What Is Asylum?
The United Nations Convention Concerning the Status of Refugees lists five grounds for asylum: religion, race, nationality, political opinion, and membership in a particular social group. Therefore, religion is an explicitly protected asylum class under this treaty.
How Can I Apply for Asylum?
You can find specific instructions for filing a Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, here. As an asylum seeker, you need to apply for asylum within 1 year of your arrival in the United States. Of course, there are exceptions to this policy, which is why you need to contact an immigration lawyer before filing a Form I-589.
Last January, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) declared that it would “give priority to the most recently filed affirmative asylum applications when scheduling asylum interviews.” In other words, the Asylum Division of the USCIS is not processing applications in the order they were received. If you plan to apply for asylum in the United States, it’s critical that you retain exceptional legal representation as soon as possible.
Obtaining Asylum Based on Religion
The freedom of religion is a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution, as well as under international law. Applicants who have been persecuted or fear being persecuted in their home country because they have or lack, or are perceived to have or lack, a religion, may qualify for asylum protection in the United States.
The United States government does not have one set definition of religion, and, therefore, assesses asylum claims on a case-by-case basis. It is worthwhile to note that an asylum seeker can’t just prove that they are being persecuted in their home country based on their religion. They also have to demonstrate that their actual religion, perceived religion, or lack of religion is the reason for the persecution. Consulting an immigration attorney about proving this point is highly advised, because it forms the basis of a religious asylum claim.
Pursue Religious Freedom & Asylum with Yekrangi & Associates. Call (949) 478-4963
We have the utmost respect for those who leave their home countries in pursuit of freedom to practice the religion of their choice, and you have our promise that we will treat your case with the highest level of professionalism and care.