For individuals looking to flee their country due to fear of persecution, one option is seeking asylum in another country. Gaining asylum in the United States can be challenging, especially when it comes to filling out the application and attending the interview. However, our team of asylum lawyers at Consumer Law Group are here to assist you every step of your asylum journey. Here are the benefits you can expect when working with us:
- Reasonable Fees: You may be wondering, “how much does an asylum lawyer cost?” At Consumer Law Group, we strive to make our asylum lawyer fees affordable, so you can get the representation and help you deserve.
- Bilingual services: Our team of asylum lawyers, as well as our deportation lawyers, green card lawyers, and other lawyers, are bilingual in both Spanish and English, so you can communicate in a language you’re most comfortable with.
- Experience: With over ten years of experience, you can have peace of mind knowing our asylum lawyers will work with your best interests in mind to get the outcome you deserve.
Asylum is a legal protection granted to asylees or refugees coming to the United States who are unable or unwilling to return to their country of nationality in fear that they will be persecuted, or have a well-founded fear that they will be persecuted, based on:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
When granted asylum, individuals can live and work in the United States and apply for permanent residence, among other benefits.
No, you cannot apply for U.S. asylum from overseas. One of the requirements for obtaining asylum is having a physical presence on U.S. soil, even if you entered illegally.
Yes, you can work while your asylum case is pending, but only under certain circumstances. You can only work when your asylum case is pending if you have been waiting 365 days (1 year) for approval from the date you filed, which became effective on August 25, 2020. Previously, you only had to wait 150 days. Once a full year has passed, you are able to apply for employment authorization to gain the right to work in the U.S.
Yes, undocumented immigrants can apply for a U visa, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements explained above. At Consumer Law Group, our U visa immigration lawyers can help ensure victims of crimes meet all of the eligibility requirements to secure a U visa, stay safe, and prevent deportation.
Yes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS is offering free contracted interpreters for asylum interviews in 47 different languages. These free services are being provided from September 23, 2020, to March 22, 2021, with the possibility of these free interpreter services being extended. However, asylum seekers are generally expected to pay a fee for USCIS-approved interpreters, so check with the USCIS before your scheduled interview to double-check whether the services are still free.
Many asylum seekers are urgent to work. However, one roadblock that gets in their way is the asylum clock. The asylum clock measures the 365 days after an applicant files for asylum before they become eligible to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD), also called a work permit, to make them legally allowed to work in the U.S.
The 365 day time period became effective on August 25, 2020, which means if you entered the U.S. before this date, the time on your clock is shorter. Before the new measures came into effect, the asylum clock measured the 150 days after an applicant filed for asylum before becoming eligible to apply for an EAD.
It’s important to note that your asylum clock can stop if you cause any delays, such as postponing a date.
You can file for asylum for a variety of reasons, such as being gay, being in opposition to your country’s government, practicing a rare religion, being a racial minority, and so forth. However, whether you are granted asylum is a different question. To be granted asylum, you must prove that you will be persecuted or harmed for being gay, in opposition, a racial minority, etc. To help strengthen your case, speak with one of our experienced asylum lawyers today.
Knowing the chances of receiving asylum in the U.S. is hard to say, as it depends on unique circumstances for each case. By speaking with an asylum lawyer at Consumer Law Group, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have a highly focused lawyer working on your behalf to help better your chances.
In order to be granted asylum, you must apply within one year of your last entry into the U.S. However, if you can prove a “changed circumstance” or an “extraordinary circumstance,” an extension may be possible. For example, if you had no intention of seeking asylum when coming to the U.S., but your political views changed such that they will result in persecution in your native country, you may be eligible under a changed circumstance. Or, if a serious illness or injury prevented you from filing for asylum within one year, you may be granted an extension under an extraordinary circumstance.
Yes, you can still apply for asylum in the U.S. even if you entered illegally, as long as you are not in removal proceedings and file within one year of arriving in the U.S.
Yes, you can apply for asylum if you were convicted of a crime, but you may be barred from seeking asylum depending on the nature of the crime. You must state that you were convicted of a crime when filling out Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, and at your asylum interview. If you fail to do so, your asylum claim will be referred to the immigration court, which can result in fines or imprisonment for committing perjury.
To obtain asylum benefits for your spouse and children, list them on your Form I-589, regardless of whether they are:
- Unmarried children under the age of 21
- Alive, missing, or dead
- Born in other countries or in the United States
- Under 21 years old or adults
- Married or unmarried
- Living with you in the United States or elsewhere
- Stepsons or stepdaughters or legally adopted
- Born when you were not married
- Included in your asylum application or filing a separate application
You can also list your spouse as a dependent on your asylum application, as well as your children if they are:
- Under the age of 21
- In the United States
When going to your asylum interview, make sure to bring your family members, because if you are granted asylum status, family members included on your application will also be granted asylum status (unless they are barred from asylum), allowing them to remain in the United States.
If you are granted asylum and your spouse and any unmarried children under 21 years old are living outside the United States, you can file a Form I-730, Refugee and Asylee Relative Petition, for them to obtain derivative asylum status.
Once your asylum application is received, USCIS will send you a notice to go to a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC), which will inform you when you need to be fingerprinted.
Yes, along with being fingerprinted, asylum seekers will be required to have a series of background and security checks conducted. Background and security checks consist of:
- FBI check on your biographical information and fingerprints
- Check of your biographical information against law enforcement databases
If you are rejected asylum status for any reason, you may be sent to Immigration Court for removal proceedings.
Your child will still be eligible for asylum if they turn 21 years old after you filed your asylum application.
There is no fee to apply for asylum.
To determine whether you are eligible for asylum, USCIS will evaluate whether you meet the definition of a refugee based on the information you provided on your application and during your interview. An asylum officer will also assess whether any bars apply to your case that will prevent you from gaining asylum, such as if you:
- Ordered, incited, assisted, or participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion
- Were convicted of a serious crime (including aggravated felonies)
- Committed a serious nonpolitical crime outside the United States
- Pose a danger to the security of the United States
- Were firmly resettled in another country prior to arriving in the United States
TThe asylum process typically takes 180 days from the day you submit your application unless there are exceptional circumstances that delay the process.
The law that governs the Asylum Program can be found in Section 208 of the INA. Additionally, asylum officers also rely on case law for certain asylum cases, and you can find the Board of Immigration Appeals' administrative decisions on their web page.
Yes, you can have a lawyer come with you to your asylum interview. At Consumer Law Group, our asylum lawyers are here to be by your side as you navigate the asylum process. Lawyers are also permitted to attend immigration proceedings before immigration court. You also have the option to have a representative from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) help you find a person to assist you with completing Form I-589.
If you don’t speak English, you will need to bring an interpreter fluent in both English and your native language to your interview and any immigration proceedings. The following people cannot be used as your interpreter:
- Your attorney or representative of record
- A witness testifying on your behalf at the interview
- A representative or employee of your country
To find out your asylum application status, you can send a written inquiry or visit the asylum office handling your case. You will need the following information:
- Your A-Number (the 8 or 9 digit number following the letter "A")
- Your legal name and, if different, the name as it appears on the application
- Your date of birth
- Date and location of your asylum interview, if applicable
You can also check your case status online by visiting the USCIS website and entering the receipt number that came after filing your application.
If you need to travel after you applied for asylum but haven’t been given a decision yet, it’s recommended to stay in the United States. However, under some circumstances, you can be given advanced parole that allows certain individuals to return to the U.S. by filing Form I-131. If you leave the U.S. without advance parole, it will be presumed that you abandoned your asylum application, and gaining advance parole doesn’t always mean you’ll be allowed back into the U.S.
If you need to travel after you’ve been granted asylum, you need to obtain a refugee travel document, along with your spouse and children, if they decide to travel. A refugee travel document can be used for temporary travel abroad and is required for readmission to the U.S. as an asylee.
Yes, all information on your asylum application is protected and will not be shared with any third parties without your written consent or specific authorization from the Secretary of Homeland Security.
Yes, minors can apply for asylum.
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