Asylum in the United States

Helping Refugees From Around The World Seeking Asylum In The Usa

US Asylum LawThe Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC is dedicated to helping clients seek asylum. Asylum allows immigrants to escape the persecution that they suffered in their homelands and come to America to start a new life. It also helps those people who did not suffer persecution in the past, but have a legitimate fear of persecution if they returned home.

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

Under U.S. law, asylum may be granted to aliens who can establish they have well-founded fear of persecution if they were forced to return to country of citizenship or last habitual residence. The persecution must be on account of political opinion, race, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group. We have successfully helped our clients from various countries obtain asylum in the U.S. Our Firm is dedicated to helping people escape persecution in their home countries by securing them a safe haven in the U.S. Asylum can be granted to individuals who are just arriving to the U.S. or to people who are already physically present in U.S. Those individuals arriving in the U.S. may ask for asylum at the port of entry. However, individuals already in the U.S. must file their Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal with the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services within one year of their arrival. This filing deadline may be excused if the alien can demonstrate changed or extraordinary circumstances.

Types Of Asylum And The Asylum Process In The Usa

Individuals can seek asylum in the United States in either of two ways:

Affirmative asylum

“Affirmative asylum” is when a person applies for asylum with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To apply, you must be physically present in the United States, but you do not have to be documented. However, if your application is denied, your lack of legal immigration status may cause you to be placed in removal proceedings and threatened with deportation. Again, you must file for asylum within one year from the date of your arrival in the United States unless you can demonstrate changed or extraordinary circumstances existed that delayed your application's submission.

How To Apply For Asylum Affirmatively In The Usa

To apply for asylum, you must submit Form I-589 and supporting documents with USCIS. You will then have an interview with an asylum officer at the USCIS's Asylum Office having jurisdiction over your place of current residence. To locate the asylum office applicable to you please click here. The officer will ask you questions about why you are seeking asylum, questions about your experiences, and why you are fearful about returning to your home country. We encourage clients to be honest and forthcoming when responding to these questions. The officer will then make a decision within 180 days of the interview unless there are exceptional circumstances at hand. If Officer's decision is adverse, in most cases, you will have an opportunity to seek independent review of this decision by an immigration judge in removal proceedings.

Defensive Asylum In The Usa

“Defensive asylum” occurs when an immigrant requests asylum as a defense against removal proceedings. This request for asylum can be made in several different situations, including:

  • when an undocumented immigrant is arrested and placed in removal proceedings
  • when an immigrant in violation of their immigrant status is arrested and placed in removal proceedings
  • if an undocumented immigrant's application for asylum is presented as a defense to removal in circumstances other than immigration arrest
  • when an immigrant is caught at a port of entry without proper documentation. If that person raises a claim for asylum or indicates a fear of removal when caught, he or she will be interviewed by an asylum officer first to determine whether he or she has a credible fear of persecution and then placed removal proceedings.

In a removal proceeding, your request for asylum will be heard by an immigration judge who will independently evaluate your case. If you are denied asylum, you will be deported. Before deportation, you will have an opportunity to appeal negative immigration judge's decision.

Our attorneys work tirelessly to make sure you remain in America. They gather all evidence to support your claim for asylum, including witness statements, medical records, police reports, arrest records, and information on your home country. We rely on our expertise and training in immigration law to provide clients with aggressive and knowledgeable representation at removal proceedings, and do our absolute best to convince the immigration judge that you should not be forced to return to your home country. We also handle all types of immigration appeals.

What is persecution

Persecution includes various forms mistreatment and harm, but must be more than harassment and discrimination. The types of acts that can constitute persecution include, but are not limited to, the following: beatings, arrest, detention, threats of violence, interrogation, prosecution, illegal searches, confiscation of property, surveillance, sexual assault, and substantial economic deprivation. This harm and/or mistreatment must be at the hands of the government of an individual's home country or individuals the government is unable or unwilling to control.

What Is Needed To Succeed In The Asylum Process In The Usa

To be granted asylum, an individual must provide evidence to show he or she has been persecuted in the past or is at risk of persecution if they were forced to return to their home country. The evidence considered in asylum context is the applicant's own testimony as well as any corroborative evidence in support of the applicant's testimony. If credible, the applicant's testimony alone may suffice to satisfy all elements of the asylum claim. However, corroborative evidence, when available, could greatly assist the adjudicator in making a favorable decision in the case. The types of corroborative evidence that can be used to support an individual's claim include, but are not limited to, the following: medical certificates, police reports, court summons, academic records, arrest records, statements from individuals who have personal knowledge regarding the claim, proof of membership in an organization, and background country conditions materials including, expert witness testimony, when needed. Again, an individual can file an affirmative application for asylum, which will initiate the asylum process, or an individual can seek asylum as a defense to pending removal proceedings.

A knowledgeable immigration attorney who understands how to properly prepare, file, and present an asylum claim can significantly increase an individual's chances of being granted asylum status by the U.S. Government. We have a very successful track record of assisting countless clients obtain asylum in the U.S. Our Firm strives to provide impeccable assistance to our clients by helping them prepare their asylum applications, obtaining, analyzing, and submitting the requisite corroborative evidence, preparing the client for testify in support of their applications, and representing the client from the initial interview though the conclusion of removal proceedings.

Professional Help Is The Best Way To Proceed In Seeking Asylum In The Usa

If you are considering filing for asylum, it is critical to contact an immigration attorney to help guide you through the process. The U.S. immigration system poses serious challenges for applicants for asylum, and having an experienced attorney on your side can be the difference between staying in America and being deported. No matter where you are in the United States, contact an immigration attorney at The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC today for professional, courteous and prompt help with your asylum application, when necessary, related litigation.

Alternatives To Asylum

There are alternatives to asylum that clients can pursue to remain in America. Withholding of removal is similar to asylum in many respects. You apply for withholding with the same form as asylum, and must establish a fear of persecution if returned to your country. If withholding is granted, you are given the right to remain and legally work in the United States. However, immigrants who are granted a withholding of removal cannot apply for legal permanent residence, nor can they leave the country without being barred from re-entry. Withholding of removal is often granted for immigrants who are not eligible for asylum, but have proven that their life may be in danger if they were forced to return to their home country.

Another alternative is seeking relief under the U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT). Unlike asylum and withholding, CAT relief does not require proof of “fear under persecution”. However, obtaining relief under CAT is extremely difficult, and only advisable if you have committed serious crimes while residing in the United States.

The experience you want. The knowledge you crave. The results you need.

From our location in New York City's Financial District, The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC handles asylum cases in all fifty states of the United States of America and for clients coming from countries throughout the world. For years we have been making the wishes of asylum seekers come true by assisting them in their asylum applications. If you need the help of an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney today, call our toll-free line at (866) 456-­8654, contact our Law Firm today, ask a immigration attorney online, or schedule an initial free immigration consultation online (15-minute consultation for individuals seeking asylum and other refugee protections).

Withholding of Removal

Under U.S. law, the U.S. Government cannot return an alien to a country where that alien's life or freedom would be threatened, because of the alien's race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Withholding of removal is only available if an individual is placed in removal proceedings. Once an individual establishes his or her life or freedom would be threatened in a particular country, withholding of removal must be granted. It is a mandatory form of relief that must be granted by the immigration judge unless certain factors are present such as a conviction for a particularly serious crime. To establish eligibility for withholding of removal, the alien must demonstrate there is a clear probability he or she will be persecuted.

While withholding of removal is similar to asylum in the ways, it is also vastly different. Asylum requires the alien to demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution; however, withholding of removal requires the alien to demonstrate it is more likely than not he or she will be persecuted if returned to a particular country. Essentially, the asylum applicant must show it is possible he or she will be persecuted whereas the withholding of removal applicant must show it is probable he or she will be persecuted if returned to a particular country.

Another key difference between asylum and withholding of removal is the benefits derived from a grant of such relief. An individual who is granted withholding of removal is actually subject to a final order of removal. A grant of withholding of removal does not confer any status on the applicant's spouse or children. A person granted withholding of removal has the right to remain in the U.S. and work. However, if an individual with a grant of withholding of removal travels outside the U.S., he or she will not be permitted to return. Further, an individual granted withholding of removal does not have the right to apply for lawful permanent residence. A benefit to applying for withholding of removal is that an individual may seek such relief even if they entered a country more than a year ago. This would allow someone who missed the one year filing deadline for asylum to avoid being removed to a country where they would likely be harmed. In addition, withholding of removal is available to aliens who have been convicted of a criminal offense that bars them from receiving a grant of asylum.

A knowledgeable immigration attorney who understands how to properly prepare, file, and present an application for withholding of removal can significantly increase an individual's chances of being granted withholding of removal by the U.S. Government. This is especially true as withholding of removal requires an individual to demonstrate a higher likelihood of harm. At The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, we have a very successful track record of assisting countless clients obtain withholding of removal in the U.S. Our Firm strives to provide impeccable assistance to our clients by helping them prepare their applications for withholding of removal, obtain, analyze, and submit the requisite corroborative evidence, prepare the client for testify in support of their applications, and represent the client through removal proceedings. If you consider seeking Withholding of Removal please contact our Law Firm today, ask a immigration attorney online, or schedule an initial free immigration consultation online (15-minute consultation for individuals seeking asylum and other refugee protections).

Relief under the united nations convention against torture

An individual who fears that he or she would be tortured by or at the initiation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity if returned to their country of origin may qualify for relief under the United Nations Convention Against Torture. This allows an individual to remain in the U.S. if they are likely to be tortured in their country of origin. Unlike asylum and withholding of removal, to qualify for relief under the Convention Against Torture, an individual is not required to show that the torture he or she will be subjected to is “on account of” their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. There is also no one year filing deadline for CAT relief.

The standard for relief under the Convention Against Torture is that it is more likely than not that the applicant would face torture, which is a very high burden. The Convention Against Torture is not often granted, because this requires at least a fifty-one percent (51%) probability that the individual will be tortured if returned to their country of origin. The primary reason that an individual might seek relief under the Convention Against Torture is that if an applicant meets the high standard for relief, she or he must be granted relief, even if he or she has been convicted of very serious crimes (including aggravated felonies) in the U.S. The immigration judge has no discretion to deny the application.

However, if the U.S. Government feels that an individual who has been granted relief under the Convention Against Torture is a danger to the community, because he or she has committed very serious crimes, the U.S. Government may detain him or her even after having he or she has been granted relief. In addition, an individual who has been granted relief under the Convention Against Torture cannot pursue permanent residence and cannot travel outside of the U.S. A grant of relief under the Convention Against Torture does not confer any status on the applicant's spouse or children.

A knowledgeable immigration attorney who understands how to properly prepare, file, and present an application for relief under the Convention Against Torture can significantly increase an individual's chances of being granted such relief by the U.S. Government. This is especially true as withholding of removal requires an individual to meet a high standard of a probability of torture if returned to their country of origin. At The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, we have a very successful track record of assisting clients apply for relief under the Convention Against Torture in the U.S. Our Firm strives to provide impeccable assistance to our clients by helping them prepare their applications for relief under the Convention Against Torture, obtain, analyze, and submit the requisite corroborative evidence, prepare the client for testify in support of their applications, and represent the client through removal proceedings. If you consider seeking CAT protection please contact our Law Firm today, ask a immigration attorney online, or schedule an initial free immigration consultation online (15-minute consultation for individuals seeking asylum and other refugee protections).