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Helping You Through All Steps of the Immigration Process Serving Families in Orange County & Surrounding Areas

Transgender Immigration Rights

Skilled Orange County Immigration Attorney

The LGBT community in general faces a high risk of harm if they return to their country of origin. This is especially true for trans individuals. Many studies from well known human rights organizations note that transgender and transsexual individuals face a high degree of persecution and discrimination in foreign countries.

Transgender individuals living in the United States who are not United States citizens, permanent residents, or otherwise do not have proper documentation, have several ways to "legalize" their stay in the U.S. The United States, as a member of the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention, cannot deport individuals who will face harm because of their identity. This includes individuals who are trans or in the process of sexual reassignment.

Are transgender individuals eligible for asylum?

Yes, trans individuals are eligible for asylum, as long as they apply for asylum within one year of their arrival in the United States. This rule, however, is problematic for many transgender individuals, because they either have not completed their transformation, were afraid to be who they are, or did not undergo certain therapies related to their gender.

Exceptions do exist, and transgender people can successfully apply for asylum, even if one year has passed. You should consult a transsexual immigration attorney who is familiar with the issues that trans individuals face.

What if I am not eligible for asylum?

If you are found not be to be eligible for asylum, you may be eligible for "withholding of removal." Withholding of removal stops your physical deportation to the country where you will face harm. Withholding of removal allows you to legally work in the United States and obtain a social security number.

Under withholding of removal, you are generally not allowed to travel outside the United States unless you first seek permission, and permission is granted. This is often referred to as "advance parole". Do not travel to the country that you claim you will face harm.

Don't hesitate to take the steps toward lawful residence. Contact our Orange County immigration lawyer today for your initial consultation.

I was granted withholding of removal and now I am married to a U.S. Citizen. What can I do?

If you were granted withholding of removal and subsequently married a United States citizen, we must petition the immigration court to reopen your case so that you can adjust your status. The normal rules for adjustment of status will apply.

For example, if you entered the country "without inspection" you will not be able to adjust your status unless you are 245(i) eligible or have been granted "parole in place". You cannot simply adjust your status through USCIS because when you were granted withholding of removal, the judge also entered a removal order against you.

Victims of Crime

Many people in the transgender community are victims of crime. In this scenario, you may be eligible for a U-visa. Contact our Orange County immigration lawyer today to discuss your eligibility.

Victims of Human Trafficking

Some transgender individuals are also victims of human trafficking. In this scenario, you may be eligible for a T-visa. Our firm can help you determine whether or not you qualify for this visa option.

Call today for skilled counsel.

The transgender community is perhaps the most vulnerable community on the planet, facing persecution throughout the world. The United States has created laws to protect you. There is no reason to hide and immigration laws are highly in your favor.

It is important to consult an immigration attorney who is familiar with the issues facing the LGBT community. Ashkan Yekrangi is a gay immigration attorney in Orange County, serving the surrounding areas of Los Angeles, and in particular Anaheim, Costa Mesa and Irvine. Yekrangi & Associates celebrates and welcomes equality for all.

To schedule an initial consultation with us today, don't hesitate to contact us at (949) 478-4963.

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