Applying for Asylum in the United States
Allegheny Immigration Group are Immigration Lawyers and Asylum Lawyers. We represent people applying for asylum in the United States and people who assert asylum as a defense to deportation or who assert asylum as a defense to removal. We are experienced asylum lawyers and we handle asylum cases nationwide.
U.S. Immigration Law, the Immigration and Nationality Act (“the “INA”) authorizes granting asylum to an alien who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country on account of a credible fear of persecution in the alien’s home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
Allegheny Immigration Group Lawyers have been filing asylum applications since before the USCIS even existed. We have the experience, sensitivity, insight, and skills necessary to represent your asylum case with skill.
Most people do not know it but the U.S. Government, through its various agencies, studies almost every country in the world and issues annual reports about conditions in those countries. In many cases it is helpful to point out to immigration authorities that other branches of the same U.S. Government have already determined that conditions in the alien’s home country are quite dangerous for people like the alien. Allegheny Immigration Group has found that using government reports can be a smart tactic in proving an asylum case.
Allegheny Immigration Group Lawyers take a mature and worldly approach to asylum cases. We are sensitive to personal matters that may come up in an asylum case. Certain aliens applying for asylum may have experienced horrific, sadistic, or humiliating mistreatment in their home country and may be reluctant to discuss specific facts, even with their own lawyer. We make efforts to get to know our clients and build the trust and respect that allows for free communication between attorney and client. Where an applicant for asylum has a particularly humiliating or embarrassing story behind his or her application, we will commonly request a closed door hearing to preserve the privacy and dignity of our client.
Actual Persecution and Credible Fear
Many people ask us if it is necessary to prove actual persecution in their home country. Actual persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion is powerful evidence in support of claim of asylum, but an applicant for asylum need only establish that they have a fear of such persecution if they return home, and that such fear is credible.
Affirmative v. Defensive Applications for Asylum
Asylum applications can be affirmative applications for asylum, where an alien lawfully present in the United States, on his or her own, applies for asylum, or they can defensive applications for asylum, which is the case where an alien asserts asylum as a defense to deportation or asylum as a defense to removal.
As a general rule, an alien must file for asylum within one year of entering the United States. An exception to this “one year rule” exists where the alien can show a change of circumstances that place the alien in credible fear of persecution in the alien’s home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion more than one year after entering the United States.
At the present the U.S. Government does not charge a fee to file for asylum.
Working After Grant of Asylum
If your asylum application is granted you will be reclassified as an “asylee.” Asylees are authorized to work in the United States immediately. As a practical matter, most employers do not understand this, so most aqsylees actually go ahead and apply for a work permit anyway because that is what potential employers, who are not immigration attorneys, will likely require.
Work Authorization While Asylum Application Pending
After you have filed, your legal status will be applicant for asylum. If there has been no decision on your asylum application for 150 days, you can apply for a work permit on form I-765. If the application is not granted within 180 days of the filing date, you can take further action to force the grant of a work permit.
Unfortunately, the asylum process is grossly overloaded at the present. In many cases you will wait years for a hearing to be scheduled. This means that many applicants for asylum will have to wait 330 days or more form the date of applying for asylum to get a work permit authorizing them to work legally in the United States. Allegheny Immigration Group are experienced in asylum work authorization and will be happy to help with the process.
Please do not hesitate to call us with you Asylum questions or any immigration questions. We offer convenient immigration consultations on weekends and an initial consultations on immigration matters. Allegheny Immigration Group lawyers have been handling asylum cases for 18 years, let us put our experience to work for you.