Asylum is a protected status that may be granted to individuals who face persecution in their home country due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Those granted asylum may become eligible for a green card to live and work permanently in Aurora and elsewhere in the U.S.

The government can be very strict about granting asylum, however. If you are seeking asylum or refugee status you may want to choose to work with an Aurora asylum lawyer who could provide advice and representation to aid in the application process. A knowledgeable immigration lawyer could help you prevent mistakes that could jeopardize your opportunities for obtaining asylum.

Asylum vs. Refugee Status

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) discusses asylum and refugee status together in many cases because the two are very similar under immigration law. This is because both types of status are only available to those who meet the statutory definition in 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(42).

This definition is anyone who is unable or unwilling to return to or seek protection from their country of nationality or residence “because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” The primary difference between asylum and refugee status is that asylum is granted to those already in the U.S. or seeking admission at a port of entry, while refugee status is granted to those located outside the U.S. People already in the U.S. may seek asylum regardless of their immigration status.

What is Affirmative Processing?

The U.S. processes requests for asylum in different ways depending on the timing of the request. Those who apply for asylum with the government go through the affirmative process. This process begins with the filing of Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal with USCIS. Unless the applicant can show a significant change in circumstances, the form must be filed within a year of his or her arrival in the U.S.

After filing the application, the applicant will undergo fingerprinting and background checks. Then the agency will schedule an interview at which he or she may be represented by an attorney. The agency will issue a decision following the interview. If asylum is denied, the applicant may seek asylum through the defensive process.

Defensive Processing in Aurora

Those who wait to request asylum until they are fighting against removal will work through the defensive process. Unlike the affirmative process, the defensive process operates on an adversarial basis.

An immigration judge will hear arguments from the applicant or his or her attorney, and from the government’s legal staff. Then the judge will decide whether asylum should be granted. If the applicant is denied asylum, the judge will determine whether he or she may seek relief from removal on other grounds. Decisions of an immigration judge may be appealed by either party. If you are in this situation, it may be critical to reach out to an Aurora asylum lawyer.

Reach Out to an Aurora Asylum Attorney

Those who seek asylum generally have good reasons for doing so. But sometimes it may be difficult to convey those reasons in a comprehensive and persuasive manner.

Therefore, you find it beneficial to be represented by an experienced Aurora asylum lawyer during an interview or in a proceeding before an immigration judge. A dedicated lawyer could also advise you as to whether to use the affirmative process in a particular situation. To learn more about the advantages of working with a knowledgeable asylum lawyer, call now for a consultation.

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