US Asylum Laws

Asylum Terms of Service

US Immigration Policy for Asylum Seekers is a comprehensive account of the basics of US asylum policy. Individuals may apply for asylum in the US if they fear persecution because of their social group, nationality, political opinion, race or religion. Other highlights of US asylum policy guidelines can be found in this report.

Asylum Procedure

The two ways of applying for asylum are the affirmative asylum procedure and the defensive asylum procedure. Aliens who are already in the US apply for asylum with USCIS through the affirmative action process. This method requires a USCIS officer to review the application, the alien’s testimony, and the state of the country in which the alien is seeking asylum.

Defensive asylum proceedings are sought by the Office of Immigration Enforcement during deportation proceedings. If an individual applies for asylum at a US port and expresses a fear of persecution, their claim will be assessed through the defensive asylum process if deemed credible.

Aliens seeking asylum must begin their application within one year of entering the U.S., unless there is a change in circumstances that would cause the time period to change. Approximately 1,000 asylum cases are granted in the US each year.

Current policy dictates the distinction between a credible fear of persecution and a comprehensive fear of persecution that an alien can claim. Credible fear is a significant amount of fear demonstrated by the alien that can be substantiated.

Grounds for exclusion from asylum

Aliens may be excluded from asylum for the following reasons:

  • The alien resided in another country before coming to the US;
  • the foreigner participated in any way in the persecution of another person;
  • The foreigner was convicted of a serious crime,
  • The foreigner would represent a security threat; and
  • The foreigner belongs to a terrorist organization or has engaged in terrorist activity.

If you or a family member is applying for asylum, work with an immigration attorney to give you the best chance of getting your application accepted. Hari Heerekar is an immigration attorney who has been successfully achieving asylum and securing legal residence for his clients throughout California, Texas, Nevada, Louisiana and many other states.

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