Someone from another country who has now inside the United States, has the right to apply for asylum. The general rule is that asylum must be applied for you within one year of the person’s entry. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
If the person is required to file within one year but has not filed within one year, the person must file as soon as possible. This means that the person must show efforts to file within a "reasonable time" after the deadline or after the circumstances that give rise to an exception. Note further that the applicant has the burden of proving that an exception is warranted. Further, the legal standard is high -- the burden of proof is "clear and convincing evidence." For these reasons, if you are thinking of filing for asylum and if you are beyond the one-year deadline, you should immediately contact trained and experienced immigration attorneys -- like the ones at Yekrangi & Associates -- for help.
Here are the exceptions to the one-year filing deadline.
Two Categories of Exceptions
The exceptions fall into two categories: changes in circumstances and "extraordinary circumstances." The first relates to changes in the home country, and the second relates to circumstances involving the applicant. Both types of reasons can be used in seeking an exception to the one-year filing deadline.
What are Changes in Circumstances?
As noted, these are exceptions that involve significant changes in the home country. Generally, to be eligible for asylum, the applicant must have a legitimate fear of being tortured or persecuted if the applicant were returned to the home country. But, there are cases where, upon arrival, the applicant would have had no fear of returning -- or being returned -- to the home country. But, during the applicant's stay in the U.S., something at home changed. For these exceptions, it is very important that the applicant file as quickly as possible after the changed circumstances. The request for asylum must be filed within a "reasonable time" after the change in circumstances. Examples of changed circumstances include:
- Change whereby the applicant -- individually -- has a legitimate fear of returning home
- Change in the country -- legal or otherwise -- where the applicant -- as a member of a group -- has a legitimate fear of returning home
- Change in the legal status of the county -- such as ceasing to exist or being annexed into another country -- where such results in legitimate fear of returning
What are Examples of Extraordinary Circumstances?
As noted, these exceptions to the one-year filing deadline for asylum are about changes in the APPLICANT'S circumstances. As one example, assume the applicant was hospitalized or severely during most of the first year of the applicant's presence in the U.S. That illness or mental condition is an extraordinary condition that might allow for an extension of the one-year filing deadline. However, as noted, the applicant must file very quickly -- within a reasonable time -- after the extraordinary condition has been resolved. Other examples include:
- Legal inability to file for asylum, like being underage
- Technical problems with the filing -- such as a first application being denied as being incomplete
- Death of parents/legal guardians who, because of the death, could not and did not file on time
- Trauma from persecution which prevents that applicant from filing
Contact Yekrangi & Associates Today
For more information, contact the Orange County Immigration Attorneys at Yekrangi & Associates today. You are not alone, and we will fight for you. Yekrangi & Associates works to meet a higher standard. Our first goal is your satisfaction. Contact us at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation or complete our convenient “Get Your Consultation” form here. We are located in Irvine, California.