U.S. Immigration law provides protection for persons who face harm in their home country or country of last habitual resident if that person will be harmed or has been harmed due to religion, political opinion, belonging to a particular social group, race, or nationality. The harm must rise to the level of persecution, which can take the form of imprisonment, physical harm, beatings, rape, domestic abuse, and other mistreatment. It must be carried out by the government of the country or its representatives like the police or army, or by a person or group that the government is unable or unwilling to control.
If you wish to apply for asylum, you must file the application within one year of arrival in the United States. Filing an application for asylum after the one-year deadline could be excused in certain circumstances, but a lack of knowledge of the deadline is usually not an acceptable reason. If conditions in your home country change, you can apply for asylum within a year of the changed conditions, even if the conditions changed more than a year after you were in the U.S. There are other extraordinary circumstances that will excuse a late filing, and those are determined on a case-by-case basis. Previous cases decided indicate that if someone is in the hospital, detained, or seriously ill and that causes the person to miss the one year deadline, the late filing could be excused if evidence of the circumstances is provided. When asylum is granted, spouses and children who were included in the application can obtain asylum as well, whether they are in the U.S. or not. After being in asylee status for one year, you can become a lawful permanent resident.
Persons who miss the one-year asylum deadline would be considered for withholding of removal, which requires more proof and provides protection only until the conditions in the country change. Persons granted withholding cannot become lawful permanent residents and their children and spouse cannot benefit from the status unless they too are in the U.S. and apply for withholding of removal independently.
When you hire Minikon Law, LLC to represent you in your asylum or withholding case, we do the following:
- Evaluate your story to assess your chances of success before you file the application
- Assist you in writing a statement explaining your story in a way that shows you qualify
- Research the conditions in your country to support your experience and document that the government does persecute people like you or does not control people like the person who harmed you
- Prepare you for your asylum interview or immigration court hearing
- Attend the interview or immigration court hearing with you