Seeking Asylum in the United States
If you are seeking asylum in the U.S., you need to consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney. As of May 2023, more than 1.3 million asylum applications were waiting for processing. Every year, just thousands of people are approved for asylum in the United States. These asylum-related numbers show why finding the right immigration lawyer, one with extensive experience in U.S. asylum law, is so important. Kaur Law PC has skilled legal teams in both California and Michigan.
Founder and managing partner, Ruby Kaur has contributed to the community individually and through various non-profits. In addition to representing our clients, our team works to advocate for fair immigration laws. We are very compassionate for our work. We fight for our clients! So, if you are looking for an attorney that can diligently understand your case and fiercely represent you, contact us to see how we can help.
Continue reading to understand why we’re the best team to have behind you during this process.
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What is Asylum?
People who are unable or unwilling to return to their native country due to fear of persecution or harm on account of race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership of a particular social group may choose to seek asylum. Asylum is a means of staying within the United States legally.
To apply for asylum, an applicant must be physically present in the U.S. or be seeking entry into the U.S. at a port of entry. After one year of winning your case and asylum status, asylees can apply for permanent resident status (also known as a green card).
The Asylum Process in the United States
**Important – Your application for asylum must be filed within one year of you entering the United States.**
There are two asylum paths, affirmative and defensive asylum.
If you entered the United States on any visa, you will directly apply with the USCIS. Within 14 days of applying, USCIS will issue you biometrics and issue you an interview date based on their availability. Currently, USCIS is on a backlog. Asylum seekers have been waiting for few months to one year for an interview.
If you illegally crossed the border, you will be detained and immediately placed into removal proceedings. Once detained, Customer Border Patrol Officer will ask you questions. You then will be into Immigration Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) custody. In ICE custody, you might be interviewed by the asylum officer. The asylum officer will then decide if you fear returning back to your home country. If you fear returning back to your home country, you will be given an opportunity to present your claim in a detail before the court. In the midst of this process, you can apply for bond. If released, your case will be transferred to the non-detained court in the jurisdiction you will be moving to.
In a non-detained court, you will have a Master Hearing or Individual Hearing. At the Master Hearing you will file your application for relief i.e. I-589 etc. At the individual hearing, you will testify in detail explaining to the court of your fear of returning to your home country. If the harm to you was severe enough that you will be tortured by your persecutors, you cannot relocate anywhere else in the country, and the court finds you credible, then you will win the case. If you do not win, you will have 30 days to appeal your case with Board of Immigration Appeal.
An asylum application is filed using Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. Regardless of their current immigration situation, individuals pursuing asylum can apply freely, even if they’re unlawfully in the United States. Given the tremendous number of applications for asylum and the chance of making a mistake on the application, it’s important to talk to an immigration lawyer when seeking asylum as soon as possible.
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FAQ's About Asylum in the United States
Seeking and maintaining asylum status in the United States can be confusing. We understand that if you are seeking asylum in the United States, you may have lots of questions. We’ll go over some of the most frequently asked questions about U.S. asylum eligibility, the asylum process, and the rules that asylum seekers need to follow.
Where Do You Apply for Asylum?
Usually, you submit your asylum application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). But, if you’re at the border, you can just ask for asylum right there at the port-of-entry – be it an airport, seaport, or border crossing.
Who Can Be Included in the Asylum Application?
If you’re applying for asylum, it’s possible to incorporate your spouse and any unwed children below 21 years of age into your application, as long as they’re presently in the United States. Alternatively, these family members are free to submit separate applications for asylum if they have their own reasons. In the event, a child marries, they will need to file asylum application separately. In the event, primary applicant divorces their derivative spouse, spouse will have to file separate application. Alternatively, these family members are free to submit separate applications for asylum if they have their own reasons.
What Happens When You Ask for Asylum at a Port-of-Entry?
Many people wonder what will actually happen to them when they request asylum at a port-of-entry. Though it may seem scary, when an individual seeks asylum at an entry point, it’s not uncommon for them to be held by immigration officials during the initial phase of the application. This is normal. Please read above for details.
Can You Travel While Your Asylum Case is Pending?
An individual seeking asylum must secure “Advance Parole” if they wish to travel abroad while their case is still being considered in the United States. Failure to obtain Advance Parole prior to departure will result in the abandonment of their asylum application with the USCIS. It’s important to note that exiting the country might jeopardize the individual’s ability to re-enter the United States. This is only applicable to your process with USCIS.
Can You Leave the U.S. After You Have Been Granted Asylum?
Once an application for asylum is approved, the person can apply for a “Refugee Travel Document.” It’s important to know that travel to certain countries, especially the person’s country of persecution, may cause problems with your case. Before ever applying for permission to leave the country, review your travel plans with an immigration attorney like Ruby Kaur.
When Can You Get a Job After Filing for Asylum?
The individual who has submitted an asylum application might have the option to apply for work authorization, but only after waiting 150 days from the date their application was lodged. This waiting period does not include any delays instigated by the applicant and is only applicable if the asylum application has not been settled yet. If asylum is granted, the person can legally reside and earn a living in the United States.
Can You Get a Green Card After Receiving Asylum in the United States?
Approved asylum applicants can apply for lawful permanent residency, also known as the green card. First, their asylum application has to be approved. Then, they have to stay present in the U.S. for one full year following their approval. After that, they can apply for a green card. Given the current backlog with green cards, many asylees have chosen to apply before one year.
Don't Wait Until It's Too Late. Request A Consultation Today!
What Makes You Eligible for Asylum in the United States?
There are five basic grounds for asylum eligibility in the United States.
1. The person has suffered or fears they will suffer persecution due to their race.
2. The person has suffered or fears they will suffer persecution due to their religion.
3. The person has suffered or fears they will suffer persecution due to their nationality.
4. The person has suffered or fears they will suffer persecution due to their membership in a particular social group.
5. The person has suffered or fears they will suffer persecution due to their political opinion.
To simplify, the process of qualifying for asylum involves a number of steps. An application, necessary documentation and an interview with an asylum officer from the USCIS or an Immigration Judge in court determine the eligibility.
Asylum officers will grant asylum, deny asylum, or refer the case to an Immigration Judge for a final decision. If an asylum officer finds the applicant ineligible for asylum and that he or she is in the United States illegally, the asylum officer will place the applicant in removal proceedings and refer the application to an Immigration Judge for a final decision. Immigration Judges may order an asylum applicant removed from the U.S. if an applicant is found ineligible for asylum and is illegally in the United States. This is why it’s so important to find an immigration lawyer to help.
What Happens If I’m Found Not Eligible for Asylum?
If an applicant is in valid status and the asylum officer finds that he or she is not eligible for asylum, the asylum officer will send a notice explaining that the USCIS intends to deny the request for asylum. The applicant will be given a short period of time to respond to the doubts raised by USCIS and explain why the application should be approved before a decision is made on the application.
When a case is referred to a local Immigration Court, the applicant is provided an opportunity to produce more detailed evidence of the asylum claim. At this point, the applicant would be wise to get representation from an immigration attorney if they haven’t already done so.
What If I Am Not Eligible for Asylum, But It’s Unsafe for Me to Return Home?
Even if an applicant does not qualify for asylum, the immigration authorities will consider whether to refrain from deporting the applicant through a grant of “Withholding of Removal,” if it is determined that the applicant has shown a clear probability that his or her life or freedom would be threatened in the country directed for deportation on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.
In addition, an asylum applicant can also ask that the immigration authorities consider granting protection under the Convention Against Torture if the applicant is able to show that it is “more likely than not” that they would be tortured, if they return to their home country. This can be difficult to prove legally, so finding a qualified attorney is crucial.
What Languages Does Your Law Firm Offer?
We provide multilingual services, including English, Arabic, Spanish, Hindi and Punjabi. In addition to promoting justice and advocating for fair and reasonable immigration laws, we aggressively and compassionately represent our clients. Contact Kaur Law PC by calling one of our locations in Michigan or California or filling out our contact form.
I am utterly ecstatic and compelled to share my experience with my phenomenal attorney, Ruby Kuar. Her unparalleled legal acumen and steadfast commitment played a crucial role in achieving a favorable resolution for both my family’s and my own cases. From our initial consultation to the concluding resolution, Ruby Kuar exhibited an unwavering determination to ensure my transition to safety and settlement in the United States was seamless.
Ruby Kuar’s comprehensive grasp of the asylum procedure, coupled with her extensive insight into immigration law, is nothing short of remarkable. She meticulously navigated me through each phase of the application process, guaranteeing that every piece of documentation was exhaustive and precise. Her remarkable attention to detail instilled in me a profound sense of confidence, assuring me that my case was in the most capable hands.
What distinctly sets Ruby Kuar apart is her authentic compassion and empathetic nature. She invested time to delve into my personal narrative, grasp my unique situation, and made me feel genuinely esteemed as her client. In a journey that can be overwhelmingly stressful and emotionally taxing, her constant support and reassurance were priceless.
Ruby Kuar exhibited exceptional responsiveness and proactiveness throughout the entire legal process. She kept me regularly updated on the status of my case and promptly addressed any inquiries or concerns I had, cultivating a relationship founded on trust and confidence in her ability to champion my cause effectively.
When it came to the critical moments of hearings and interviews, Ruby Kuar’s advocacy skills were extraordinary. She was eloquent, thoroughly prepared, and showcased a profound commitment to defending my interests. Her professionalism and composure in presenting our cases were truly commendable, manifesting her deep understanding and mastery of the legal complexities of our asylum application.
Ultimately, asylum was granted in both cases, a monumental success that we attribute entirely to Ruby Kuar. Her expertise, unwavering dedication, and heartfelt concern for her clients categorically distinguish her as an exceptional attorney. I wholeheartedly recommend Ruby Kuar to anyone in need of legal guidance on asylum or immigration issues. Her exceptional support and legal proficiency have left an everlasting impact on my life, for which I am eternally thankful. Ruby Kuar, you have been the beacon of light in my immigration journey, and for that, I am endlessly grateful.
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It is so important that your immigration attorney has experience in and dedication to asylum law. When seeking asylum or facing deportation, there is no room for error. Our Michigan immigration lawyers and California immigration lawyers may be able to help you if you believe you are eligible to apply for asylum status or if your asylum status is uncertain.
You will never simply be a number to us. We offer confidential consultations. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by reaching out today.