U.S. immigration law allows individuals who fear persecution in their native countries to seek refuge in the United States. At the Law Office of Robert D. Ahlgren and Associates, we have been helping refugees in the Chicago area to obtain asylum. There are two primary methods of obtaining asylum in the United States – through an “affirmative” process or “defensively.” Discuss the path of your case with our Chicago asylum attorneys right away.
To apply for asylum under the affirmative asylum process, you must be physically present in the United States. It does not matter how you arrived in the United States or what your current immigration status is. If you are in the country, you can apply for asylum, and your case will be evaluated to determine whether you meet other requirements for being granted asylum.
One of these other requirements is your application for asylum must be filed within one year of the date you last arrived in the United States unless you can show:
Applying for asylum through this affirmative process requires that you submit Form I-589, Application for Asylum, and for Withholding of Removal. You would need to submit this application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office with jurisdiction over the state where you are located.
Once the properly completed application is received, you will receive an Appointment Notice for your fingerprints to be taken along with other security checks to be done. You will then receive an Interview Notice for you to appear before an Asylum Officer who will ask you questions relating to your application.
The Asylum Officer will either approve your application or refer it to an Immigration Judge to review your application afresh under the defensive asylum application process described below.
If you did not apply for asylum at the time of entering the United States or at any time after that and you are arrested or placed in removal proceedings, you can apply for asylum as part of your case. Removal proceedings are a process where the government makes its case before an Immigration Judge (IJ) why you should be deported, and you have an opportunity to make your case why you should not be deported.
When you apply for asylum under these circumstances – meaning after you have been placed in removal proceedings – you are applying for asylum as a defense to your removal or deportation.
For example, if you affirmatively applied for asylum as described above but the Asylum Officer does not approve the application, the officer will refer your case to the Immigration Court for a judge there to review your case afresh.
The Immigration Judge will review your application and consider any additional evidence or witnesses you may have before rendering a decision on the application.
If you are in the Chicago area and need to seek asylum, contact our office today to discuss how we can help you. Never wait to pursue your lawful status in the U.S.