statue of liberty

It’s an unfortunate reality that people worldwide are victims of hate, harassment, and harm for their beliefs and characteristics. In many instances, those worried for their safety can seek sanctuary in other countries. If you are a victim of political persecution, you may wonder whether or not you can seek entry to the United States. The following blog explores what you should know about whether or not you can obtain a visa as a victim of political persecution and why you’ll need the help of a New York City asylum lawyer.

What Is Political Persecution?

Generally, anytime someone’s rights are infringed upon because of their beliefs or characteristics, they are a victim of political persecution. This is often the result of severe discrimination, resulting in the denial of human rights.

If a government targets specific individuals based on their political beliefs, race, religion, or nationality and falsely imprisons, tortures, strips them of rights, constantly surveils, and generally abuses a group, this constitutes political persecution. It’s important to note the government itself does not need to be the entity carrying these crimes out. However, if the government is complacent in the persecution of these individuals, they can seek asylum in another nation.

It’s also important to note that if there have not been any threats of harm directly made towards you, but violence has impacted others in a similar situation, this may constitute persecution, as there is the likelihood of violence against you.

Can I Apply for a United States Visa as Someone Seeking Asylum?

It’s important to understand there is no visa that admits you into the country to seek asylum. However, upon your entry, if you wish to apply for asylum, the first thing you must do is file a Form I-589. However, where you file this form will depend on your unique circumstances. Generally, you will file with the United States Customs and Immigrations Services (USCIS) office.

It’s important to note that the most common kind of asylum is affirmative asylum. This means the asylum seeker is currently in the United States, regardless of how they arrived or their current immigration status. There is also defensive asylum, which means if you are going through deportation or removal, you can seek asylum to prevent the removal.

It’s important to note that you must include your spouse and children on the form, regardless of whether they want to seek asylum or live in the United States.

The process of seeking asylum can be incredibly overwhelming, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. At the Law Offices of Jason A. Dennis, we understand the complexities of this matter. As such, our dedicated team will handle the legal complications you may encounter, so you can focus on establishing a life for yourself. Additionally, we will fight for your right to stay in the country as a victim of political persecution in your home country. Contact us today to learn how we can help you through these challenging times.