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Obtaining Asylum in the United States
Every year over 20,000 people come to the United States and receive protection through asylum in this country. In the last twenty years the number of people who were granted asylum in the US almost tripled. In 1990 just over 8,400 people were granted asylum in the US, while in 2011 almost 25,000 were granted asylum. Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Refugee, Asylum, and Parole System (RAPS).
These people have suffered persecution in their home country or feared that they will suffer persecution due to:
· Membership in a particular social group
· Political opinion
Currently, there are two ways of obtaining asylum in the United States are through the affirmative process and defensive process.
To obtain asylum through the affirmative asylum process you must be physically present in the United States. You may apply for asylum status regardless of how you arrived in the United States or your current immigration status.
In 2011 fiscal year (this statistics is fairly consistent with previous years), 964 people from Europe received affirmative asylum in the US. 6,499 people from Asia received affirmative asylum. 3,055 people from Africa received affirmative asylum. 1,568 people from North America and 1,332 people from South America among other people received affirmative asylum.
In particular, in 2011, 469 people from Russia, 115 people from Belarus, 112 people from Uzbekistan, 133 people from Ukraine, and 54 people from Kazakhstan received affirmative asylum. Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Refugee, Asylum, and Parole System (RAPS).
You must apply for asylum within one year of the date of their last arrival in the United States. You can apply for asylum after one year from the date of your last arrival in the United States only if you can show:
· Changed circumstances that materially affect your eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances relating to the delay in filing
· You filed within reasonable time given the circumstances.
You may live in the United States while your asylum application is pending before USCIS. If you are found ineligible, you can remain in the United States while your application is pending with the Immigration Judge. Most asylum applicants are not authorized to work. If asylum is granted, you will be eligible for a work authorization in the US.
A defensive application for asylum occurs when you request asylum as a defense against removal from the U.S. For asylum processing to be defensive, you must be in removal proceedings in immigration court with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
In 2011 fiscal year (this statistics is fairly consistent with previous years), 993 people from Europe received defensive asylum in the US. 6,509 people from Asia received defensive asylum. 2,684 people from Africa received defensive asylum. 658 people from North America and 508 people from South America among other people received defensive asylum.
In particular, in 2011, 194 people from Russia, 72 people from Belarus, 69 people from Uzbekistan, 49 people from Ukraine, and 15 people from Kazakhstan received defensive asylum. Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Refugee, Asylum, and Parole System (RAPS).
Individuals are generally placed into defensive asylum processing in one of two ways:·
1. They are referred to an Immigration Judge by USCIS after they have been determined to be ineligible for asylum at the end of the affirmative asylum process, or they are placed in removal proceedings because they:
2. Were apprehended (or caught) in the United States or at a U.S. port of entry without proper legal documents or in violation of their immigration status, or were caught by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) trying to enter the United States without proper documentation, were placed in the expedited removal process, and were found to have a credible fear of persecution or torture by an Asylum Officer.
Immigration Judges hear defensive asylum cases in adversarial (courtroom-like) proceedings.
The Immigration Judge then decides whether the individual is eligible for asylum. If found eligible, the Immigration Judge will order asylum to be granted. If found ineligible for asylum, the Immigration Judge will determine whether the individual is eligible for any other forms of relief from removal. If found ineligible for other forms of relief, the Immigration Judge will order the individual to be removed from the United States. The Immigration Judge’s decision can be appealed by either party.
If you are eligible for asylum you may be permitted to remain in the United States and work here.
You may include your spouse and children who are in the United States on your application at the time you file or at any time until a final decision is made on your case. To include your child on your application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried.
The Law Office of Natalia Malyshkina can help you apply for asylum in the U.S. Our services are compassionate and confidential. Call us for a free consultation today at (415) 240-0083.