Asylum & Refugee Status

Asylum & Refugee Status for Individuals at Risk in Their Country of Origin

Asylum & Refugee Status may be granted to aliens who are already in the United States and are unable to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. Asylum can be filed before your case is referred to removal proceedings (also called affirmative application) or after proceedings are initiated by filing of a NTA or Notice to Appear (also called defensive application).

Who Can Qualify for Asylum & Refugee Status?

An alien must file an asylum application within one year of arrival in the United States. An asylum application may be filed later than a year, if conditions in the home country have changed or if the alien’s personal circumstances have changed within the past year prior to requesting for asylum and the change of circumstances affected the alien’s eligibility for asylum. Furthermore, an alien may be excused from the one year filing deadline if extraordinary circumstances prevented the alien from filing within the one year period after arriving in the United States, so long as asylum application is submitted within a reasonable period of time in light of those circumstances.

Things to consider before applying for Asylum or Refuge Status:

  • If you knowingly file a frivolous (fraudulent) application for asylum in the United States you will be barred forever from seeking any relief in this country in the future, in addition to any criminal penalties that could be imposed.
  • You have the privilege of being represented by counsel of choice at no expense to the government.
  • You must notify the government of any changes in your address or phone number. You are obligated to notify the government in writing of any changes in your address within five (5) days.
  • If you fail to attend any court hearings, whether or not you are represented by an attorney, the Court will order that you be deported (in absentia).
  • Your fingerprint/biometrics must be current to be granted asylum. If you fail to obtain the fingerprints/biometric when ordered to do so, your application may be deemed abandoned.
  • Your claim may be subject to a law called the REALID Act. This law requires, among many other things, that your claim be supported by documentation. Your failure to provide supporting documentation may result in the denial of your claim.
  • You must bring to all interviews and hearings all original documentation that were submitted, including any envelopes in which the documentation was sent to you.
  • Statistics show that an asylum applicant that is represented by an attorney has a far greater likely of success than an applicant that is applying by themselves or assisted by a non-attorney.

An alien granted asylum will be able to apply for permanent resident status one year after being granted asylum status.

“Helping you to obtain the right visa, when you need it”

When you contact our firm for an initial consultation, we will take the time to educate and explain the immigration laws, regulations and the visa application procedures for your particular case. As a client, you will receive personal attention and work directly with an experienced attorney who will be able to answer any questions you have and keep you informed and aware of new developments as your case moves forward.

For all of your legal immigration needs, contact the immigration lawyers of Muston & Jack, P.C., at our San Francisco, San Jose or Pasadena California law offices to schedule an initial consultation.

  • Gabriel Jack helped us apply for an O-1 Visa, when we needed to change visa status and we got it! The documentation required for an O-1 visa is extensive but we managed to complete everything together with Gabriel in about 4 weeks. Gabriel is very professional and knows what is important and he is also easy to talk to and helpful. We are very pleased and will use Gabriel again should there be a need.
    Counrty of Origin Thank you -
  • Gabriel did a good job. He was easy to deal with, returned calls and did what he said he would – nice change from some lawyers I’ve dealt with. My E3 was approved with no trouble at all…and he’s a really nice person, which is a good bonus. Thanks Gabe!!
    Counrty of Origin Many Thanks! -
  • We had previously shopped around for an immigration lawyer, but we went with Gabriel. He was very knowledgeable, friendly, and thorough. He was able to help us to prepare a very detailed interview packet, and we got our E2 visa at the end of the interview.
    Counrty of Origin Successful E2 Visa -
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