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Orlando Asylum & Refugee Lawyer

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United States immigration law allows for certain eligible individuals of foreign countries to gain protection and a legal immigration status in the event that they face persecution in their home country. This means that individuals who are found to have a reasonable fear of persecution or are able to demonstrate that they will be persecuted in the future as a result of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or social opinion have the opportunity to apply for protection with the USCIS. Depending on the situation and circumstances involved, individuals can fall into several categories.

Eligibility for Refugee Status

Refugee status is a form of protection that is granted to individuals who:

  • Are located outside of the United States
  • Are of special humanitarian concern to the United States
  • Demonstrate that they have a reasonable fear of persecution
  • Are admissible to the United States

Refugees who have completed the refugee process and have lived in the United States for one year are required to apply for a green card. In order to be eligible for permanent residence, refugees must have been physically present in the U.S. for one year, have not had their refugee admission terminated, and have not already acquired permanent residence status. In order to apply for a green card as a refugee, applicants must file Form I-485 and supply supporting evidence.

Eligibility for Asylum Status

Unlike refugees, asylum seekers are already present in the United States because they have either suffered persecution or had a reasonable fear that they would suffer persecution in their country of origin. Applicants may also be granted asylum status if they can demonstrate that they would be subject to torture in their home country.

Every alien is eligible to apply for asylum or withholding in the US on a protected constitutional or statutory protected basis if they can establish a well-founded fear of persecution. The protection permits petitioning the US for political asylum. The protected interest is greater when applying for withholding than asylum.

In order to be eligible for asylum status, individuals must:

  • Meet the definition of refugee as stated above
  • Already be present in the United States
  • Seek admission at a port of entry

Applications for asylum protection can be filed regardless of a country of origin or a current immigration status. If eligible, applicants must file Form I-589 within one year of arriving in the United States.

Congress has restricted applications for asylum that are submitted more than one year after arrival in the US, except if there are changed or extraordinary circumstances and if an asylum application was already denied.

With the help of our successful legal team, asylum seekers can quickly and correctly file for asylum. Our firm can also assist applicants with employment authorization issues, filing for permanent residence and helping family members come to the United States.

Asylum Application Notice

The US government does not have to give per se notice of the right to apply for asylum. Generally, there is no due process violation in failing to inform the respondent of asylum, withholding and CAT if there is no reason to believe eligible for relief.

Notice may be required if alien expresses a fear of returning to their home country. Notice should be provided if a person expresses fear of returning to their home country. Notice does not need to be given if the alien designates the country of deportation and the no claim for withholding is not known. There is no right to asylum itself and there is no right to government assistance in completing an asylum application even if there is a serious language barrier.

Withholding of Removal

In some cases, individuals who have been ordered to be removed from the United States can apply for a withholding of their removal status. When granted withholding, the order for an individual's removal will be postponed because there is reasonable evidence that they will suffer persecution, or torture, in their home country. While withholding may be less a less than ideal status, it can still be a beneficial option for applicants who have missed asylum filing deadlines. In some cases, permanent residence status can be granted through family-based immigration.

Florida Immigration and Persecution Legal Aid

The fact that the United States provides victims of persecution with the opportunity to gain protection is part of what makes this diverse and accepting country so great. Although protection from persecution is extremely beneficial to those in need, it is not guaranteed. In order to gain these protected immigration statuses and to gain future permanent residence, applicants must complete numerous forms and procedures within a specific amount of time. In order to ensure that protection from persecution is granted successfully, it is highly recommended that you seek legal representation and assistance from an experienced, knowledgeable and effective attorney from our legal team.

To learn more about persecution and how our immigration lawyers can help, contact Brown Immigration Law today. We serve clients in Orlando and throughout Florida.

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