If you have fled another country based on a “well-founded fear of persecution” based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, you may be eligible for Asylum in the United States. If you are granted asylum, after entering the United States either legally or illegally, you will be permitted to remain a resident in the United States. Both refugees from outside of the country and individuals who have entered the country illegally are eligible for asylum.
There are two pathways that individuals seeking asylum can follow: (1) Affirmative Asylum; and (2) Defensive Asylum.
1. Affirmative Asylum
Affirmative Asylum is the process for applying for asylum before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services after entry into the United States before deportation proceedings have been commenced.
Affirmative asylum must be filed within one year of your last entry into the U.S. or within 6 months of your status ending (e.g. student visa status), unless you can show extraordinary circumstances for a delay. Extraordinary circumstances include, but are not limited to:
2. Defensive Asylum
Defensive Asylum is filed as a strategy for defending yourself against a pending deportation. In order to be successful, you must be able to show that deportation to your country of origin will result in fear of persecution because of one of the following conditions:
Individuals who are apprehended at the border and request asylum, are given the chance to apply for asylum if they pass a Credible Fear Interview, during which an asylum officer will ask a series of questions to determine whether the individual has a credible fear of returning to their country of origin.
Contact Will County & DuPage Immigration Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
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