Making the decision to flee your country is not always an easy choice. In fact, this can often be a life-or-death choice and not something taken lightly. If you’re worried about your safety upon the return to your country, you may be eligible to seek asylum. However, this process can be complex and challenging to navigate as there are many things that must be taken into consideration. As such, the following blog covers some of the most essential information and explores why you need the assistance of a New York City asylum lawyer to guide you through this process.
How Can I Seek Asylum in America?
In order to seek asylum, you must be currently in the United States. If you are outside the country, you would apply for refugee status.
If you’ve been in the United States, whether you entered illegally or via a visa, you may be able to apply for asylum if you meet the eligibility requirements. Generally, to seek asylum, you must face prosecution based on your race, religion, political opinion, or affiliation with a social group. It’s important to understand that you may be sought by the police or government for these reasons. However, your persecutor does not have to have established political affiliation. For example, if they are a militant group, tribe, or vigilante, and the government refuses to take the necessary steps to protect you or others like you from harm, you can seek asylum.
What Constitutes Persecution?
There is no set definition for persecution in the United States. However, if there is a significant threat or fear of harm, such as torture, imprisonment, privacy violations, human rights violations, or political detention, this may be the grounds to file for asylum.
Examples of reasons why others have sought asylum in the United States include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
- Imprisonment or torture of political dissidents
- Excluding members of certain religions from political processes
- Undergoing forced sterilization
- Threatening to kill or kidnap those who refuse to join a specific political group
Generally, so long as you can prove that your fear is well-founded, you may be able to apply.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you are considering seeking asylum, it is imperative to contact an experienced attorney. Unfortunately, this process has many steps you must fulfill, so ensuring you have an attorney to guide you through this process is crucial. One misstep can impact your health and safety, so you should not attempt this journey alone.
At the Law Office of Jason A. Dennis, we understand how complex seeking asylum can be. However, our team is dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome for your unique circumstances. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.