Additional Information Regarding Asylum

The U.S. offers asylum and refugee protection based on an inherent belief in human rights and in ending or preventing the persecution of individuals. Asylum is a precious and important protection granted by federal law to qualified applicants who are unable or unwilling to return to their country of nationality because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. A claim of persecution must be based on at least one of five internationally recognized grounds: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. A claim for asylum must be made within a year from an individual's last entry into the U.S., unless he or she can demonstrate that a significant change has occurred since the one year deadline which causes the applicant to seek asylum.

In addition to asylum and refugee protection, withholding of removal is available to a refugee in the United States who can show a likelihood his or her life or freedom would be threatened if he or she were returned to the country in question. Withholding of removal is in some ways similar to asylum, but is governed by a higher standard, requiring an applicant to establish that it is more likely than not that he/she would be persecuted. Unlike asylum, however, once this standard is met, there is no discretion to deny withholding and the applicant may not be returned to the country as long as the same conditions exist. Also, there is no requirement to file the application within one year of entry. It should be noted that withholding of removal does not permit one to obtain permanent residence, and may only be requested in removal proceedings.

Finally, an international treaty prevents the U.S. from returning persons to countries where they would likely be tortured. Relief of this nature may only be requested in removal proceedings.

Ware|Immigration. Serving family immigration needs across the nation and the world. We are available by appointment to meet with your family about immigration at our offices in the greater New Orleans area; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; Pensacola, Florida; and Seattle, Washington.  Call today at 866-833-8308, or online.