Filing for Asylum Status

Mississippi Immigration Law Attorney Navketan Desai

Immigrants who believe returning to their home country would jeopardize their health and safety may need to file for asylum status in the United States to gain some sort of protection. Before you file for asylum status, ensure that you are not a refugee instead. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers a refugee someone not in America that is seeking safety, whereas an asylum seeker is already in the United States, either illegally or through a temporary visa. Asylum will only be granted to people who have already been or will very likely be persecuted when returning to their home country.

Persecution can only trigger asylum eligibility if it is brought forth due to a person’s:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Social standing
  • Political affiliation

If asylum is granted to an immigrant, it is set for an indefinite amount of time. Only a removal process – usually started by criminal sentencing in America – will end asylum status once given. Asylees can also find work within the United States and can also apply for a green card to obtain lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.

Filing for asylum protections but failing could also begin deportation or removal, so you must be confident that you are eligible before beginning. Get the help of a Mississippi immigration lawyer from Desai Law Firm, PLLC to ensure you are eligible for asylum and that your petition is thorough and complete. Call 601.501.7105 or contact her firm today.

USCIS Definition of Persecution

What does it mean to persecute someone? Each person will have his or her own definition of persecution, as does the USCIS. According to the USCIS, a person is persecuted and could be eligible for asylum status if they have been “harassed, punished, injured, or oppressed” in a way that resulted in physical or psychological damage. An event of actual persecution does not need to actually happen for eligibility to be granted. There must only be proof that persecution would most likely occur upon returning to a country of origin, such as using examples of persecution that were inflicted upon people of similar race, religion, or political interest.

Examples of behaviors or actions that have been viewed as persecution by the USCIS in the past include:

  • Torture and false imprisonment
  • Attacking protestors
  • Controlling elections
  • Forced population control
  • Failing to reasonably protect citizens

Many women have been able to successfully receive asylum status after becoming targeted by gender- or sex-based discrimination or aggression, like domestic violence and mandatory genital mutilation. There have also been instances where an arranged marriage was seen as oppression or kidnapping, and asylum was given to a woman fleeing that lifestyle.

Start Your Inquiry with an Initial Consultation

Mississippi Immigration Lawyer Navketan Desai can assist you or a family member seeking asylum in the United States. She is known for her compassionate approach to immigration cases that is backed by unmatched legal knowledge in the field. Contact her firm by calling 601.501.7105 and scheduling a consultation to learn more.