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What To Do When Seeking Asylum

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2022 | Asylum, Empire Immigration Law Blog

Do you need help with asylum related legal matters and have questions about what to do when seeking asylum? Contact our Buffalo attorney now.

1) Asylum to Green Card

We had a client recently who won asylum. Afterwards, she came to us and asked, “Can I now apply for my green card or for citizenship?” What we told her was right now, you cannot apply for either. The way the rules work is one year after receiving asylum, you can then apply for your green card. Five years after receiving your lawful permanent residence or your green card, you can then apply for naturalization to become a US citizen. If you have any questions about asylum or the green card application process or naturalization, give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.

2) Timing of the Applications

We’ve handled hundreds of asylum cases, and all of our clients generally have the same question— They all want to know how long it takes to get asylum. First, you should know there are two different ways to get asylum here in the United States. One is through the USCIS, or what is known as affirmative asylum. The other one is through immigration court when you are in removal proceedings. Through USCIS, when you file the asylum application, it usually takes years to get a decision on that asylum application. This is because of a backlog that exists at the asylum offices throughout the country. When you’re in immigration court, however, the process could go quicker. It really depends on the jurisdiction you’re in. It depends on the judges’ calendars, too. For example, if you’re in a place where it’s not as busy and you’re with a judge who has a lighter case load, the case could go by in a matter of months. If you’re in a busier place with a busier judge, the case could go on for years. If you have any questions about asylum or any other immigration matters, give us a call. We’d love to talk to you.

3) Seeking Asylum

Just a few days ago, we received a phone call from a potential client who was afraid of returning to her home country. She asked how she could quality for asylum here in the United States. What we explained to her was that you need to prove that you have a well-founded fear of future persecution in your home country on account of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Also, you have to prove that you’re unable or unwilling to avail yourself of the protection of your home country. This process is a little complicated. It’s very challenging. For that reason, you definitely want to work with an experienced immigration attorney. If you have an asylum matter that you want to discuss, give us a call.

4) Applying for Asylum

We receive a lot of inquiries from people who are interested in the asylum application process. A frequent question that comes up is whether or not it is required for someone to be inside the United States to apply for asylum. The answer to that question is yes, you must be inside the United States to apply for asylum. By definition, asylees are inside the United States when they apply for protection. Refugees are outside of the United States when they apply for protection. It’s a fine point, but it is an important distinction to make and the reason why there are different procedures for both. If you have any questions about the asylum application process or any other immigration-related issues, give us a call. We’d love to talk to you.

5) Family Reunification

We are currently working with a client who has an asylum case pending. We filed his application, but we do not yet have a decision on this case. He came to us asking if he could bring family members here while his asylum case is pending. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no, you cannot bring your family members here while your asylum case is pending. The reason for this is because you are not yet an asylee. However, once your asylum application is approved, you will then be an asylee. At that point, you can then bring certain family members here to the United States. If you have any questions about the asylum process or any other immigration matters, give us a call.

Do you or your loved one need help with asylum related legal matters and have questions about what to do when seeking asylum? Contact our experienced New York Asylum lawyers today for a free consultation and case evaluation.