What are the steps to seeking asylum in the US?

If you want to start afresh in Louisiana after emigrating from another country, you must resolve numerous legal issues. Many people arrive in the United States with visas, either because they’re getting married to a U.S. citizen or because a company has hired them to work at a U.S. company. There are also millions of people who come here seeking asylum. If you’re one of them, there are several things to keep in mind to avoid legal problems.

There are three basic ways to seek asylum in America. You might be eligible for one option but not for another. Therefore, it is in your best interests to speak with someone who is well-versed in U.S. immigration laws to determine which option is most viable in your case. Determining the best course of action may help the process run more smoothly.

Seeking asylum through affirmative asylum processing

To seek asylum through affirmative processing, you must be physically present in Louisiana or another state. When you file your petition, it must be within one year of your arrival in the United States. You may exercise this option even if your paperwork was not in order when you crossed over a U.S. border.

Are you eligible for a credible fear screening?

Knowing that you are in line for expedited removal proceedings can be quite unsettling. You might worry about separation from your family. You might also fear returning to your country of origin if you fled there because of imminent danger, violence or persecution. In such cases, you may be eligible to seek asylum through a credible fear screening.

To do so, you would inform immigration officials that you’re afraid to return to your home country because of violence, life-threatening issues or persecution. If immigration officers confirm that you have demonstrated a credible fear of removal, they may set the wheels in motion for you to appear before an immigration judge. They can also initiate a stay on removal proceedings.

Issues that create eligibility for defensive asylum processing

Perhaps officers apprehended you at a U.S. border for not having proper paperwork to enter the country. Maybe you navigated the affirmative asylum process and were determined to be ineligible. In either case, these issues mean you might be able to seek asylum through the defensive asylum process.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) representative will appear in court to argue against your asylum. You have the right to act alongside legal representation as well to plead your case. Proceedings take place in a court-like setting. The immigration judge overseeing your case will make a final decision regarding whether you will be granted asylum or scheduled for removal. Your chances of obtaining a positive outcome may be greater if you seek guidance before heading to court.