The United States has been a beacon of hope for oppressed people for centuries. However, it was not until 1948 that the law specifically recognized refugees as individuals who could be admitted into the United States. A refugee outside the United States is of special humanitarian concern to the U.S. government if they can show that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to specific characteristics specified under the law. At Robert D Ahlgren and Associates, we have experienced asylum attorneys who have been serving our immigration clients in the Chicago area for almost 50 years.
To obtain asylum in the United States, one must go either through an “affirmative” process or through “defensive” filing.
To obtain asylum under the affirmative asylum process, you must be physically present in the United States. It would not matter how you entered the United States or what your immigration status is currently. If you are in the United States, you can submit your application for asylum with the appropriate immigration office. Your case will then be evaluated to determine whether you meet all the requirements to be granted protection under U.S. asylum laws.
One of the requirements you must meet is your application for asylum must be filed with the immigration office within one year of the date you last entered the United States, unless you can demonstrate that:
Obtaining asylum through this affirmative process requires that you file Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. You would need to file this application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, which has jurisdiction over the state where you live.
Once the completed application is received by USCIS, you will receive an Appointment Notice for your biometrics. You will then receive in the mail an Interview Notice for you to go before an Asylum Officer who will ask you questions about your application.
If the Asylum Officer is satisfied that you meet the requirements to be granted asylum, they will approve your application, and you will become an asylee. An Asylee is an individual who has been granted asylum, which means they can live and legally work in the United States and will have an opportunity to apply for permanent residency (green card) and eventually citizenship if they so desire.
If your asylum application is denied, the Asylum Officer will refer your application to Immigration Court, where you will start afresh on your application for asylum.
If your asylum application is referred to Immigration Court or if you have been arrested and placed in “removal proceedings” because you are in the United States illegally but wish to apply for asylum, you will be renewing your application or applying under what is referred to as “affirmative” filing.
If you are in the Chicago area and seek asylum, contact our office and schedule a consultation to discuss your case. Robert D Ahlgren and Associates can help with your immigration matters.