While most people seeking to legally immigrate into the United States must go through a lengthy visa application process, individuals fleeing persecution based on their religion, race, social group affiliation, nationality, or political views may be able to seek asylum instead. If someone is granted asylum, they can remain in the United States legally and—after a certain period of time—even apply for legal permanent resident status.
However, seeking to enter or remain in the United States through the asylum process can be a complicated endeavor, and you may struggle to achieve a positive case resolution without guidance from a seasoned immigration attorney. By retaining a Doraville asylum lawyer, you could put yourself in a much better position to make your case before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and effectively pursue legal residence here.
Affirmative Versus Defensive Asylum
There are two different processes through which you can apply for asylum in the United States, both of which require you to be physically present in the U.S. already. Most individuals who seek asylum do so through the affirmative asylum process, which generally has a filing deadline of one year of when the filing party first arrived in the United States unless extraordinary circumstances apply.
The affirmative asylum process begins with the applicant completing and filing Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, along with evidence supporting their claim that they would suffer undue persecution and hardship if forced to return to their country of origin. Individuals seeking asylum through this process can generally remain in the U.S. until they receive a final verdict from USCIS.
If USCIS denies an affirmative asylum application, or if an undocumented immigrant is detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, USCIS will issue either a Form I-862, Notice to Appear or Form I-863, Notice of Referral to Immigration Judge that compels the foreign national in question to appear in court for further review of their immigration status and asylum claim. At this point, an individual may be able to pursue a defensive application for asylum as a means of contesting their removal. A Doraville asylum attorney could provide crucial guidance to anyone going through either USCIS process.
Applying for Work Eligibility and/or Legal Permanent Residence
Once someone is granted asylum, they can file Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition with USCIS to bring their spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States with them. Furthermore, asylees can apply for legal permanent resident status—in other words, a Green Card—one year after they are first granted asylum.
Generally, being granted asylum also grants an individual the right to work legally in the United States. However, anyone seeking asylum who has been waiting for at least a full year without a decision on their application may be eligible to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization separately from their asylum case. An asylum lawyer in Doraville should be able to explain in further detail when this option might be available to an individual applicant and whether they should go through with pursuing it.
Seek Assistance from a Doraville Asylum Attorney
While asylum in the United States can be a critical resource for foreign nationals facing persecution in other countries, USCIS is generally very strict about who it grants asylum to. If you want to maximize your chances of being allowed to stay in the U.S. on these grounds, you may need help from an experienced legal representative.
Once hired, a Doraville asylum lawyer could serve as a steadfast ally through the entire process of seeking legal residence and protection within the United States. Call today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.