Asylum and Well-Founded Fear of Persecution

NOTICE: The information contained on this page site is intended to educate the general public and is not intended to provide legal advice. To ensure proper handling of your individual situation, please call +1-703-527-1779.

Many people flee their home countries in search of freedom. It is no surprise that the United States of America has become one of the top choices for refugees seeking relief from their oppressive governments. However, before you can become an asylee in the U.S., you need to formally seek asylum status based on one of the five factors: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

The key to your case will be to prove and establish a well-founded fear of persecution in your home country. You will have to convince the asylum office or the immigration court that you have suffered persecution in your home country before, and the conditions have not changed, or that it is likely that you will be persecuted or will suffer if you return to your home country, or both.

Establishing well-founded fear is based on identifying objective and subjective elements:

  • Subjective factor. In the context of asylum, fear is defined as awareness of danger. Thus, to satisfy the subjective element, you must show that your fear is genuine. An asylum seeker should only be motivated by a genuine fear of persecution while proving his or her case. Country’s poor economic conditions, civil unrest, or presence of a natural disaster are not relevant considerations in an asylum application.
  • Objective factor. You must prove the objective side of your case. For your fear to be acknowledged as well-founded, you must prove that there is a reasonable possibility that you would be persecuted in your home country. In other words, your fear must be objectively reasonable.

You must be very clear while establishing well-founded fear. Your testimony may be enough to make your case, if it is a compelling, genuine, and consistent story.

Because your asylum application is an important step in your life that could ultimately determine whether or not you can legally stay in the United States, it is crucial to have a good immigration attorney to prepare your application and represent you in the asylum office or immigration court. An experienced attorney will help you prepare your asylum application, collect documents to strengthen your case, such as photographs, newspaper articles, medical records, affidavits of witnesses. A good attorney will also thoroughly prepare you, your family members, witnesses, and your interpreter for the successful asylum interview or immigration hearing.

Attorney Ismail T. Shahtakhtinski has helped many foreign nationals obtain asylum status, both through asylum offices and immigration courts. If you think you may qualify for asylum, please contact us by phone at +1-703-527-1779 or via e-mail: [email protected].

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