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Asylum / Refugees

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 us at (703) 527-1779 or e-mail us at law@islawfirm.com.

Professionals at I.S. Law Firm have helped a number of individuals from different countries to obtain asylum in the United States. If you are thinking about applying for asylum or if you have received your green-card based on your asylum status, you will find the following information useful:

 

It is very important to select the most effective immigration lawyer for your case. In selecting an asylum lawyer, you should always consider the following factors:

(1) The lawyer’s familiarity with the political and social conditions in the country of your origin – Some lawyers, although experienced in immigration laws, may not be sufficiently informed or educated about the country of your from which the client is claiming asylum. As such, it may be difficult or even impossible for that lawyer to understand all intricacies of the social and political situation in the country of persecution.  Lack of such knowledge or understanding, severely limits the attorney’s ability to effectively represent the asylum client.

(2) The lawyer’s  interest, understanding, curiosity and appreciation of your culture and ethnic, social, political or religious background –  A good asylum lawyer does not have to be of the same ethnicity, political opinion, religion or national origin as the applicant. It is also not important for a lawyer to readily know or share your political and social views, religion, or culture. What is important, however, is that your asylum lawyer must be extremely interested, personally curious and eager to learn more about you and every aspect of your life that may have an effect on the chances of getting asylum in the US.

(3) Individual attention and use of support staff – A good immigration lawyer must be able to utilize a professional support staff, while dedicating individual attention to each and every case. There should be no exceptions. If you did not meet your asylum case lawyer during your initial consultation, you should not hire such firm. If you will not have one single lawyer, who will be fully dedicated to your case and handle your asylum case from the beginning to the end, your chances of favorable result are very slim. A good asylum lawyer must be personally on top of every development in the case.  Your attorney must regularly meet with you and everyone involved during every stage of the process, including the preparation of the applicant’s personal statement, drafting affidavits, witness preparations, identifying and providing supporting evidence, preparation for the interview, and most importantly the interview participation.

View samples of our asylum cases:

If you think you qualify for asylum, please contact us: (703) 527-1779 or via e-mail: law@islawfirm.com.

An individual who qualifies as a “refugee” may be granted asylum.

Who is a refugee?

A person who: “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country; or who not having a nationality and being outside the country of his/her former habitual residence…., is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”

Well-founded fear. There must be a reasonable possibility of persecution. The test consists of two parts: (1) Objective. The applicant must show that the fear is objectively reasonable, i.e. there is at least some possibility that the applicant will be persecuted if he/she returns to the country of origin. (2) Subjective. The applicant must show that his/her fear is genuine, i.e. she is a target of persecution.

Persecution. Definition: There is no universally accepted definition of “persecution”, but Board of Immigration Appeals defines persecution as “infliction of harm or suffering by a government or persons a government is unwilling or unable to control, to overcome a characteristic of the victim. Examples: Genocide; Slavery; Torture; Cruel or degrading, inhuman treatment; Threats of life; Arbitrary arrest or detention; Inability to earn a livelihood; Inability to travel safely within a country; Arbitrary interference with a person’s privacy; Serious restrictions on access to normally available education; Passport denial; Constant surveillance; Pressure to become an informed; Confiscation of property.

* Past persecution: Past persecution provides presumption of well-founded fear. To show past persecution the applicant must prove that an incident: (1) Raises to the level of persecution; (2) Is on account of one of the five enumerated grounds (race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion); (3) Is committed by the government or forces the government is unable or unwilling to control.
* Future persecution: Absence of past persecution is not a bar to asylum. The applicant may also qualify for asylum by showing a reasonable possibility of future persecution only.

If you have applied for asylum, you may be able to obtain employment authorization and work in the United States. However, you can only apply for employment authorization 150 days after you submitted your asylum application, excluding any delays caused by you (such as a request to reschedule your interview or hearing), provided that no decision has been made on your application during that time. (For more information, please visit the Asylum Clock page.)  If you are granted asylum, you may work immediately.

One year after the grant of asylum, you can apply for green-card by filing a petition to adjust your status to permanent resident of the United States. If your spouse and/or children have been granted derivative asylum based on your petition, they will have to submit their own applications to adjust status and register permanent residence (I-485).

A green-card will make you eligible for all immigration benefits available to permanent residents of the United States, such as the ability to work legally, to apply for U.S. citizenship after you have held your green-card for five years, and to file immigrant visa petitions for your relatives abroad.

If you think you qualify for asylum, please contact us: (703) 527-1779 or via e-mail: law@islawfirm.com.



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