The United States has long given immigrants protection via political asylum. Those who apply within one year of entering the country, or who face deportation at a hearing in immigration court, may be eligible for political asylum. According to the Department of Homeland Security, eligible immigrants must be refugees.
If you are facing persecution in your home country and fear for the safety of yourself and your family, you may be able to apply for political asylum. An immigration attorney in Jersey City can help you through the process. Contact the Law Office of Eric M. Mark at 973-453-2009 to get started. In the meantime, here are 11 facts you should know about political asylum:
- You must be a refugee.
If you are unwilling or unable to return to your home country for fear of persecution, then you may be a refugee. Persecution must relate to religion, race, nationality, social group or political opinion.
- You must fear persecution.
The Board of Immigration Appeals defines persecution as a threat to life or freedom, as well as the infliction of harm or suffering.
- Fear of persecution must be valid.
To qualify for political asylum, you must have a well-founded fear of persecution.
- You must prove a reasonable possibility of persecution.
The United States Supreme Court states that applicants for political asylum simply need to prove a reasonable possibility of persecution back home.
- Reasonable possibility involves a small chance of persecution.
The common estimate is that a 10-percent risk of persecution is enough to grant political asylum to an immigrant.
- Various people qualify as persecutors.
Your persecutor could be a member of your homeland government, an individual your government cannot or does not want to control, or a group with enough “power” to ignore your country’s laws.
- It helps to demonstrate past persecution.
Applicants typically demonstrate previous persecution, which establishes the presumption of future persecution, coupled with reasonable fear to return home.
- Asylees are safe from deportation.
Those that have won political asylum are safe from deportation unless immigration officials can prove circumstantial changes in the home country make it safe for them to return.
- Asylees can work in the United States.
Your grant of political asylum allows you to work in the country. You become eligible for a work permit and may support yourself and your family financially.
- Asylees are eligible for permanent residence
After one year as a refugee, you can petition to adjust status and become a permanent resident. After five years as a permanent resident, you can become a U.S. Citizen.
Asylees are immigrants that have won political asylum and enjoy the protection against persecution that the United States can offer. Call the Law Office of Eric M. Mark at 973-453-2009 for help applying for political asylum. An immigration lawyer can explain the requirements for eligibility and ensure you do not accidentally make mistakes that can harm your application.