases you must apply within one year of entering the U.S., but there are some exceptions.
If you have only recently become eligible for asylum due to changes in your home country or changes in your personal circumstances which make it dangerous for you to return when it was not dangerous for you before, then you can apply for asylum even if you have been in the U.S. for longer than one year.
Extraordinary circumstances, such as mental of physical illness, preventing you from applying for asylum within the one year period may also give you the opportunity to apply after time has run out.
Maintaining your legal status can also push your deadline back. If you are in this country legally under a visa, for instance, your year does not begin until your visa expires and your status becomes unlawful.
Traveling While You Wait for Asylum
If you must travel out of the U.S. after applying for asylum and before receiving a decision, you must get permission to travel first. This permission is called advance parole. If you fail to obtain advance parole before leaving the country your application for asylum is abandoned and you may not be allowed to re-enter the country.
If you or someone you love is interested in obtaining U.S. citizenship or is facing deportation, please talk to the immigration lawyers of the Chávez Law Group, today, or submit our online questionnaire.