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How to Seek Asylum in the U.S.

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you know that the United States admits many immigrants under the asylum process. But who qualifies for asylum in the U.S., how do you get it, and is it different from refugee status? This guide explains how to seek asylum in the United States and a few things you need to know before you apply.

How to Seek Asylum in the U.S.

Asylum is a form of protection that allows a foreigner to stay in the United States when necessary. In many cases, the United States grants asylum to people who fear persecution or harm in their home countries. However, asylum isn’t always easy to get, and if you want the U.S.’s protection, you must apply for it.

What Qualifies You for Asylum?

You may qualify for asylum in the United states if you have fled your home country because you fear persecution or harm based on your:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Political opinion

Related: Who’s eligible for asylum in the U.S.?

Can You Bring Your Children and Spouse if You’re Seeking Asylum in the U.S.?

If you have a spouse and children, They may also be eligible for asylum based on the same reasons you, yourself are eligible. Generally, you may include a child on your application if your child is under the age of 21 and is unmarried at the time you apply. Otherwise, your child must have their own application for asylum.

When Can You Seek Asylum in the United States?

You can seek asylum in the United States at a border crossing or port of entry, or within one year of your most recent arrival in the country. That means if you are already in the United States and wish to ask to stay, you can do so if your most recent entry was less than one year ago.

Is Asylum Different From Refugee Status?

Asylum is different from refugee status, but primarily only in one way: You apply for asylum when you are at a border crossing or port of entry, or when you are already present in the United States, and you apply for refugee status when you are located outside the United States.

Related: What to know about refugee status in the United States

Can You Work as an Asylee in the United States?

If you have a pending asylum application with the U.S. government, you can apply for work authorization. You can’t apply for permission to work at the same time you apply for asylum. If you’re not sure whether you qualify to apply for work authorization, you should consult with an attorney who can give you the guidance you need.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Asylum in the United States?

If you are considering filing an asylum application in the United States, you may wish to speak to an attorney about your situation. An attorney can help you fill out and file the appropriate paperwork, as well as explain work authorization and how to get it. Please feel free to call our office at 414-383-6700 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an attorney. We may be able to help you obtain asylum in the United States.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-05-20T20:52:56-05:00May 10th, 2022|Immigration Law|Comments Off on How to Seek Asylum in the U.S.

The Asylum Process in the United States

The Asylum Process in the United States - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

The U.S.’s asylum process can be complicated – and many people end up working with an attorney to ask for safe haven within the country. Asylum is only available to people who are being persecuted (or who are in danger of being persecuted) in their home countries, so here’s what you need to know if you’re considering it.

The Asylum Process in the United States

If you want to obtain asylum in the U.S., you must present yourself to immigration authorities and claim a credible fear of persecution based on:

  • Religion
  • Race
  • Nationality
  • Political opinion
  • Membership in a social group

You must have a valid fear or past experience with persecution in your home country. Otherwise, your petition for asylum will be denied.

Related: Proposed changes to the public charge rule in immigration

What is Persecution for Purposes of Asylum in the U.S.?

Persecution can fall into several categories, including discrimination, physical abuse, harassment, unjust arrest or imprisonment, or another type of harm. However, the U.S. will only grant you asylum if the persecution you experienced is due to one of the five factors listed above. The persecution can’t be from just anyone, either – it must come from your home country’s government or from forces that your government can’t control, like guerrilla groups.

Related: 3 current immigration myths, debunked

The Asylum Interview

U.S. Customs and Immigration Services will require you to come in for an interview if you’re asking for asylum in the United States. You’ll have to talk about all the facts you listed in your asylum application to prove that you have a credible, well-founded fear of persecution (or that you’ve been persecuted in the past). After your interview – but not on the same day – the U.S. government will make a decision about your application.

Are There Alternatives to Asylum?

If you’re outside the U.S., you won’t apply for asylum. Instead, you’ll ask for refugee status. You must meet the same criteria for persecution that you would to become an asylee.

Related: Asylum vs. refugee status

There are other alternatives, though. If you cannot prove a well-founded fear of persecution or show that you’ve been persecuted in the past (and that your persecution is likely to continue), there may be other ways for you to enter the United States lawfully.

If you’re considering immigrating to the U.S. for any reason, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule your immigration consultation today, or contact us online.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T12:34:43-05:00March 2nd, 2020|Immigration Law|Comments Off on The Asylum Process in the United States

Asylum vs. Refugee Status

Asylum vs. Refugee Status - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

When people want to come to the U.S. to escape persecution in another country, they can apply for asylum or refugee status.

But what are the differences between the two?

Here’s what you need to know.

Asylum vs. Refugee Status

Basically, asylum and refugee status are the same – but there’s one major difference, and it lies in where you asked to enter the U.S. for protection.

Asylum

You can apply for protection in the U.S. under asylum laws if you meet the definition of a refugee and you’re already in the United States. You can ask for asylum no matter where you’re from, and regardless of your current immigration status. In fact, you have up to one year after arriving in the U.S. to ask for asylum in most cases.

Refugee Status

You can apply for protection in the U.S. under refugee laws if you meet the definition of a refugee and you’re of “special humanitarian concern to the United States.” You can ask for refugee status when you’re outside your country but not in the U.S. (If you’re in the U.S., you’ll ask for asylum.)

What’s the Definition of a Refugee?

A refugee is a person who has been persecuted in his or her country or has a credible fear that they will be persecuted because of:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • A particular political opinion

A person’s eligible family members can typically be allowed into the U.S. with the refugee or asylee, but every case is different, and you must apply for permission to bring or include your family on your petition.

Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Immigration Attorney?

If you need to talk to a Milwaukee immigration attorney, we may be able to help you. Our lawyers can answer your questions and help you with asylum or refugee status, removal proceedings and immigrant visas, as well as a wide range of other immigration issues. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule your consultation today.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T13:55:27-05:00November 27th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Asylum vs. Refugee Status

Qualifying for Political Asylum in the U.S.

Qualifying for Political Asylum in the U.S. - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you’ve heard of political asylum in the U.S. – but how do you qualify for it, and what does it include?

Qualifying for Political Asylum in the U.S.

You are only allowed to apply for asylum in the U.S. if you’re already here, in the country, or if you’ve presented yourself to an immigration official at a border crossing. If you’re currently located outside the U.S., you need to use a different process and apply for refugee status.

In order to qualify for political asylum in the U.S., you must have a reasonable fear of persecution in your home country due to your:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Political opinion
  • Membership in a certain group or social class

Reasonable Fear of Persecution

A reasonable fear of persecution means that you have a 10 to 15 percent chance of being persecuted. You don’t have to show immigration officials that you’ll definitely be persecuted or that you’ve been persecuted in the past. (If you have been persecuted in the past, you most likely have a reasonable fear of future persecution, but every case is different.)

What is Persecution?

Generally speaking, the infliction of suffering or harm, or the threat of loss of life or liberty, qualifies as persecution. Things like torture, long-term imprisonment or severe bodily harm count, as well. Being put under constant surveillance, being pressured to join a criminal group or being on the receiving end of discrimination in housing, passport issuance or education can also be considered persecution.

Unfortunately, though, there’s no clear-cut definition of persecution under U.S. asylum law – and that means it’s up to the USCIS official you’re dealing with to make a determination.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Immigration Issues?

Even if you don’t qualify for political asylum in the U.S., you may be eligible for refugee status or another type of immigration. It may be a good idea for you to call a Milwaukee immigration attorney who can give you legal advice that’s tailored to your situation.

Call us at 414-383-6700 right now to set up a consultation with an immigration lawyer – we may be able to help you.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-23T16:55:24-05:00November 26th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Qualifying for Political Asylum in the U.S.

Working, Families and Other Issues for Asylees

What You Need to Know About Families, Working and More With U.S. Asylum - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

When you apply for asylum in the U.S., it’s up to a U.S. immigration official to decide whether you qualify. U.S. asylum law doesn’t explicitly define persecution, so every case is different – and you may benefit from talking to an asylum lawyer about your options if you’re thinking about coming to the U.S. to ask for protection.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about families, working and other issues when you petition the U.S. government for asylum.

Can Your Family Get Asylum if You Do?

It’s important that you know every case is different, and just because you are granted asylum, that doesn’t mean your family will qualify, as well. You must ask the U.S. government to include your spouse and children in its asylum decision, but you can only do that if your children are under 21 and unmarried. If one of your children turns 21 after you’ve filed a petition for asylum but before the government has made a decision, it’s okay – he or she still falls under yours.

If your children are married, or if they’re single and over the age of 21 when you file your application, they have to file their own asylum applications. Your spouse does not.

Can You Work if You Get Asylum in the U.S.?

When the U.S. government decides that you qualify for asylum and grants your request, you can start working immediately – you don’t have to apply for any special employment authorization documents (although you can if you want to).

But before the government makes its decision, you can’t work unless you have been granted employment authorization. Here’s the catch on that, though: You can’t ask for employment authorization when you apply for asylum. You can only apply if you have already filed your asylum petition and 150 days have passed without the government making a decision in your case.

What Can Prevent You From Getting Asylum?

Some things can prevent you from being eligible for asylum in the U.S., including you:

  • Being a danger to U.S. safety and security
  • Being resettled successfully in another country (not your home country) before you came to the U.S.
  • Having a previous asylum application denied by an immigration court
  • Having a serious criminal conviction in your past
  • Having ordered, incited, helped or participated in the persecution of other people based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group – the same reasons you’re using to ask for asylum in the U.S.

Some things are eligible for waivers, though, so it’s important to talk to an attorney if you think you might qualify for asylum or another immigration status.

Do You Need to Talk to an Immigration Lawyer?

If you’re considering coming to the United States, whether you need to come here to be safe or you’d like to immigrate for other reasons, you could benefit from talking to an immigration attorney in Milwaukee.

Call us at 414-383-6700 right now to set up a consultation with an immigration lawyer – we’ll answer your questions and give you the legal advice you need.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-23T17:02:40-05:00November 26th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Working, Families and Other Issues for Asylees

How to Apply for Asylum in the U.S.

How to Apply for Asylum in the U.S. - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Many people apply for asylum once they’re in the U.S. According to the law, you can do so if you’re unable or unwilling to return to your home country because of persecution (or a well-founded fear of persecution) because of your race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinion. If the U.S. government grants you asylum, you will be permitted to live and work in the United States, and after a year, you can apply for permanent resident status.

But there’s a catch: You must meet the definition of a refugee.

What is the Definition of a Refugee in the U.S.?

A refugee is a person who is outside his or her home country who’s unwilling or unable to return for the same reasons someone would seek asylum. The difference between a refugee and an asylee (someone seeking asylum) is that you ask for refugee status when you’re outside the United States; you ask for asylum if you’re already in the United States.

When Are You Eligible for Asylum in the U.S.?

In order to be eligible for asylum in the U.S., you have to ask for asylum at a port-of-entry of the U.S. (like an airport, seaport or border crossing) or file an application within a year of arriving in the country. However, in some cases, you can ask after a year has passed – such as when your personal circumstances have changed or if conditions in your home country have changed (and those changes affected your eligibility). You could also be excused from the 1-year deadline if extraordinary circumstances prevented you from filing.

Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Immigration Lawyer About Applying for Asylum?

If you need to talk to a Milwaukee immigration attorney about asylum, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule your consultation now.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-23T18:20:14-05:00November 25th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on How to Apply for Asylum in the U.S.

What is Asylum in the U.S.?

What is Asylum in the U.S. - Milwaukee Asylum Lawyer

By Carlos Gamino

Immigration to the U.S. isn’t always a simple process. However, there are programs in place that may make it easier for people seeking political asylum to find safety here—and if you’re someone who needs protection, a Milwaukee asylum lawyer may be able to help you.

What is Asylum in the U.S.?

Asylum is a special legal protection available to people who have left their home countries and are fearful of returning.

Asylum is different from refugee status, but the main difference is that you can apply for asylum once you’ve already entered the U.S.; if you were seeking refugee status, you’d apply before you came.

If you are granted asylum in the U.S., you will be allowed to stay here indefinitely. You’ll be allowed to work, and after a year, you can apply for a green card.

What Do You Have to Prove to Get Asylum in the U.S.?

Not everyone qualifies for asylum.

If you want asylum in the U.S., you and your Wisconsin immigration attorney must show that you’re unable (or unwilling) to return to your home country because you’ve already been persecuted there or you will be if you go back. Persecution means harassment, punishment, injury, oppression, physical harm or psychological harm.

You’ll also have to prove that the persecution is connected to:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Political opinion
  • Membership in a certain social group

One type of persecution is specifically mentioned in the law, and it’s being forced to undergo “coercive population control,” such as forced abortion or sterilization.

What to Do if You Need Asylum in the U.S.

If you need asylum in the U.S., it may be a good idea for you to contact a Milwaukee, Wisconsin asylum lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can evaluate your case and file the proper forms on your behalf to ensure that you don’t leave out vital information.

Call us at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online. We’ll be happy to review your case and give you specific legal advice about what to do next.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-27T20:29:54-05:00November 23rd, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on What is Asylum in the U.S.?

Persecution and Asylum

Escape Persecution and Seek Asylum through US immigration - Gamino Law Offices, LLC

Many people come to America seeking asylum from persecution in their home countries – but many don’t succeed. If you’re seeking asylum, it’s essential that you work with a US immigration lawyer who understands the process and can help you through this difficult time.

Recent Asylum Cases in the News

The Romeike family came to the US because they were in danger of losing custody of their children in Germany after choosing to give their children a religiously-based education at home. Because Germany doesn’t look favorably on home-schooling, the family applied for asylum in the US – and after a lengthy process, they were allowed to stay. However, they had the help of a talented lawyer who ensured that they were following the right steps.

Persecution and Asylum in the US

If you or your family members are being persecuted in your home country, or if any of you are in danger of persecution, you can technically ask for safe haven in America. However, the process can be lengthy – and there are set rules. Failure to follow the rules can result in a permanent denial of your application, so that’s why it’s so important to work with an attorney.

You must apply for asylum within one year of arriving to the US. The clock starts ticking as soon as you set foot on American soil, and if your time is running out, you’ll need to talk to a Milwaukee immigration lawyer as soon as possible.

Most people must go through an interview process (small children and the extremely elderly are often exempt), fill out several forms and turn in a fairly large amount of documentation. Your lawyer will walk you through and explain each step, making sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as an applicant so that your chances of being granted asylum aren’t hurt by miscommunication.

By |2021-08-07T18:04:13-05:00November 16th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Persecution and Asylum

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