Are you scared of returning to your home country due to the persecution you may face regarding your nationality, race, religion, politics, or membership in a social group? If you’re currently in the U.S. and fear for your safety if you go back to your home country, you should consider applying for asylum status. Call us today to speak with a New Jersey asylum attorney who can guide you through the asylum process.
The United States government grants a form of protection to immigrants in the US who have experienced or fear getting persecuted if they get deported. An asylum status prevents asylees from being removed or deported if they are eligible for the status based on one of five grounds. If you’re applying for asylum and want to stop deportation, an experienced New Jersey asylum attorney can help you get the protection you deserve.
Refugee status is a special form of protection created specifically for refugees and those facing persecution in their own country. Asylum and refugee status are essentially the same things. The only difference between the two lies in where the noncitizen immigrant is when he or she applies.
- Asylum seekers are noncitizens in need of humanitarian assistance who are already in the United States.
- Refuge seekers are noncitizens in need of humanitarian assistance or protection who are outside the country.
Not sure which status to apply for? Consult a trusted asylum attorney in New Jersey by calling Andres Mejer Law today!
Those granted asylum or entering the U.S. as refugees can apply for a green card a year after their grant of asylum or entry into the U.S. For refugees, U.S. immigration law requires you to apply for permanent residency within one year of entering the country.
If you’re applying for a green card, talk to an experienced New Jersey green card lawyer today!
The asylum process is a lengthy, complex, and challenging legal procedure that can be confusing for even highly educated non-native English speakers. while you can prepare the asylum application on your own, a mistake or insufficient evidence will greatly affect your chances of being granted asylum.
An experienced New Jerse asylum attorney can help you:
- Ensure that you are eligible to apply for asylum status.
- Prepare your asylum application.
- Gather strong evidence to prove past or future persecution.
- Provide legal assistance and guidance throughout your application process.
Don’t waste your chance to seek asylum in the US! Schedule a consultation with our New Jersey asylum lawyer to get started today.
Asylum or refugee status in the United States is reserved for immigrants in need of humanitarian assistance or protection from persecution. There is no question that horrible atrocities affect millions of people around the world all the time. The United States provides protection for those who have fled their home countries because of persecution and are now afraid to return.
U.S. immigration law outlines strict requirements for who qualifies for asylum or refugee status. To be granted asylum or refugee status, you must prove the following:
- You were persecuted in your home country in the past; or
- You have a well-founded fear of future persecution should you return to your home country; and
- The persecution was (or will be) because of one of the five grounds: your national origin, ethnicity, race, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
Do you find the requirements confusing? Our New Jersey asylum attorney can determine whether you qualify for asylum or refugee status. Schedule a consultation to find out if you’re eligible today!
As your asylum lawyer in Eatontown, NJ can explain, in order to qualify for both asylum and refugee status, you must either demonstrate that the persecution you suffered happened in the past or that you have a well-founded fear that it will happen in the future.
While there is no formal definition of persecution for the purposes of asylum and refugee law, most people have a general idea of what it is. It can include:
- Denial of Human Rights.
- Discrimination and Harassment. This can include deliberate deprivation of food, housing, employment, or other life essentials.
- Imprisonment. This refers to unlawful detention without due process and/or for political and discriminatory reasons.
- Political Powerlessness.
- Threats. This refers to credible threats of serious harm — whether physical, emotional, and/or psychological.
- Torture. This includes inflicting serious physical and mental harm through violence.
- Violence. This can include assault, beating, electric shock, female genital mutilation, forced abortion/ sterilization, forced labor, invasive physical examination, sexual abuse, and more.
To qualify for asylum or refugee status, you must demonstrate that the persecution you suffered was on account of one of the five grounds. If you were persecuted for another reason or for no reason at all, you will not qualify for asylum or refugee status.
- National Origin
- Political Opinion
- Membership in a Particular Social Group
Nationality, race, and religion are straightforward. Membership in a particular social group and political opinion are less self-evident, so let’s look at these categories.
Like membership in a particular social group, political opinion can be difficult to pinpoint. Generally, persecution based on political opinion happens to those who actively speak out against governmental regimes or support those who do. To qualify for asylum or refugee status based on this category, you must show that your persecutor knew about your political opinion.
Your New Jersey asylum attorney can prove this by showing that you joined a political party, attended a demonstration, or wrote and published political literature. Additionally, some noncitizens have been granted asylum or refugee status based on perceived political opinion, even if they did not actually hold the political opinion for which they were persecuted.
This category is difficult to define because it is intentionally drawn broadly. Race, religion, nationality, and political groups are all also social groups, so this category means something different. Essentially, members of a particular social group share some common, immutable characteristic that is either unchangeable or highly resistant to change.
Members of this category share some defining quality that is essential to their identity. Women who fear cultural genital mutilation or forced sterilization have qualified for asylum and refugee status in this category, as have homosexuals.
While past persecution is more identifiable and certain, given the nature of persecution, it might be difficult to provide physical evidence and records of your experience. However, the following documents can provide strong evidence of past persecution.
- Medical Records
- News Reports
- Organizational Membership documentation
- Personal Statements
To show a well-founded fear of future persecution, your New Jersey asylum attorney will want you to plan to provide evidence that demonstrates the current (and likely future) treatment of similarly-situated people in your home country. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of State releases reports about human rights conditions in countries around the globe. These can be a good starting point in developing an argument of fear of future persecution.
Remember, the fear of future persecution must be well-founded. That means it cannot be subjective or speculative, but rather must be based on a real threat.
Certain actions prevent asylum seekers from applying for and receiving asylum status in the U.S. However, the USCIS outlines exceptions to these bars in Title 8 Code of Federal Regulations due to “changed circumstances” and “extraordinary circumstances.”
There are three reasons why you may be barred from applying for asylum in the US.
- You did not file your Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal within one year of your entry into the United States (or April 1, 1997, whichever is later).
- You previously filed an asylum application that was denied by an Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals.
- You can be removed to a safe third country under a two-party or multi-party agreement between the United States and other countries.
You are barred from being granted asylum if:
- You committed a “serious non-political crime outside the US.
- You were convicted of a “particularly serious crime” such that you are a danger to the United States
- You post a danger to the security of the United States.
- You were involved in the persecution of any person on account of nationality, race, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
- You’ve been firmly resettled in another country before arriving in the U.S.
You can also be inadmissible and barred from being granted asylum if:
- You incited, engaged in, or are likely to engage in terrorist activity after entering the country.
- You are a member or representative of a foreign terrorist organization.
- You persuaded others to support terrorist activity or a terrorist organization.
- You received military-type training from or on behalf of a terrorist organization.
- You are the spouse or child of an individual who is inadmissible for any of the above within the last 5 years.
The right asylum attorney is someone who understands what you’re going through, knows U.S. immigration law like the back of their hand, and can identify and implement the best way to help you get legal status. Our trusted New Jersey immigration attorney Andres Mejer is experienced in helping immigrants from all walks of life achieve legal status in the United States.
If you have been subjected to persecution in your home country, you may be eligible for asylum or refugee status. If you have questions about applying, contact our New Jersey asylum attorney today for a free consultation!