Asylum -is available to individuals who fear returning to their home country because they will be persecuted based on their race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. If an individual has experienced past persecution, it is presumed that s/he will be persecuted again if returned to the home country.
In order to obtain asylum, you must have either experienced persecution or have a well-founded fear of being persecuted if returned to your home country. The persecution must be based on one of five specified grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.
Asylum claims can be based on statelessness, sexual preference, domestic violence and honor killings in some cases.
Eligibility for withholding of removal relief is similar to asylum. The respondent must show that it is more likely than not that the respondent will suffer persecution based on one of the five enumerated ground mentioned above. Withholding of removal is often pursued if the respondent did not apply for asylum within one year of arriving in the United States ("the one year rule").
There are several bars to asylum. As mentioned above, an individual who does not file the I-589 asylum application within one year of arriving in the U.S. is generally ineligible; however, there are several exceptions to this rule. Additionally, an individual with a criminal record may be ineligible if the conviction is deemed a serious crime. Although asylum may not be an option, withholding of removal and relief under the Convention Against Torture may still be available.
The Convention Against Torture states that an individual may not be returned to a country if there "are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture." Unlike asylum and withholding of removal, there is no need to prove that the torture will be based on the individual's race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.
For more information on Filing the I-730 Form: Petition for Relatives Living Abroad
How The Nuñez Firm can help you: Asylum law is what first drew me to immigration law, and I have experienced great success in representing my asylum-seeking clients. I have represented asylum clients from Africa, Vietnam, China, Central America and the Middle East among others. The asylum process is difficult, and it is necessary to retain an experienced immigration attorney to assist in the process. The Nuñez Firm will help prepare the asylum packet and supporting evidence, coach and prepare you for the interview, and attend the interview with you. Asylum cases can be some of the most difficult cases to undertake; however, The Nuñez Firm believes they are also some of the most important cases in the U.S. immigration system.