Asylum is a legal protection granted to foreign nationals who, for very specific reasons outlined by U.S. and international law, can prove they have a credible fear of returning to their home country. A person granted asylum is legally permitted to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation. An asylum seeker may be eligible to work in the U.S., travel abroad, and apply for their spouse or child to be granted the same asylum status.
Benefits of Asylum
A number of benefits provided by the U.S. government are offered to asylum seekers, including job assistance, career counseling, and job skills training. Additionally, asylum seekers may apply for a Social Security card and apply for derivative asylum status for spouses and children listed on their asylum application. Individuals granted asylum in the U.S. must be allowed to travel outside the country by completing a travel document for refugees. Male asylum seekers between the ages of 18 and 26 must apply for military selective service, and failure to apply may have a negative impact on the eligibility to become a U.S. citizen.
Who is Eligible for Asylum?
To determine asylum eligibility, you must prove that you are either the victim of past persecution or that you have a well-founded fear of future persecution. You must prove that you have been persecuted in your original country or last country of residence in the case of past persecution. The following are the grounds for a person’s eligibility for asylum:
- political opinion, or
- membership in a particular social group.
A person may apply for asylum to avoid persecution for racial, religious, or political affiliations in their home country regardless of immigration status once they enter the United States. If deportation proceedings are not enacted, a person will apply for “affirmative asylum,” and the applicant will complete an interview with an asylum officer who can grant asylum. If deportation proceedings have started due to Customs and Border Protection apprehension or violations of immigration committed, or if asylum is denied, a person may file a claim for “defensive asylum.”
If asylum is denied and the person is determined to be ineligible for asylum, as determined by an immigration judge, deportation proceedings will begin, although there may be other ways to try to stay in the United States.
Getting Legal Help
If you’re planning to apply for asylum in the U.S., it’s best to consult with an experienced U.S. immigration attorney. Contact our team at (956) 412-0707 to determine how we can assist you.