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How to Obtain Asylum in the United States

Compared to many African, Asian and European nations, the United States does not accept as many individuals in need of refuge or asylum. The U.S. overseas initiates the refugee program, and it includes economic assistance and protection to leave the dangerous conditions in the refugees’ countries of origin. Foreigners who fail to obtain refugee status and are still in need of protection can apply for asylum once they reach the United States.

Asylum petitions can be affirmative or defensive, and they stand a much better chance of being approved when an experienced immigration law firm in San Diego handles them. The affirmative process starts with the foreign applicant having been in the United States less than a year since their most recent arrival. It does not matter whether the applicant entered the country legally or otherwise; the goal is to file Form I-589 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

When filing Form I-589, supplementary statements and documents in support of affirmative asylum status are very important, particularly when the applicant has been in the U.S. longer than a year. It is also important to note that many affirmative asylum petitions are not initially approved by USCIS; instead, they are referred to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and this is where attorneys have an opportunity to seek approval from a judge.

Foreigners who are awaiting deportation and removal for any reason can file defensive asylum petitions. There are no forms to file in this situation. Instead, the petition is made in court as a pleading argument. The goal is not only to provide relief from deportation, but also to obtain legal status. Even if the immigration judge rules against the foreigner, the benefit of due process must be granted in the form of an appeal, which will allow the foreigner to stay in the U.S. longer. The defensive asylum process can also be invoked when an affirmative asylum petition is denied.

If you or someone you know is seeking asylum to the United States or plans to immigrate to the U.S., contact KS Visa Law at (858) 874-0711 today. Our experienced immigration attorneys will help you through the immigration process and evaluate your options.

June 2017
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