In addition to visas based on family connections or employment sponsorship in the United States, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also grants a limited number of protective status each year to individuals seeking asylum from threats to their safety in their home countries. However, like virtually all other interactions with USCIS, applying for asylum requires filling out a number of forms and providing extensive documentation. These tasks can be difficult for anyone to manage alone.
If you want to ensure your asylum application—or that of a family member—is as strong and comprehensive as possible, you should consider retaining a Marietta asylum lawyer who is bilingual and is experienced with these types of cases. Beyond just helping with initial asylum applications, a seasoned immigration attorney could also clarify when asylees can apply for employment authorization and for legal permanent resident (LPR) status.
Basics Qualifications for Asylum in the United States
Asylum is meant for individuals who either have suffered persecution or have a legitimate fear that they will suffer persecution based on any of the following:
- Political views and/or activism
- Social group membership
Anyone who has been physically present in the United States for less than one year and who can demonstrate persecution or a legitimate threat against them based on one or more of these categories can seek asylum. This would allow them to remain in the United States legally.
Applying for asylum requires filling out Form I-589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal, and submitting it alongside identifying documentation and evidence regarding threatened or actual persecution. Individuals currently undergoing removal proceedings can also apply for asylum, but it requires additional steps that a local asylum attorney could assist with.
Asylum applicants can include their spouse and/or unmarried children under age 21 in their initial application. If that application is accepted, those immediate family members would qualify for asylum in the United States as well. It is also possible for someone who was already granted asylum to bring their spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 to live with them the United States by filing Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition.
Employment Rights and Permanent Residence
Generally, individuals applying for asylum cannot simultaneously apply for permission to work in the United States. However, once 365 days have passed since the initial filing of an asylum application, an applicant can seek employment authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
An asylum applicant may be granted work authorization even if they have not received a final verdict on their initial asylum application. If an applicant’s failure to follow proper procedures causes a delay in asylum application processing, it might result in their employment authorization being denied. Certain criminal convictions, either in the U.S. or abroad, can also lead to a denial.
Once one year has passed following the approval of an asylum application, an asylee may be eligible to seek legal permanent residence in the United States and get their Green Card. A Marietta asylum application lawyer could help compile Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status packets for original asylum applicants and family members who received derivative asylum.
Ask a Marietta Asylum Attorney for Help
Seeking legal residence in the U.S. as an asylee can be a stressful process for anyone to go through, especially since the stakes are so high. Fortunately, professional legal help is available to guide you through every stage of your application and protect your rights every step of the way.
A Marietta asylum lawyer could answer any questions you have about asylum application procedures during a free private consultation. Call today to schedule yours.