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Asylum and Refugee Status

Legal Counsel from an Experienced Lawyer

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.


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.


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.

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. 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.

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 Robert Brown LLC today. We serve clients in Orlando and throughout Florida.

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