About Asylum Requirements, Application, and Interview Process
Many people yearn to move to the United States with the hopes of beginning a new life and pursuing personal and professional dreams. However, there is another reason why an individual may seek to come to the United States — for fear of harm and persecution in their homeland.
Who Qualifies For Asylum?
Individuals who are fleeing their homeland are eligible to seek asylum for fear of persecution (harm) in their country of origin based on the following grounds:
- They are members of a particular social group that is subjected to persecution, such as gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity.
- Political Opinion
While the above is a qualifying factor, it does not mean that asylum (sometimes referred to as “political asylum”) is automatically granted. It is an extremely arduous and complicated legal process. If you are seeking asylum, it’s critical to have an experienced immigration attorney on your side. Here are some facts about political asylum every immigrant should know:
- Individuals eligible for asylum are permitted to stay in the United States. They must file an Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal (Form I-589) within one year of their arrival to the United States. There are exceptions to the one year rule.
- An individual seeking asylum must prove to the U.S government that he/she is entering the country to escape danger or persecution.
- Every person who applies for asylum is required to go through an interview process with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- Should asylum be denied after the interview process, a hearing will be set and the individual must convince a judge that they will face persecution if they are sent back to their country of origin.
- Applicants may include their spouse and children who are also in the United States. To include children, they must be under 21 years of age and not married.
The Application Process - Form I-589
The Form I-589, as mentioned above, requires applicants to include specific personal information, such as:
- Current address
- Contact information
- Nation of origin
- Current immigration status
Additionally, the applicant must include the names and information of close relatives who are also seeking asylum, such as a spouse and children.
The Asylum Interview Process
After submitting an application for asylum, individuals will be fingerprinted and subject to background checks prior to interviewing with an immigration officer. An official letter authored by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) detailing the date, time and location of the interview will be sent to the applicant's address.
During the interview, a USCIS Immigration Officer will review the applicant's I-589 form and inquire why the person is seeking asylum. The presence of the applicant's spouse and children will also be required at the interview. The interview process can be intimidating and stressful, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Having an immigration attorney to assist you can ease many fears and make the interview process go smoother.
Have an Asylum Case? Call an Irvine Immigration Lawyer at (949) 478-4963.
For those who are inexperienced with immigration law, winning an asylum case without an attorney will be next to impossible. One of the most critical things you can do to win your asylum case is to have an attorney who knows immigration law and how to defend your rights. For more information about how we can assist you with your asylum case, contact an Irvine immigration attorney at Yekrangi & Associates. Learn more about how we can help you and your family.