Seeking Political Asylum In The United States
May 2, 2023

Seeking Political Asylum In The United States

Every human being has the right to life, liberty and personal security. And it is the obligation of governmental authorities to prevent actions that violate these fundamental human rights. But when a citizen faces political unrest or fear of persecution in his own home country, he may seek political asylum in the USA.

What is Political Asylum?

A refugee status or asylum is a form of protection offered to individuals who have been persecuted or fear that they may be persecuted on account of their nationality, race, religion or political opinion.
An asylee is a person who has applied for political asylum in the USA in order to avoid being deported to a country where they fear for their safety. Asylum can be sought in the United States under federal law by anyone who leaves their native land fearing for their safety.

Who is Eligible for Political Asylum in the USA?

An individual may be eligible for asylum in the USA if they can provide evidence demonstrating either that they have suffered persecution or that they have a well founded fear of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political stance, or involvement in a particular social group. The person claiming political asylum in the USA must also be physically present at a U.S. point of entry or is already present in the country using legal or illegal means.
To apply for political asylum you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be physically present in the United States.
  • You must be unable or unwilling to return to your home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
  • You must apply for asylum within one year of your last arrival in the United States, unless you can show changed circumstances that materially affect your eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances relating to the delay.

Filing a Political Asylum Application – Form I-589 

To apply for asylum, you will need to complete and submit a political asylum application Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, along with any supporting documentation that establishes your eligibility for asylum. This documentation can include police reports, medical records, affidavits, and other evidence that supports your claim of persecution or fear of persecution.
If you have a spouse or unmarried minor children in the United States, you may include them in your asylum application. Documentation for your spouse and any children under the age of 21 who are not married must also be submitted. Your elder, married children, however, will need to submit their own asylum applications.
In order to secure the same protections for your husband or minor children if you are granted political asylum in the United States, you must file Form I-730, the Refugee and Asylee Relative Petition.

Appeals Process After Denial of Asylum

If you have been denied political asylum in the United States, either by the Asylum Officer or the Immigration Court, here is what you should do:
Asylum Appeal Rejected By the Asylum Officer 

Your case will be transferred to the Immigration Court if you are not granted asylum following your interview with the Asylum Officer, and you will have the opportunity to present and defend your case before an Immigration Judge (IJ).
Gathering and presenting evidence and witnesses is possible in court. But, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) attorney will be present to cross-examine you and verify your claims. In some cases, the Immigration Court may also cross question your witness.
Asylum Appeal Rejected By The Immigration Judge
After being denied asylum by the IJ you need to file an appeal report with the Board of Immigration Appeals (B.I.A) within the 30 days of the denied appeal by the Immigration Court. However, you are still protected from getting deported during this period. 
There are two steps to appeal with the B.I.A: 

  • Notifying the B.I.A of your appeal:
    For this step, you need to complete the Form EOIR-26 from the EOIR website, and prepare the immigration court’s asylum denial. Please note that the Form EOIR-26 must be submitted within the 30 days of denied appeal by the court.
  • Filing a legal brief with the B.I.A:
    This step may take up to two weeks, when your political asylum lawyer is required to submit a legal appeal on your behalf within three weeks, mentioning all his arguments in response to the judge’s decision to deny you asylum in the country.

    After your attorney has submitted the appeal, it may take around an year for the B.I.A. to issue its decision on your case. 

Asylum Appeal Rejected By The Board Of Immigration Appeals
If you fail at getting your asylum appeal approved by the B.I.A, you may move your case to the Federal Circuit Court Of Appeals, according to your jurisdiction. 
In case you get denied at federal court as well, you may move your asylum appeal to the High Court.
You can also consult with a political asylum lawyer or an accredited representative of a recognized organization such as Sidman Law Group to help you prepare your application and represent you in immigration court. Our seasoned attorneys will evaluate your case and provide you with expert legal guidance throughout your political asylum application. To get in touch, call us at 818-981-0352 or fill out our online form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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