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Political Asylum

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Political asylum is one immigration route available for people who have suffered or fear they will suffer persecution in their home country. Once you have been granted asylum, you can file for a work permit, file to have the rest of your immediate family brought to the US, and begin the process of seeking a green card.

This page contains some background information about seeking political asylum, but the process is complex, and it may be easier to understand if you talk to an immigration lawyer in person. At Jacoby & Meyers, we have been helping people with immigration problems for nearly 40 years. Please call 1-800-411-4LAW or email Jacoby & Meyers for an appointment at one of our locations nationwide.

Do You Qualify for Asylum?

There are many qualifications you must meet to be granted by immigration officials in the US. First, you must show that you have reason to believe you are threatened by persecution due to:

·         Race

·         Religion

·         Nationality

·         Political opinion

·         Membership in a social group

In addition to asylum, the US may agree not to send you back to your country if you are under threat of torture. This does not mean you will be allowed to remain in the US--you may be sent to another country.

In addition, you must either be in the US or are at a port of entry. Typically, you only have one year after your last arrival to apply for asylum, but special circumstances can extend the time frame.

Applying for Asylum

There are two types of asylum application processes. In the Affirmative asylum process, you submit your asylum application on your own. In the defensive asylum process, you request asylum as a defense against deportation. In this procedure, you will be given a different type of removal proceeding that will include consideration of your asylum application.

At Jacoby & Meyers, we can help with both types of asylum applications. We can even represent you in your removal proceedings.

Applying for Work

You are not allowed to apply for permission to work in the US at the same time as your application for asylum. To apply for a work visa, you either have to wait until you have been granted asylum, or until 150 days have passed since your application without a decision being made. The wait period does not include delays created by you.

Unlike most immigration-related work permit requests, there is no fee for work permit requests associated for asylees or asylum-seekers.

Bringing Your Family to the US and Filing for a Green Card

Once you have been granted asylum, you can begin making arrangements for bringing your family to the US. Typically, the application to bring your family to the US must be filed within two years of receiving asylum. You can only bring your spouse and children who are under the age of 21 and are unmarried.

You must wait one year after your request for asylum is granted before filing for a green card.

For more information or help with an asylum request, please contact Jacoby & Meyers today for an appointment.