In The Matter of UK-

Asylum granted

A respondent in removal proceedings recently retained our firm to handle his application for asylum. The client, a gay man from India, feared persecution were he to return to India, where he had not been for a decade since he came to the United States as a nonimmigrant student. We can happily report that we were able to assist him in winning asylum in the United States.

As a threshold matter, we had to establish that the respondent's asylum application was timely. He had initially entered the United States as an F-1 student in 2009, and his last entry was as an F-1 student 2011. In 2012, he obtained H-1B status, but his status lapsed when he was laid off from his position one year later. Because the client had hoped to eventually earn lawful permanent resident status based on his employment, he had not applied for asylum. He did however apply for asylum expeditiously — one week — after being laid off from his job. We were able to successfully argue that his failure to apply for asylum within one year of entry was excusable by extraordinary circumstances — specifically that he had lawful status for several years, and he then applied for asylum almost immediately after he lost the job that was the basis of his H-1B status.

Secondly, we had to establish that the client, who had not been subjected to past harm rising to the level of persecution, had a well-founded fear of future persecution. In addition to the fact that he had not been subjected to past persecution, the case was challenging because while the situation for sexual minorities in India is poor, it is not necessarily such that every adjudicator would presume that all sexual minorities in India presumptively have a well-founded fear of future persecution. The client's personal statement described in detail the particular family and community circumstances that caused him to fear for his life were he to be removed to India. We buttressed his application by providing extensive supporting documentation about country conditions in India, showing that the harm he feared was very real.

After hearing and considering his case, the immigration judge granted the client's asylum application, not only lifting the specter of serious harm or death that had loomed over him for many years, but also giving him the much-deserved opportunity to build a life for himself in the United States without fear that it could unravel at any moment. It was the privilege of The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal to help him win asylum protection in the United States.