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U.S. Asylum Attorneys Helping Asylum Seekers Find A Peaceful Future

As living conditions and political climates change around the world, more people are fleeing persecution and seeking asylum in the United States. However, the asylum process can be complex and often requires help from an experienced attorney for your application to be successful.

At Consumer Law Group, we help asylum seekers nationwide find the peace and safety of living in the United States. We understand the complexities and challenges of U.S. immigration law. With over 30 decades of combined experience, our English and Spanish-speaking lawyers are committed to helping you achieve a peaceful future.

What Is Asylum?

Asylum is a protection granted to individuals who have a valid fear of returning to their home countries due to the following reasons:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Political opinion
  • Membership in a social group

Anyone granted asylum has the right to remain in the United States without fearing deportation. Asylum also allows you to apply for immigration benefits, such as the ability to legally work in the United States.

How Does The Asylum Process Work In The U.S.?

There are two pathways to asylum in the United States, depending on whether you are in the process of being deported. Immigrants who are not in removal proceedings go through the affirmative asylum process. Defensive asylum is for individuals applying for asylum as a defense against removal from the country.

To apply for asylum, you must file Form I-589 within one year from the date you first arrived in the United States. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will review your application if you are not in removal proceedings and send you a notice for your next steps, which include fingerprinting, a background check and an interview. An asylum officer will then determine your eligibility, and you will receive your decision within two weeks. If you are in removal proceedings, you will file your Form I-589 directly with the immigration judge.

Who Is Eligible For Asylum In The U.S.?

You are eligible for asylum in the United States if you are from a country where you have experienced persecution or have a valid fear of persecution for your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group. When applying for asylum, you must prove that you faced persecution in the past or will in the future.

When Should You File For Asylum In The U.S.?

You have one year from your arrival in the United States to file for asylum. If you wait, you may no longer be eligible, and you may face removal from the country.

Benefits Of Hiring A Consumer Law Group Asylum Attorney

At Consumer Law Group, we have a dedicated team of immigration attorneys who focus solely on helping individuals and families nationwide with immigration matters. While you can apply for asylum independently, working with an experienced and respected immigration attorney can make a life-changing difference in your case.

We will help you with your petition for asylum, ensuring that you have the relevant evidence and documents. We can also help with interview preparation, so you feel ready for your interview with an asylum officer.

Can I apply for U.S. asylum from overseas?

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.

Will I be able to work while my asylum case is pending?

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 (one 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.

Will I be provided with a free attorney to represent me in asylum proceedings?

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.

Will I be provided with a free interpreter during my asylum interview?

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.

What is an asylum clock?

Many asylum seekers are urgently seeking 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.

Can I file for asylum if I am gay/in opposition to my country’s government/practice a rare religion/belong to a racial minority/etc.?

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.

What are my chances of receiving asylum in the U.S.?

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 improve your chances.

Can I file for asylum after a one-year deadline?

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.

Can I still apply for asylum even if I am in the United States illegally?

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.

Can I apply for asylum even if I was convicted of a crime?

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.

How can I obtain asylum benefits for my spouse and children?

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, 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
  • Unmarried
  • 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.

When will I need to be fingerprinted?

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.

Will I be required to undergo any other criminal or security checks?

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 the following:

  • FBI check on your biographical information and fingerprints
  • Check 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.

What happens if my child turns 21 years old after I have filed my asylum application?

Your child will still be eligible for asylum if they turn 21 years old after you file your asylum application.

What is the fee to apply for asylum?

There is no fee to apply for asylum.

How does the asylum officer determine if I am eligible 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

How long does the asylum process take?

The asylum process typically takes 180 days from the day you submit your application, unless there are exceptional circumstances that delay the process.

Where can I find the law on asylum?

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.

Can anyone help me with my asylum interview?

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 the 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.

What if I don’t speak English?

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

How can I find out the status of my asylum application?

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 eight-digit or nine-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.

What if I need to travel after I’ve applied for asylum?

If you need to travel after you apply 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.

What if I need to travel after I’ve been granted asylum?

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.

Is the information I provide on my application protected?

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.

If I am a minor, can I still apply for asylum?

Yes, minors can apply for asylum.

Get Started On Your Asylum Petition Today!

If you recently arrived in the United States and are afraid to return to your home country, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your asylum options. You have a limited time to apply, so don’t waste it. Contact us today at 312-766-7777 or online to schedule a consultation. We offer our consultations virtually for your convenience.