Understanding the Option of Asylum for Immigrants in the United States

Each year, tens of thousands of non-citizens arrive at the United States border, seeking asylum. According to the National Immigration Forum, the rate of approval for asylum applications can range by as much as 10 – 80%, depending on the immigration court. As an immigrant coming to the United States seeking asylum, understanding how the process works and who can help you through it will increase the chances of your application being accepted. 

What Is Asylum?

Asylum is a process that offers protection to certain individuals coming into the United States from other countries. Individuals who seek asylum in the United States should meet the definition of refugee and be able to establish that they’re in need of protection from persecution based on factors such as race, nationality, religion, or political affiliations, or membership in certain targeted social groups. Asylum seekers may also be attempting to escape an environment of extreme violence or war. 

When a person is granted asylum, they then have the opportunity to live in the United States legally and become the recipient of certain benefits. They may also be united with family members as they begin a new life in the United States, free from the threat of persecution. 

What Is the Process for Being Granted Asylum Seeker Assistance?

Generally speaking, asylum seekers who arrive at the border are first placed in court removal hearings. It’s during these hearing that the asylum seeker has the opportunity to express their eligibility and intent for applying for legal asylum. When this happens, the individual will then be transferred to the USCIS for a credible interview process. 

Asylum may be sought through either an affirmative or defensive asylum process. Individuals who are already present in the United States can apply for asylum through the affirmative process, regardless of how they entered the country, as long as it is within one calendar year of their arrival. In some cases, it may be possible for an individual who is denied asylum under the affirmative process to attempt again by applying through the defensive process. 

Individuals seeking asylum who are at risk of being apprehended and removed at a port of entry by either Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, may apply for asylum assistance without a valid visa using the defensive process. 

The most frustrating part of the approval process for many asylum seekers is the length of time it takes. Even though the individual is attempting to escape dire or dangerous persecution, it can take anywhere from six months to several years for the asylum process to reach completion. Whether the individual filed defensively or affirmatively can affect the length of the process. 

Legally speaking, the USCIS must schedule an interview with the asylum seeker within 45 days after the application is submitted, and then make a decision with 180 days of the date on the application. Working with an attorney for asylum assistance in Pasadena can help ensure the process flows as smoothly and quickly as possible.

Help for Asylum Assistance in Pasadena 

If you’re in need of asylum seeker assistance in Pasadena, the Law Office of Malathi Benjamin is here to help. If you are in fear of returning to your home country due to the risk of persecution, asylum in the United States may be an option for you and your family. Contact the Law Office of Malathi Benjamin to discuss your eligibility for asylum and the next steps for protecting your future. 

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